‘Ant-Man’: Michael Douglas to star as Hank Pym in Marvel movie

Jan. 13, 2014 | 1:17 p.m.
Michael Douglas shows off his Golden Globe Award for his performance in "Behind the Candelabra" at the 71st Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills on Jan. 12, 2014. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Michael Douglas shows off his Golden Globe Award for his performance in “Behind the Candelabra” at the 71st Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills on Sunday. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

“Behind the Candelabra” actor Michael Douglas will star in “Ant-Man,” Edgar Wright’s 2015 comic book adventure for Marvel.

Douglas is set to play original Avengers member Hank Pym, Marvel announced on its website Monday. In the comics, Dr. Pym is a scientist who invents a shrinking serum that allows him to sneak around in miniature form and surprise foes.

Ant-Man & The Wasp #1 (of 3)“With Hank Pym’s rich history in the Marvel Universe, we knew we needed an actor capable of bringing the weight and stature to the role that the character deserves,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said in the announcement. “We felt incredibly relieved when Michael Douglas agreed to step into the part with the charm and fortitude he brings to every character he inhabits, and couldn’t be more excited to see what he will do to bring Hank Pym to life.”

Douglas joins previously announced star Paul Rudd, who is set to play Scott Lang. In the comics, Lang is a reformed thief and the second superhero to take the name Ant-Man.

“Ant-Man” is slated for a July 31, 2015 theatrical release. It’s unclear whether either incarnation of the diminutive hero will appear in writer-director Joss Whedon’s upcoming “Avengers” sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which also is set for release in 2015. In the comics, Pym is the creator of Ultron, an automaton that becomes a supervillain.

Wright embarks on “Ant-Man” after the success of this summer’s “The World’s End,” his third collaboration with actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The trio’s Cornetto Trilogy — “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” and “World’s End” — established Wright as an especially beloved figure among the  fan community, his films fusing humor and heart within genre trappings.

Wright’s been attached to the project for some time — he  debuted “Ant-Man” test footage that showcased the helmeted hero growing and shrinking in size at Comic-Con in 2012.

What do you think of Douglas’ casting? Let us know in the comments.

– Noelene Clark and Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

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