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

History shows the Oscar winner is a perfect choice to help kick off Marvel’s Phase 3.

Jan 19, 2014 at 9:16AM

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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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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