MODOK's role in Marvel Studios' first Phase 5 film isn't a surprise. The character had long been rumored to play a part in Ant-Man 3, and Marvel Studios' presentation at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con confirmed as much.
Fans then caught a glimpse of MODOK's big screen design thanks to a spoilery Funko Pop!, followed by a quick reveal in the Quantumania trailer.
The real question is how the MCU's take on the big-headed baddie will differ from that of the comics and television; and now, thanks to Marvel Studios' Jeff Loveness, fans have some new insight into Ant-Man 3's MODOK.
Ant-Man 3's MODOK Revealed
In talking with SFX magazine, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania writer Jeff Loveness shed new light on the MCU's version of MODOK and the "little bit of extra" he and Marvel Studios put into the villain.
According to Loveness, “MODOK is maybe my single favorite thing that I got in the movie" and even joked that he may "get fired off The Kang Dynasty when people see it:"
“Obviously we are very faithful to the comics with the design and the look, but then there is a little bit of extra we put into him. Maybe I’ll get fired off The Kang Dynasty when people see it, but some of my favorite moments come from MODOK and the dynamics there."
Loveness shared the inspirations for Ant-Man 3's MODOK which included "A Fish Called Wanda and Frank Grimes in an old Simpsons episode:"
“I’ll just say he was inspired by Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda and Frank Grimes in an old Simpsons episode – this really put-upon, selfish, entitled but then also deeply sad, insecure man who knows that he got a shit deal in life and is trying to make the best of it.”
For reference, The Simpsons' Frank Grimes is known for his perpetual bad luck and being the self-declared enemy of Homer Simpson.
Kevin Kline's character in A Fish Called Wanda is Otto West, a bad-tempered weapons expert who strongly dislikes the British.
What audiences already know about this MODOK is the giant face behind the mask is original Ant-Man villain Darren Cross, played by Corey Stoll.
At the end of the 2015 film, Cross' Yellowjacket suit was damaged, resulting in him shrinking uncontrollably and disappearing. Just how Quantumania intends to connect Cross's jump from Yellowjacket to MODOK remains to be seen.
Loveness went on to share more about the villain's fragile personality and that Kang isn't the threequel's only threat, saying, "he's [MODOK] pretty good at killing people:"
“His ego will crumble the second he’s challenged but then also like Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda, he’s pretty good at killing people. He’s a real loose cannon character and I had a great amount of fun with him."
Loveness had one last reveal to share. While Kang the Conqueror is the primary villain of Quantumania and the Multiverse Saga, MODOK has been part of the threequel from "almost day one:"
"That was almost day one in the room – we cracked MODOK as a character and the movie just became so fun.”
Is Ant-Man 3's MODOK Already Doomed?
While Jeff Loveness didn't reveal much about Corey Stoll's Darren Cross and how he's in the MODOK suit, The Simpsons' Frank Grimes comparison suggests that this version of the comic book villain also has an ongoing streak of bad luck.
Perhaps he too is looking to rewrite his reality and regain lost time.
Loveness referencing A Fish Called Wanda just may be the most intriguing reveal as, just like every Ant-Man film to date, the 1988 film is a heist story where Kevin Kline's mean-spirited character fails to succeed.
Since Kline's character inspired Marvel Studios' MODOK, it sounds like his bad luck will only continue in Quantumania.
It will be interesting to see if Loveness has a different fate in mind for the MCU's MODOK and how comic book fans will react to the villain's cinematic debut.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania arrives in theaters on Friday, February 17.