Ant-Man 3's MODOK Almost Looked WAY Different (Photo)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
MODOK, Ant-Man, Quantumania

Some new pieces of concept art showcase how different the MCU's MODOK could have looked in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.

There are many aspects of Paul Rudd’s latest movie that drew ire from fans. After all, it is one of the lowest-rated MCU films to date.

But there likely isn’t a more controversial element of Ant-Man 3 than Corey Stoll’s MODOK himself. The discourse surrounding the character has been heated, with some fans absolutely loving him and others adamantly hating it.

As for the actor bringing him to life, Stoll firmly believes that the character "works in the context of Darren’s arc.”

Ant-Man 3's writer, Jeff Loveness, doesn’t mince his words on the matter—he “refuses to listen to the fans” when it comes to some of the hate being thrown at him.

His reaction isn’t all too surprising. After all, there were likely many sleepless nights for those at Marvel Studios as they worked to make such an over-the-top character land properly.

MODOK's Design for Ant-Man: Quantumania

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania concept artist Aleksi Briclot shared some new concept art on his Instagram of Corey Stoll’s MODOK in the recent film.

Briclot revealed that one of their earliest designs for MODOK saw the character as “a twisted and fucked up version” of Darren Cross:

“An early concept for MODOK for 'Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania'. A twisted and fucked up version starting from Darren Cross / Yellow Jacket (played by Corey Stoll) having [to] endure the hard and transforming environment that is the quantum realm. Making him a Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing.”

MODOK, Ant-Man, Quantumania
Marvel Studios

He went on to share how it is “always a challenge to keep the link with the [source material]:”

“Always a challenge to keep the link with the [source material] from the comics and pushing it further while embracing the whole concept of his roots in the movie. At some point some idea about some quantum geysers emerged, aging, deagging, and transforming things. I jumped on the idea and thought about a twisted reconfiguration (was I thinking about the Fly by Cronenberg? Maybe a little bit in the concept...).”

The artist admitted that another of the challenges was “to keep Darren Cross’ likeness hidden to be [a later] reveal:”

While it’s clear some concept art veered far away from its source material, what fans got was insanely accurate—at least on a visual level.

MODOK, Ant-Man, Quantumania
Marvel Studios

In a way, audiences got two designs: the floating human head and then this more streamlined helmeted look.

MODOK, Ant-Man, Quantumania
Marvel Studios

Did Marvel Studios Get MODOK Right?

The concept of MODOK as a character is crazy.

Years ago, many would have said a live-action adaptation of any respectable quality would never have been able to pull the villain off.

While the quality of this final product is very much in question, many truly believe Marvel Studios did the floating head—and his naked ass—justice. At the very least, it’s hard to deny that visually, the result stands up to the comics.

In fact, that might have saved the character for some. Had the design differed radically, like the newly released art, there would likely be even more pushback against the character.

But will fans ever see MODOK again? Darren Cross survived certain death once, so perhaps he’s got another miracle up his tiny sleeves.

Or, perhaps Marvel will utilize the Multiverse to introduce a more comic-accurate version of the character. In the source material, it’s not Darren Cross who gets an enlarged head.

That privilege went to a man named George Tarleton, who formerly worked at the evil company AIM. Could he still make it into the MCU?

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters worldwide.

Release Date
February 17, 2023
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.