Marvel Studios Debated Major Deaths for Ant-Man 3: Quantumania

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
Kang, Janet van Dyne, Hope van Dyne, Scott Lang, Hank Pym

The writer behind Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has confirmed Marvel Studios did consider some major deaths for the threequel.

As soon as Ant-Man 3 was confirmed to introduce Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror, fans immediately began preparing for major casualties. Many even began to prepare for the death of Paul Rudd's Scott Lang, expecting his death to establish the MCU's next big bad as a true threat.

But alas, none of the starring heroes met their demise, with the only casualties being MODOK and seemingly Majors' Kang himself, with the promise of more Variants to come in the post-credits scene. Although that apparent death may not be quite what it seems ahead of 2025's Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

Deaths On the Table for Quantumania

Kang, Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania writer Jeff Loveness was asked if they ever considered any major deaths for the movie given how it introduces the MCU's next big bad in Jonathan Majors' Kang.

Loveness confirmed "they were" but opted to avoid "copying the Thanos approach" which saw him quickly tear through some key MCU players:

"They were. We certainly gamed out a ton of scenarios, but it just felt a little obvious. It’s up for debate, but it just felt like we’d be copying the Thanos approach where he comes in pretty heavy and wipes the floor with everybody."

He added that "this is a multi-step story" and he was unsure whether fans would really want to see Paul Rudd's Scott Lang die in Ant-Man 3, noting that the various major character deaths were "all debated, all discussed, and all gamed out:"

"I certainly see the critiques and all that, but this is a multi-step story that we’re telling. It’s also an Ant-Man movie. (Laughs.) I think people say they want that, but do you really want to see Paul Rudd get murdered in his third movie? It was all debated, all discussed and all gamed out, but in The Wizard of Oz, you don’t want to see Dorothy die and never go home. It’s supposed to be one of these classic adventure movies. If everyone gets eaten in Jurassic Park, I don’t know if you’ll want to see the next Jurassic Park."

The Quantumania writer also dispelled fans' worries about Kang's kill count, promising he will "rack up some kills as he goes along" - this isn't even the first time that Loveness has teased Avengers 5's deaths:

"But I wouldn’t worry too much about Kang’s kill count. He’s going to rack up some kills as he goes along."

The only apparent deaths in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania came with MODOK and Jonathan Majors' Kang in the final battle, although director Peyton Reed has already teased the questionable truth behind one of those.

Asked by ComicBook whether they considered killing any of the characters or leaving them stuck in the Quantum Realm, Loveness explained how they found themself "trying to land the best puzzle piece" as they ran through ideas:

"Yeah, I mean, certainly in these Marvel rooms and all that, you certainly game out all these stories and you pitch them out, you write them out, and you're trying to land the best puzzle piece because there's so many characters in the ensemble." 

Specifically talking about "stranding Scott and Hope down there [in the Quantum Realm]," the Ant-Man 3 writer pointed out how that would be "repeating the same beat from the second movie:"

"Certainly, you see what people are saying online. But on paper, and then just in your heart, as much as you can see that point about stranding Scott and Hope down there or whatever, at the end of the day, it is just repeating the same beat from the second movie."

Rumors and reports in the build-up to the release claimed that the ending would see Ant-Man and possibly Wasp too left behind in the Quantum Realm, likely saving their escape for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Why Ant-Man 3 Needed Some Major Deaths

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania served as the true villainous debut for Jonathan Majors' Kang as he prepares to become the MCU's next big bad. But unlike Thanos' first few MCU appearances - which were just simple cameos - the conqueror had a fully-fledged main role in Quantumania.

This gave Ant-Man 3 the tough task of introducing his character, establishing him as a threat, and getting audiences invested in Majors' portrayal in preparation for the future, all while telling a cohesive story in its own right. But did Quantumania really leave audiences scared of Kang and excited for his return?

Well, while there's no denying audiences are still looking forward to more of Kang in Avengers 5 and Loki Season 2, that isn't really because of Ant-Man 3. Even though the "excited" Variant of Kang will likely return, as far as most viewers are concerned, he was just dispatched with relative ease by the Ant-Man team alone.

It's tough to see exactly how that ending could leave audiences thinking the whole Avengers line-up will be needed to handle this villain in The Kang Dynasty. Unless perhaps he will be more of a threat in numbers thanks to the assembly of the Council of Kangs in Quantumania's post-credits scene.

Killing off some key players would have been a smart move to leave audiences fearing Kang and the wrath he will bring to their favorite Avengers. After all, seeing Scott, Hope, Hank, or Janet fall in battle with Kang would signify he is not one to be messed with and get fans excited to see the Avengers... AVENGE.

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

Release Date
February 17, 2023
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.