News broke yesterday that Conjuring star Patrick Wilson is in talks to join Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, Marvel’s summer 2015 blockbuster about the little superhero with the big heart or whatever. Wilson has been on a bit of a roll lately, playing James Wan’s go-to horror guy in Conjuring and the Insidiouses, but a role in Ant-Man would be a return to the blockbuster-action milieu of Watchmen (where he played a good guy) and The A-Team (where he played a bad guy). There’s no official word on who Wilson would be playing, but let’s make a few guesses here:
1. Young Hank Pym: We already know that Michael Douglas is playing Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, and that presumably Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang assumes the Ant-Mantle in the film. Rumors have long persisted that the film would feature some flashbacks to Hank Pym’s ’60s-era adventures. If that’s true, then someone needs to play young Michael Douglas. Enter Patrick Wilson, already a flashback pro from his blink-and-you-missed-it cameo in Prometheus. Wilson is old-school handsome, and fit right into the period settings of The Conjuring and Watchmen. It’s not hard to imagine him as a young Pym, rocking a retro-sci-fi superhero outfit. (This being an Edgar Wright movie, the hope would be that all his scenes are shot like a mash-up of Sean Connery James Bond films and Roger Corman sci-fi B-movies.)
2. Eric O’Grady: A more recent addition to the Marvel canon, O’Grady was just a lesser agent of SHIELD until he stole the Ant-Man suit. A caddish lothario and a thief, he was the polar opposite of the more heroic Pym and Lang. Wilson has played some memorable douchebags in his time — his Lynch in The A-Team was a bright spot in a not-too-bright movie — and adding in O’Grady would fulfill the mandatory presence of a token SHIELD character in every Marvel movie. He’d make an intriguing rival for Rudd — maybe, in Wright’s telling, O’Grady is the chosen heir to the Ant-Man powers, while Rudd is the lovable-loser also-ran. Plus, if you’re gonna have two Ant-Men in Ant-Man, why not throw in one more?
3. Giant-Man or Yellowjacket or Goliath: This one requires a bit of imagination, but roll with me on it. Hank Pym has actually gone by several different aliases in the Marvel-verse — and some of those aliases weren’t very nice. Most famously, during his time as Yellowjacket, Pym suffered a complete mental breakdown and became more aggressive, even outright villainous. It’s already clear that Wright will rearrange the Ant-Man mythology for the movie. Maybe Wilson will play a character codenamed Yellowjacket — a renegade agent Lang has to track down? Or maybe — following the rule that the best supervillain is somehow the polar opposite of the hero — Wilson will play a character with the opposite size-shifting power, growing real big while Ant-Man shrinks small? The final battle would literally be a David-vs-Goliath showdown!