I’m hardly an Ant-Man aficionado. I enjoyed the first Ant-Man, Hank Pym, when he was with the West Coast Avengers and wore his red jumpsuit, and I appreciated what they did with him in The Ultimates, but other than that, I have no real regard for the character.
So when they announced that Michael Douglas would play Hank Pym in the new Ant-Man movie directed by Edgar Wright and starring Paul Rudd, I definitely experienced surprise. Surprise, but not dismay.
First of all, it’s Edgar Wright doing Ant-Man, so he can cast whomever he chooses as far as I’m concerned. The fact we’re even getting an Ant-Man movie is reason enough to celebrate.
Secondly, I have total trust in the Marvel cinematic brain trust. If they want Hank Pym to be depicted older on film than in comics, there must be a valid reason behind it. And frankly, I agree with the decision. I know nothing about Scott Lang, the character that Rudd will play, other than that he stole Pym’s technology to save his sick daughter and then used it for good afterwards with Pym’s blessing. (I got that information from Newsarama at this address: http://www.newsarama.com/20026-ant-man-casts-michael-douglas-as-hank-pym.html). What I know of Pym, however, is that his intellect is on par with Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and Bruce Banner. Now, Reed Richards is out of the cinematic conversation, but with the amazing chemistry of Robert Downey, Jr. and Mark Ruffalo, do we really need or want Rudd in that scientist mix? With Rudd as Lang, he can do his own thing, be his own character and shine in his own way when he finds his way into the next Avengers movie. We don’t need or want another super-intelligent funny guy. RDJ and Ruffalo fill that quota perfectly.
Douglas is far too old to do much in the way of super heroics, but he can still give Pym the depth and intellect the character deserves. I thinks it’s both a pragmatic and wise decision on the creators’ parts. Who knows? With Pym’s Ultimates history, Douglas could even have a little more edge than we suspect.
I really don’t know of any die-hard Pym fans out there, so I’m surprised some seem really upset about casting Pym as an older man. In my opinion, Edgar Wright always knows what he’s doing, and the Marvel movies haven’t gone wrong yet. I think we’re going to get the best Ant-Man movie we ever expected. (Of course, I never expected an Ant-Man movie, so …)