Michael Peña's Luis' absence in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is being explained by MCU director Peyton Reed.
Ant-Man 3 is filled with new and returning characters, but it significantly didn't include some franchise mainstays, such as Scott Lang's trio of best friends.
Although David Dastmalchian returned in the threequel, the actor didn't reprise his role as Kurt. Instead, he portrayed an entirely new character, Veb.
Meanwhile, actor T.I. also didn't return as Dave in Ant-Man 3, which comes in the wake of a slew of accusations of sexual abuse against the rapper and actor.
Why Luis Didn't Return In Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania director Peyton Reed revealed that there were no versions of the movie with Michael Peña's Luis in it.
Reed explained that the team had to "make decisions early on" about which stories they could tell and couldn't tell alongside the responsibility of balancing new and old characters:
"There were no versions of this movie [with Luis]. There are a lot of characters in the movie. We obviously have our Lang, van Dyne and Pym family, but then we also introduced Kang, MODOK and all of our Freedom Fighter characters. So we had to make decisions early on about what stories we could tell and what stories we couldn’t tell."
The Marvel director then reaffirmed his love for characters such as Luis, but "it just didn't make sense" to include them in Ant-Man 3:
"I love those characters. They were really, really fun and part of the Lang family, but as we got further and further into [development] and knew we wanted to bring the family into the Quantum Realm pretty early in the movie, it just didn’t make sense [to include Luis and co.]."
In a past interview with Coming Soon before Ant-Man 3's premiere, Peña admitted that he had "no idea" if fans could expect to see him return as Luis in the movie:
For the last one, I didn’t really know what capacity I was going to come back in or if I was going to come back. I think they’re a year away from filming, I think it would be great if I could do a third one. But you never know, especially with all the stuff that happened in Endgame. Right now, Marvel’s in a situation where they can crush some expectations, they’re gonna have to crush some expectations of other characters, not just mine, so hopefully I make the cut.
When ComicBook's Brandon Davis asked if he's coming back for more "hero work" in the MCU threequel, the actor playfully dodged the question, noting that he doesn't get "why people [still] ask" if he's involved:
Davis: “All this hero and villain talk, I have to ask if you’re coming back for more hero work over there at Quantumania.”
Pena: “Who knows?”
Davis: “Can you say anything?”
Pena: “You can’t. Yeah, of course. I don’t even know why people ask.”
Will Michael Peña's Luis Return to the MCU?
While it's unfortunate that Michael Peña's Luis didn't appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Peyton Reed's explanation still sheds some light on the character's absence.
Seeing the character in a minor role would feel different for MCU diehards, but it would've been a welcome sight to see Luis briefly since he is already a full-fledged member of Team Ant-Man in the first two movies.
Other factors that would've prevented Peña to return in Ant-Man 3 could've been his busy schedule. In 2022, the actor was featured in two major movies: Moonfall and Secret Headquarters.
If Ant-Man 4 ever happens, there's still a chance that Peña could return as Luis, potentially joining Scott and Hope in a return trip to the Quantum Realm.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters worldwide.