Marvel kicked off Phase 2 of their cinematic venture with IRON MAN 3 back on May 3rd. Tony Stark (and Robert Downey Jr.)’s immense footsteps will attempt to be followed in succession by Alan Taylor’s THOR: THE DARK WORLD, Anthony and Joe Russo’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, James Gunn’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, and Joss Whedon’s AVENGERS 2 on May 1st, 2015.
But what happens after that? We’re a futurist society, always worrying about tomorrow, and I’m not satisfied with only the next five Marvel films. I want to talk about the NEXT five movies after that. Kevin Feige has announced that ANT-MAN will kick off PHASE 3, and it’s obvious that AVENGERS 3 will be a part of it, but beyond that, the rest is just rumors. Will Marvel be introducing more new properties, like DR. STRANGE or the martial artist IRON FIST or the renegade teen RUNAWAYS? Will INHUMANS follow up GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY? Can we expect BLACK PANTHER? Or will we see Marvel’s flagship heroine, MS. MARVEL? Perhaps they return to the well of properties newly made available to them: DAREDEVIL, GHOST RIDER, and PUNISHER? The options are endless…
What follows is what I would do with Phase 3 if I were in charge, which in case you hadn’t realized, I’m not. This type of fancast has certainly been done before, but this is the FM version. I go weird. I go creepy. I may even cast Hank Pym as a female and make Ant-Man and Wasp the first lesbian superhero couple on the big screen. I may cast Daniel Day-Lewis as everyone. I may call on Mephisto himself to summon Vincent Price back from the dead to play Doctor Strange for a Hammer/Marvel team-up. Or, you know, I’ll just pick Nathan Fillion, because that’s the safe, web-sponsored choice (for good reason).
Let’s start with…
Edgar Wright’s ANT-MAN is a quirky, interesting choice to launch Phase 3 of Marvel’s cinematic expansion, but it’s been in the works since even before IRON MAN. The first one. So, it’s high time to see Hank Pym in action, implementing “size fu.” Edgar Wright’s test reel has been greeted with wide acclaim, and it appears he’s taking the film seriously, or at least, it won’t be a Cornetto trilogy-style comedy.
That likely means Simon Pegg won’t be Ant-Man, as many have wanted or speculated. I love the guy, but I hope it doesn’t happen. Pegg has actually said he’d like to play a villain, and I’d be gung ho about that. Unfortunately, Ant-Man is bereft of any worthy villains (can you imagine the Living Eraser and Porcupine on the big screen?). I’d pay to see Simon Pegg play Egghead, who may be Ant-Man’s arch-nemesis (chuckle), but I can’t imagine many more than the die hard’s would get on-board for that one. Hank Pym’s best villain has always been himself. He’s arrogant, self-obsessed, and has been known to be abusive to Janet Van Dyne, his girlfriend/wife. He’s also responsible for creating Ultron, one of the Avengers’ vilest foes. It’s a pretty serious juxtaposition from Egghead and Honey I Shrunk Myself, to spousal abuse and villainy, but I think there’s a very compelling film in there, and could make Hank Pym one of the most divisive, yet interesting characters in the MU.
He tends to screw up a lot, leading to massive identity issues, where he takes on other alter egos: Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, even taking on his wife’s mantle of the Wasp. Take your pick. I anticipate this happening in AVENGERS 3 (or never, since they’re working on establishing a brand).
It’s likely that we’ll be introduced to Pym in one of the end credit sequences or in AVENGERS 2 as a side character, perhaps getting rejected or added to the team, or mentioned as a candidate by Fury, or simply as a SHIELD scientist. Janet and Hank are one of the most iconic couples of Marvel, so hopefully their love story is more crackling than say, Thor and Jane Foster’s.
So who do I think should play Hank Pym?
Okay, so my GAME OF THRONES love is showing, but so be it. He’s brilliant as Jaime Lannister, and is a massive movie star waiting to happen. He may be on the old side of the superhero spectrum (43), but he certainly can pull off both “size fu” and the Doctor side of Pym, and I think he’d ultimately be portraying a similar redemptive arc to what Jaime does on GAME OF THRONES, only in tights with a prettier lover. I also think he could stand up to Tony/Downey and not look ridiculous doing so; a Lannister always pays his debts, after all.
Who should be his beau, his rock, the woman who makes Pym into his best self? Find out my choice on the next page!