In 2015, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not getting one Ant-Man, but two Ant-Men.
The upcoming big-screen adaptation of the superhero publisher's smallest Avenger directed by Edgar Wright ("The World's End") will feature two iterations of the character, a story element that has been rumored for years. Paul Rudd was confirmed as the lead at the end of last year, and now Michael Douglas has signed on as Hank Pym, the original and best-known Ant-Man.
In a press release, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige sang the recent Golden Globe Award winner's praises.
"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," Feige said. "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."
The news from Marvel also came with confirmation that Rudd's character is Scott Lang, the second man to adopt the persona, as many had theorized in recent weeks.
Hank Pym is the scientist and inventor whose name is used to describe the particles that allow someone to either shrink or grow in size. Pym has been a key member of the Avengers and infamously created one of the team's most dangerous villains, Ultron. The sentient robot is set to be the antagonist for Joss Whedon's "Avengers" sequel, also scheduled for release next year. Whedon previously confirmed that Pym would not appear in "Avengers: Age of Ultron."
Scott Lang adopted the mantle from Pym after stealing the technology from its inventor in order to pull off a heist and provide for his daughter. Wright recently posted a photo from an episode of "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" that featured the character, fueling fan speculation.
"Ant-Man" opens in theaters on July 31, 2015.