Michael Douglas wants to surprise audiences with Marvel's 'Ant-Man'
By Mary Milliken
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After throwing audiences a curveball by playing flamboyant pianist Liberace, leading man Michael Douglas is ready to make another unconventional career choice, this time playing scientist Hank Pym in Marvel superhero film "Ant-Man."
Disney-owned Marvel said on Monday that Douglas, 69, will play Henry 'Hank' Pym, the creator of the technology to shrink a human to the size of an insect and thus become Ant-Man. "Anchorman" star Paul Rudd, 44, will play Scott Lang, the alter-ego of the diminutive Marvel superhero.
"I've been dying to do a Marvel picture for so long," Douglas told Reuters on Monday. "The script is really fun, the director is really good. Dylan (the actor's 13-year-old son) will love it. He'll have a picture he can see."
Pym's character first appeared in the 27th issue of Marvel Comics series "Tales to Astonish" in January 1962. Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, said in a statement posted on Marvel.com that Douglas will play Pym with "charm and fortitude."
Douglas, who won a Best Actor Oscar in 1988 for Oliver Stone's financial drama "Wall Street" and picked up a Golden Globe award on Sunday for his turn as Liberace in HBO movie "Behind the Candelabra," is taking a rare step into the world of big-budget franchise action films.
"Sometimes - like (when) they didn't see you for Liberace - you've got to shake them up a little bit and have some fun," Douglas said of surprising both studios and audiences with his decision to do a superhero film.
Walt Disney Co's foray in bringing Marvel's superhero universe to the big screen has proved to be a lucrative choice, with films such as "Avengers" and "Iron Man 3" crossing the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office.
The plot for "Ant-Man" is being kept firmly under wraps. The film, directed by Edgar Wright, is scheduled to be in theaters in July 2015. Continued...