Michael Douglas remains a remarkable get for Marvel. He's an Old Hollywood Grade A Bonafide Movie Star™ and his mere presence elevates one of the goofier superheroes in their catalog. He's an inspired pick for a mentor to the new Ant-Man, Scott Lang, who can also slap back with his own brand of sass whenever Paul Rudd gets ornery.

And to his credit, Douglas never seems to look down on being in a giant superhero franchise. He's been folded into "Avengers" movies and has been de-aged multiple times for flashbacks, which again carries some baggage for movie geeks, because when we see "Wall Street"-era Michael Douglas, we get all warm and tingly inside as the nostalgia floods our brains.

There may be signs that he's ready to hang up Hank Pym's particles, though. When he spoke with The Hollywood Reporter at the red carpet premiere of "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" he was asked if he'd come back for "Ant-Man 4" and his response was very … Harrison Ford-ish. That's right, Douglas wants Hank Pym dead.

#AntManAndTheWaspQuantumania's Michael Douglas talks about his experience with returning back to the franchise pic.twitter.com/GO4Ztc5Tda

— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 7, 2023

Douglas is, of course, a professional (he has been in the business for well over 50 years at this point), and makes sure to feign some excitement for taking part in these movies, but it's pretty clear right up front when he's asked how excited he was to return to "Ant-Man" that he's really reaching for something authentic and nice to say. He does seem to genuinely love his cast and director, speaking very highly of Peyton Reed, but there is a tiredness to his voice that is unmistakable.

Even If He Gets His Wish, Death Is Rarely The End At Marvel

Let's also not forget that death isn't always the end, especially in Marvel movies. Even if they stick to their guns and don't pull soap opera-dramatic "he was alive all along" reveals, Marvel does love to jump around in time and play with their fancy de-aging software, something they've already done a couple of times with Douglas. We've seen 1980s Michael Douglas and 1970s Michael Douglas so far.

So much of Marvel's storytelling is about how the past impacts the present. That's a theme integral to Captain America's character, for instance, and further solidified with "Avengers: Endgame" being all about important moments in the past.

The entirety of Phase 4 has been about the characters and the world reacting to the big events of the last two "Avengers" movies. They love to look back and have so far done so in a way that hasn't cheapened any of the sacrifices the characters have made along the way.

Even if Hank Pym has a noble sacrifice in "Ant-Man 4," they could still call him back for some good flashback stuff, especially since most of Hank Pym's adventures as the first "Ant-Man" have gone untold. And don't get me started on the multiverse possibilities. All we need is Dr. Strange to open up a sparkly window into another dimension if we want to get a nice little glimpse of our favorite grumpy old Ant-Man.

Let Pym Die?

Basically, what I'm saying is if they do kill off Hank Pym, I'm sure it'll be a highly emotional moment, and a highlight of the MCU — but it also might not be the last time Douglas appears in Marvel movies. They could definitely have their cake and eat it, too, without cheapening his character's death.

Scott Lang and Hope Pym have been very dependent on Hank up to this point. His brains, his tech, his sweet outfits… Going forward, if Marvel really wants to challenge their title characters, then it makes dramatic sense for Hank to be taken out of the picture.

Don't forget, Douglas has been a leading man for many decades, but he's also been a powerful producer in his own right (he produced "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," which won him his first Oscar in 1975). He knows story, so that could very well be on the front of his mind when he throws out an off-handed red carpet comment like that. Hank Pym being gone will dramatically raise the stakes for Scott and Hope.

Or maybe Douglas is dead serious and just wants to retire and enjoy his twilight years without having to be contractually obligated to show up in like, five more superhero movies. My mans is pushing 80, so I wouldn't begrudge him a little rest and relaxation. He's certainly earned it. Plus, he's already given us the best possible "Ant-Man" promotion moment ever, so if he wants Hank Pym dead, then maybe we should give it to him.

"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" opens in theaters on February 17, 2023.

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