In the build-up to Marvel’s Ant-Man, there were lots of rumours floating around regarding Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym. Some said that he was actually the villain of the movie whilst others insisted that the character would be killed off at the end – it turns out that that second one was almost true.
Douglas recently revealed that he may be the only actor in any Marvel Studios movie to have only signed a one-picture deal – meaning he isn’t contracted to return for any Ant-Man sequels or what not. However, chatting with Yahoo! it sounds as if he had a real blast so there shouldn’t be too much hassle getting him to come back.
“I’m not signed up to anything more. I’ve learned a whole lot and would look forward to more if it comes my way but if not I’ve enjoyed the experience. Now that I understand a bit more about Hank Pym too. I think in this one I had to carry a lot of plot and exposition. In the next one I hope things get a little more bizarre… the Quantum Realm!”
So it seems as if Douglas is in the same boat regarding what fans want in a sequel. Why is it he only signed on for one movie, I here you ask? Well, I already kinda answered it, so we’ll just cut to the chase.
Birth. Movies. Death. let slip that in Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish’s draft Hank Pym died. He bit the dust. Deader than Quicksilver. I have been a big supporter of Wright’s original vision and I absolutely adore his work, but this is one decision I would have hated. Hank Pym really has gotten the short end of the stick in the Marvel Universe; his most famous story, creating Ultron, was given to Tony Stark, and his own superhero identity was given to his comics successor in the movie. Getting killed off on top of all of that would have really rubbed fans the wrong way.
I get that to paint a realistic picture you want stakes and killing Hank would certainly have raised those, but he’s still an important Marvel figure and this would have deprived him of ever reaching that level in the movies. Who wouldn’t want to see Hank Pym and Tony Stark talking science at Avengers Tower, with Hank probably having strong urges to punch Tony in the face?
Like I’ve said before: Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man would have been a better film, but the end product fit the MCU more neatly. In an ideal world we would have had both, but ah well.
Ant-Man 2 still isn’t confirmed (we don’t even know if it’s on the cards) but the movie isn’t doing too badly at the box office so it isn’t out of the question. If/when it does happen, don’t be surprised if Michael Douglas appears on the cast list again.