Michael Douglas Joins "Ant-Man" as Hank Pym; Rudd Will Play Scott Lang

Marvel has announced that veteran actor Michael Douglas will play Hank Pym in 2015's "Ant-Man" film. Additionally, Marvel revealed that the film's lead, Paul Rudd, will play the Scott Lang version of the character.

"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 a statement. "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."

Hank Pym is the original and most famous incarnation of Ant-Man in Marvel Comics history, with multiple superhero identities also including Giant-Man, Goliath and Yellowjacket. The character was one of the founding Avengers and first appeared in 1962's "Tales to Astonish" #27, pre-dating many Marvel heroes including Iron Man, Spider-Man and the X-Men.

Scott Lang is Marvel's second Ant-Man, debuting in 1979's "The Avengers" #181. A former criminal, Lang first adapted the Ant-Man persona after stealing Pym's technology as part of an effort to save his daughter, Cassie. The Scott Lang incarnation of Ant-Man has been prominent in recent Marvel releases, with a starring role in the soon-to-wrap "FF" series, and a major part to play in upcoming event series "Original Sin." Given the multiple Ant-Man iterations, observers had long speculated which version -- or versions -- would show up in the film, which has been in development since 2006.

Casting Douglas, 69, as Hank Pym is a shift in depiction for the character, who in the comics is portrayed in the same age range as Tony Stark or Bruce Banner. An acclaimed performer with more than 40 years of on-screen experience, Douglas -- stepping into his first comic book-based film --- won Best Actor at the 1987 Academy Awards for his lead role in "Wall Street," and just this past Sunday received a Golden Globe for his performance as Liberace in HBO TV movie "Behind the Candelabra."

Marvel Studios' "Ant-Man," directed by Edgar Wright and co-written by Wright and Joe Cornish, is scheduled for release on July 31, 2015.

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