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Why Michael Douglas Will Make ‘Ant-Man’ a Better Movie

Marvel movies aren't for everyone. Some actors are too serious. Others, too carefree. In hiring two-time Oscar winner Michael Douglas to play scientist Hank Pym in 2015's Ant-Man, Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) has found an actor capable of setting just the right tone, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Think of Marvel's recent winners. Both Marvel's The Avengers and Iron Man 3 -- or more recently, Thor: The Dark World -- greeted audiences with a healthy blend of action and humor. The result? More than $3 billion in grosses at the worldwide box office and millions more in DVD, Blu-ray, and download sales.

Now think about Marvel's rare losers, such as the Fox-produced Elektra. Did the film bomb for lack of action? Not at all. Dozens of crazy ninjas appeared on screen throughout the movie. Director Rob Bowman just forgot to add the funny, and Elektra suffered at the box office as a result.

Therein lies the genius of hiring Douglas to play Pym alongside Paul Rudd's Scott Lang. Both actors have the chops to play drama but do equally well handling funny situations. You need that with Ant-Man, a funny character whose power -- the ability to shrink and communicate with insects -- is easily ridiculed.

None of this is news to Marvel, of course. Tim points to a 2007 interview at Marvel HQ, during which an executive described the prospects for Ant-Man by asking him to think of Wright's horror-comedy Shaun of the Dead, and then play that forward into a Marvel movie that wouldn't take itself too seriously. With the hiring of Rudd and now Douglas, it seems at least some of that vision remains.

Do you agree? Do you like the choice of Michael Douglas for Ant-Man? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short Walt Disney stock at current prices.

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  • Report this Comment On January 19, 2014, at 11:30 PM, xnamora wrote:

    Michael Douglas is way too old to play Hank Pym. He is an Avengers' contemporary in the comics. Granted several of the Avengers are way too old already (although they work as is) he makes the group decrepit.

    It's time for some fresher talent. Say no to the usual suspects.

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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