MCU Casting Confirmations and Rumors: Michael Douglas in ANT-MAN, Bill Paxton in AoS and Johnny Depp as Dr. Strange?

MCU Casting Confirmations and Rumors: Michael Douglas in ANT-MAN, Bill Paxton in AoS and Johnny Depp as Dr. Strange?

Well, yesterday was a huge day for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Not only did we get some great confirmations regarding some key castings in the MCU, but we also received a huge, juicy tidbit about who Marvel is supposedly courting for their upcoming DOCTOR STRANGE film, which has all been but confirmed for Phase 3.  So, no more intro.  Let’s get to this.


Douglas Antman

Recently, it was announced that Paul Rudd had been cast in 2015’s ANT-MAN which led many to believe that he was taking on the role of Henry “Hank” Pym in the Edgar Wright directed comic adaptation that will officially kick off Phase 3 of the MCU only a few short months after AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON hits theaters.  For those out there that speculated that he was actually tackling the role of Scott Lang, well go ahead and pat yourselves on the back because you are correct.  Marvel announced yesterday that veteran actor Michael Douglas (WALL STREET) has been officially signed for the role of Hank Pym.

This is interesting in that Edgar Wright had sent out a tweet a few weeks back that seemed very simple:

The link in the tweet was to his own blog dated for January 5, 2014 which was simply titled “Homework.”  The “homework” he was referring to was an episode of the cartoon, AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES entitled “To Steal and Ant-Man” which is also based on the Marvel Premier issue with the same title.  In the episode, which you can a clip for below, not only is it the first appearance of Scott Lang (in the cartoon) but also serves as an introduction to the Heroes for Hire team, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.  These two are part of the upcoming Netflix deal which will see them appear in their own TV shows, so at this point, it is nothing but water cooler talk when trying to figure out if they will appear in the film as well.  In the episode, Scott Lang steals the Ant-Man technology from Hank Pym in order to commit a series of bank robberies.  Kevin Feige has already described ANT-MAN as a heist film so it is safe to say that there will most likely be some similarities between this storyline and the one we will get on the big screen in 2015.

Here is the press release from Marvel:

Michael Douglas has stepped into some of the biggest–or should that be tiniest?–shoes of his career.

The two-time Academy Award-winning actor will join director Edgar Wright and Paul Rudd in Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” hitting theaters July 31, 2015.

“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,” said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “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 legendary actor, who earned an Academy Award in the category of Best Actor in a Leading Role for his iconic portrayal of Gordon Gecko in “Wall Street,” has also starred in numerous modern classics including “Basic Instinct,” “Fatal Attraction,” “The Game,” “Wonder Boys,” “Traffic” and many more. In addition to acting, Douglas has also served as Producer and Executive Producer on a number of films including “Romancing the Stone,” John Carpenter’s “Starman” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” for which he also won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Most recently, Douglas earned a Golden Globe and his first Primetime Emmy Award for his role as legendary entertainer Liberace in the HBO original film “Behind the Candelabra.”

Douglas will star as Hank Pym, who first appeared in TALES TO ASTONISH #27 (Jan. 1962), with Rudd starring as Scott Lang in the film.

On being cast as Hank Pym, Michael Douglas had this to say when speaking to Reuters:

“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.”

“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.

And while Douglas has only done one sequel in his career spanning more than 40 years – Gordon Gekko in 2010’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” – the actor teased about his involvement in future “Ant-Man” sequels.

“(Marvel) reciprocated well, there are sequels. Who knows?” the actor said.


Paxton Agent

Next up is another veteran actor, Bill Paxton (TWISTER, ALIENS) who will be joining the MCU but on the TV side of things.  According to ComicBookResources, he has been cast as Agent John Garrett in Marvel’s: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., an existing character from the comics who first appeared in the Frank Miller / Bill Sienkiwicz’s mini-series from the 80’s, Elektra: Assassin.  He joins agents Victoria Hand and Jasper Sitwell as existing agents from the comics who have made the jump to the MCU.  This is exciting because not only is Paxton a great actor, but as the show matures, it is really good to see them start to bring in more existing characters

Here is the desciption from CBR:

Paxton returns to television in late February/early March for a four episode stint on the spy drama as Agent John Garrett, a character described by showrunner Jed Whedon to TV Guide as “a rough-and-tumble former cohort of Agent Coulson, with a little bit of attitude and cigar-smoking swagger… [W]hen Garrett got his promotion to Level 7, he refused to sit behind a desk and doesn’t like the formalities of S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s going to help Coulson solve some mysteries and is not afraid to rig an explosive or two.”

Now all we need is confirmation of Agent Wendell Vaughn joining the team as I hoped for in my article from a few months back…


Depp Strange

Finally, while the above casting announcements are rock solid, our next one falls under the title of “big rumor of the week”.  This one comes from Latino Review who generally has a good track record of breaking scoops, but it is also important to know that they have been very wrong in the past as well.  Here is their scoop:

A well-connected source informed me tonight that Johnny Depp has taken a meeting with Marvel to discuss taking on the role of Dr. Strange.

Johnny Depp has been a big fan casting choice for the Sorcerer Supreme along with Patrick Dempsey (who himself was a huge proponent for landing the role) and while it appears that the actor and the studio are meeting, possibly with talks for Depp to take on the role (a very big plausibility considering Depp’s relationship with Marvel’s parent company Disney), it is far from a confirmation that the actor will be taking on the role.  That said, the prospect of Depp as Strange is interesting.  Depp, as of late, has been known for taking on extremely strange roles (The PIRATES franchise, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, DARK SHADOWS, THE LONE RANGER, the list goes on), but the actor has also shown he has phenomenal acting chops as well. 

Marvel has been doing great things with bringing in big hitters to their MCU including the aforementioned Michael Douglas, Glenn Close (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY), Robert Redford (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER), Anthony Hopkins (THOR, THOR: THE DARK WORLD) just to name a few so someone of Depp’s status is not out of range for the studio.  If Depp does land the role, I think it will be interesting to see him and Robert Downey, Jr. sharing screen time (and ego’s) in THE AVENGERS 3.


So there you go.  What are your thoughts on Michael Douglas in ANT-MAN?  Bill Paxton in Marvel’s: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?  Is Johnny Depp your favorite pick for DOCTOR STRANGE?  Let us know below.



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About the Author

Jim is an avid movie enthusiast, representing the general movie going audience, looking at movies for their entertainment value as opposed to their critical weight. He enjoys the escapism that movies provide. He is a fan of all genre's of movies, but gravitates toward comic-based movies, summer "popcorn" flicks and over-the-top comedies as his preference.