Michael Douglas in Ant-Man 3 art.

Ant-Man 3 Would’ve Been Better If It Had Given Michael Douglas What He Wanted

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (or just Ant-Man 3 if you don’t want to use that clunky title) was a big misstep for Marvel in the eyes of many. It wasn’t particularly terrible, it’s just that somehow, despite the array of colorful characters and imaginative scenes, it was dull.

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It was the same old MCU formula: parent-child drama, seemingly unstoppable villain, constant wisecracks, etc etc. You get the idea. Apparently Disney really believed in Quantumania and were surprised when it didn’t do well. So what happened? Well, arguably the main problem is that there’s ultimately no stakes. Despite all the hype about Kang the Conqueror being the main villain of the movie, and all the build-up to him in Loki, he’s defeated by the Ant-family pretty easily when all’s said and done.

Before the movie debuted, plenty of people wondered if Ant-Man himself, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), might die in the movie. After all, what better way to establish Kang as a multiverse-spanning threat than to have him kill off someone audiences care about? But as the movie went on, it became obvious that Scott was going to live. Were the supporting characters going to be so lucky? What about Michael Douglas’s Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man and mentor to Scott? His death would strongly affect all the main characters and ensure the Ant-Man franchise was never quite the same again.

So you would certainly have been forgiven if you expected Hank to kick the bucket during Quantumania, and go out in a way befitting a Marvel hero. But he didn’t! M.O.D.O.K, of all people, got a big death scene and it absolutely did not work.

And now Michael Douglas has gotten to talking about the movie, and here’s the thing: He actually wanted Hank to get a heroic death. He said on The View (via Deadline):

This actually was my request for the third one. I said I’d like to have a serious [death], with all these great special effects. There’s got to be some fantastic way where I can shrink to an ant size and explode, whatever it is. I want to use all those effects.

He also added, “But, that was on the last one. Now, I don’t think I’m going to show up,” indicating that there might not be another Ant-Man movie, or at least not one that Hank Pym appears in.

Would a “serious” death for Hank have improved the movie (shrinking and exploding negotiable)? Well, that’s hard to say (removing M.O.D.O.K and the endless quips would have been a big help, as well). But it would certainly have given a weight to the film that it just didn’t have otherwise. What could have been …

(featured image: Marvel Studios)


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Author
Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.