Michael Douglas: Sexagenarian superhero
Watching the Golden Globes Sunday night, it occurred to me that four out of six Avengers were there. Then I started looking at the tables more closely during cutaways and realized that damn near every film table, and more than a few of the TV tables, had at least one person affiliated with a Marvel project. And it’s not no-name actors, either. It’s some of the biggest names in the room—RDJ, Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana—as well as a hot list of breakouts, pond-crossers and career revivers—Idris Elba, the Chrises Evans and Hemsworth and Pratt. That’s not even counting actors on projects produced by other studios, like Spider-Man (Emma Stone) and X-Men (Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender). The Marvel club house is getting very full.
And they’ve got another iconic name joining up, as Variety is reporting that Michael Douglas has signed on to play Hank Pym in Edgar Wright’s Ant Man. When I wrote about Paul Rudd signing on to play Ant Man, I emphasized that we didn’t know which version he would be playing, the classic Hank Pym or the modern-update Scott Lang. Now studio chief Kevin Feige confirms that Douglas will play Pym, so, presumably, Rudd is playing Lang, who steals Pym’s formula and becomes Ant Man after Pym has aged out of the role. I love the idea of Douglas as an older Hank Pym. In the comics, Pym is a wife-beating assh*le, but he’s also one of the original Avengers. There’s a lot to play with in terms of characterization.
What I want to know, though, is if all these people talk during events like Golden Globes. RDJ, Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth are all friends for real, so they probably do at some point. But does RDJ say hi to Chris Evans? Or does he just nod from across the room? Do they give Hemsworth sh*t for the being the only one to walk the red carpet? Do Redford and Douglas exchange knowing glances and shake their heads ruefully, silently commiserating about being the “token eminent actor” in a comic book movie? Does everyone who passed on Rocket Raccoon (a LOT of them did) give BCoop a weird look, or is he just quietly smug, confident that by the end of the year he’ll be the man behind one of Marvel’s most memorable characters? Does Gwyneth stand in the center of a constellation of hunky dudes spanning three generations, like a superior blonde sun? I especially like the possibility of that last one.