Michael Douglas Shrinks Down to Size for ‘Ant-Man’

Bryan Enk
Yahoo Movies
Michael Douglas to play Hank Pym
Michael Douglas to play Hank Pym

Greed is good. So is having super powers.

"Wall Street" alum and newly minted Golden Globe winner Michael Douglas will be entering the wonderful world of Marvel as he's been cast in the role of Hank Pym in "Ant-Man," Marvel Studios announced Monday.

Douglas actually hinted at the role on Sunday, telling press members backstage at the awards event "I'd get shot" if it were prematurely revealed. (More on this below.)

But wait a minute ... we thought Paul Rudd was playing Hank Pym? What gives, Marvel?

It's actually Douglas who will be playing the 'original' Ant-Man, Dr. Henry Jonathan 'Hank' Pym, who first appeared in "Tales to Astonish" No. 27 back in January 1962. Pym is a biochemist who discovers a rare group of subatomic particles (which he names, naturally, "Pym Particles") that alter the size of objects. Experimenting on himself, Pym shrunk to the size of an ant, and later developed a "cybernetic helmet" that allowed him to communicate with his new insect pals through transmitting and receiving psionic and electrical waves.

[Related: The 11 Unlikeliest Actors Ever Cast in Superhero Movies]

Pym later married Janet van Dyne, aka Wasp, and re-invented himself throughout Marvel history as a series of size- and/or insect-themed heroes, including Giant Man, Goliath and Yellowjacket.

A founding member of The Avengers in the comics, Pym was also the creator of Ultron, the super-intelligent robot who will be featured as the main villain in the upcoming movie sequel "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." However, director Joss Whedon has confirmed that Ultron's origin will be reworked for the film (perhaps partly due to the fact that "Avengers 2" beats "Ant-Man" to theaters by almost three months).

Meanwhile, Paul Rudd will be playing Scott Lang, electronics expert turned thief who first appeared in "The Avengers" No. 181 (March 1979). Lang steals Pym's Ant-Man uniform and shrinking gas canisters, which puts him on the path to becoming the second Ant-Man. Got that all sorted out?

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"Ant-Man" director Edgar Wright has actually been mulling over having both Pym and Lang in the film for nearly a decade.

"The thing is that what we want to do is have a film that basically is about Henry Pym and Scott Lang, so you actually do a prologue where you see Pym as Ant-Man in action in the '60s, in sort of 'Tales to Astonish' mode basically," said Wright in a July 2006 interview with SuperHeroHype. "And then the contemporary, sort of flash-forward, is Scott Lang's story, and how he comes to acquire the suit, how he crosses paths with Henry Pym, and then, in an interesting sort of Machiavellian way, teams up with him."

There's no word on whether that's the actual premise of the current screenplay penned by Wright and Joe Cornish, but there's no reason to think it's been radically changed since those early, innocent days of development.

As for Douglas, he dropped big hints about his involvement with "Ant-Man" in the Golden Globes press room after receiving the award for Best Actor, Mini-Series or TV Movie for his performance as Liberace in "Beyond the Candelabra."

[Related: Golden Globes: Complete Winners List]

"I have another picture which I am producing that I am in with a British actor named Jerry Irvine. It is called 'The Reach' and probably coming out sometime in the fall," said Douglas. "And I have another picture which you’ll hear about is getting announced on Tuesday, so I can't ..."

When asked to reveal the project, Douglas replied, "I can't. You’ll see it on Tuesday. Part of the deal. I'd get shot."

"I'd get shot" — yeah, that sounds like Marvel. But luckily for us, Tuesday came a day early.

"Ant-Man" will hit theaters on July 31, 2015, preceded by "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" on May 1.

Watch Michael Douglas And Rob Lowe Sing Each Other's Praises For 'Behind The Candelabra':