When a movie’s in its development phase, you’ll always get some crazy ideas thrown around the writers’ room. People will pitch different plot twists and elements in the writers’ room, and they would then be reviewed by ‘the bosses’. Ultimately, the final stamp of approval will happen in editing. Even then, ‘the bosses’ can still make cuts and, in the case of the MCU, snaps.
There have been directors who admitted to shooting hours and hours of scenes only for them to end up cutting it down to a fraction so that the movie could be released in theatres. Some of these are intended for extended releases or special directors’ cuts.
However, Ant-Man 3’s writer Loveness disclosed that the original plan for the movie was very different from the one that we eventually got to watch in cinemas. Loveless revealed that there were two plot points in particular that would have made an entirely different Ant-Man movie should they have pushed forward from the get-go.
The movie would have still had the same cast that audiences saw in the movie’s final cut. From Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp, Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror to Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, among others.
Ant-Man 3 Could Have Been Michael Douglas’ Last MCU movie
However, in an interview with Backstory Magazine, via The Direct, Michael Douglas’ character Hank Pym was supposed to die in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. This is coming from the writer Jeff Loveness himself. He said:
We were going to kill Hank at one point, and I was going to have him be, like, reanimated. His consciousness was going to live on through the ants, and he was going to be like mentally controlling them.
The writer even supports this idea with the nature of ants moving towards a common goal. He continued:
Yeah, he was going to be almost like this hive mind of the ants, and I like that… that didn’t go too far.
In the movie, traces of this can be seen in scenes where Hank is able to bring ants into the Quantum Realm and get them to help them against the forces of Kang. He also said in the movie that the ants in the Quantum Realm have already evolved over time as the time in the realm is different, especially during the moment they were going through the wormhole.
Delivering the third instalment to the Ant-Man franchise brings some pretty heavy responsibilities. It was the movie that officially opened the MCU Phase 5. Furthermore, it solidified the presence of its multiversal villain Kang.
However, perhaps suffering from the impression of audiences from previous movies and series of the MCU’s Phase 4, Ant-Man did not hit its box office target. Although it still managed to make a bit more money at the box office than some of the other MCU films, it still feels like a bit of a disappointment.
For a Marvel movie with a $200M budget, it certainly had to have a $600M record in order to make its money back. Reaching this target becomes even more unlikely now that the movie is ending its run in most cinemas across the globe.
As of April 5th, the movie has a daily box office performance of $45,041 from 1,440 theatres. The film opened in 4,345 theatres back in February.
Critics weren’t really impressed with the story that made the cut. It now sits at 47% on the Tomatometer, tied its ranking with another underperforming MCU movie from Phase 4 Eternals. However, its audience score is 83%, which is way better than the team of celestial beings score of 77%.
Ant-Man 3 Almost Became Michael Douglas’ Last MCU Movie
There are those who would have thought that it may indeed be time for Hank Pym to fully pass the Ant-Man torch. The story already gave his character a full arc. Hank got to reunite his family and even extended it with Scott and Cassie. He got to prove that ants are truly evolving, intelligent species. And he was still able to help save his entire family survive the Quantum Realm.
A lot of Hank’s life’s work is vindicated in Ant-Man 3. Sacrificing his life for his family’s survival would have been a good scene for the movie. But, there was already so much going on that, personally, I am thankful that Douglas’ character can still live to see another day in the MCU.
I can’t even begin to imagine Hank continuing to live on as a hive mind. Wouldn’t that make him a queen ant, then? What do you make of Michael Douglas’ character almost not surviving Ant-Man 3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
What do you make of this story? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages! And if you enjoy listening to film podcasts, why not check out our podcast, The Small Screen Podcast, wherever you get your podcasts!