Michael Douglas' Hank Pym was originally going to die in Ant-Man 3 and live on through possessed ants.
Ant-Man 3 was originally going to kill off Michael Douglas’ character Hank Pym, but it was decided the film would not go in that direction. According to ComicBook.com, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s writer, Jeff Loveness, recently revealed that he had written Hank Pym’s demise into the third Ant-Man movie, but Marvel Studios executives axed the idea. The death of the character would have been less than final, though, with his consciousness living on and controlling the ants.
While Ant-Man 3 probably dodged a bullet by not killing off Pym, it has certainly been hit with a barrage of other problems. From disappointing box office numbers to possible fallout over censored scenes to complaints about the film’s visual effects and from the VFX artists who made them about their treatment by the studio, the movie has been plagued with issues. In fact, it seems Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has come to symbolize Marvel’s recent downward spiral, with something to point to in almost every part of the weakly performing film that exemplifies the poor state of things at the world’s leading producer of comic book media.
But this latest Ant-Man 3 revelation makes us pause to wonder if the film could have turned out a lot worse or better than it did. Perhaps the death of Pym was symbolic and beautiful in Loveness’ original treatment and could have added a level of pathos and emotional engagement that audiences have failed to find in the current version. Perhaps the reincarnation of sorts that Pym would have experienced as a hive-mind for the ants and, one assumes, a kind of insectoid Obi-Wan-style conscience for Ant-Man might have been a premise that could have opened up new narrative possibilities for a fourth film that very well might not now happen.
Still, that’s hardly the only element Ant-Man 3 could have included but didn’t. According to Loveness, the movie also could have featured a human-sized ant voiced by Werner Herzog, which the writer describes as similar to a 1990s movie ninja turtle (meaning using an actor in a suit rather than CGI) who would have provided sage wisdom and advice to Ant-Man during the quantum nexus probability storm. Again, Loveness might have seen this as, though totally absurd, fitting for the insane number of possibilities available in the quantum nexus and possibly leading to a surprisingly inspirational moment, but Marvel disagreed.
Did the studio save Ant-Man 3 from going down a rabbit hole that would have put audiences off or from showing the demise of a beloved character that would have enraged fans, or would it have made any difference in the failure or success of the film? We don’t know, and it’s possible nothing could have saved Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania from becoming the poster child for all that is presently wrong with Marvel Studios. But there are many brilliant, creative people at work on these films, and maybe the ship can still be righted.