Ant-Man 3 delivered a whole new cast of characters for Paul Rudd's third solo outing in the MCU, fully exploring everything the Quantum Realm had to offer for the first time. This even included an entirely new cast of heroes and fighters in the sub-atomic world, all of whom gave their all to fight Marvel Studios' next Avengers-level threat, Kang the Conqueror.
Part of that group was David Dastmalchian playing a new character named Veb, putting him in a special class of MCU actors that have played more than one role in a Marvel Studios movie or TV show.
And following his efforts in the first two Ant-Man movies as the ex-con Kurt, along with his fun appearance in Episode 5 of What If...? on Disney+, Dastmalchian was ready to take on a thrilling new challenge in this live-action trilogy.
Ant-Man 3 Star Reveals Veb's Wild Backstory
In an exclusive interview with The Direct's Richard Nebens, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania star David Dastmalchian explored the backstory of his new MCU character, Veb.
When asked about his own headcanon for Veb in Ant-Man 3, Dastmalchian expressed how much fun it was to see the "old school, Marvel, science-fiction magic" come to life through characters like Veb:
Nebens: “So going more into Veb, the Quantum Realm was obviously taken by the big bad daddy of the MCU now, Kang the Conqueror. Before this movie began, I can tell you’re the kind of person who thinks about this. What’s like your headcanon for Veb’s backstory before he joined that group?”
Dastmalchian: "So fully understanding the power of what’s going on cellularly and molecularly with Veb, and what happens with Veb, and Veb’s kind of transcendent, bio-experience, where the ability of Veb’s bodily fluids to have an effect on other creatures’ brains that does something with their communication vortexes is, to me, the kind of stuff that evolves and grows out of that old school, Marvel, science-fiction magic."
The actor looked back to Marvel's Micronauts along with the Fantastic Four comics from the 1970s and '80s that he read growing up, which tied right into the work he did on this movie as he developed his new character:
"And I was thinking a lot about Micronauts when I was thinking about Veb. I was thinking a lot about what was going on in the ’70s and ’80s, Fantastic Four comics that I was first getting… because I got a box of ’70s Fantastic Four [comics] when I was like in the mid-’80s, and I fell in love with them. And then into the ’80s especially, I was reading a lot of Fantastic Four. There’s all this stuff about these kind of characters and these creatures."
Celebrating Veb as a "beautiful little being" with "this incredibly powerful ability" to connect people through his ooze, he even noted how Kang the Conqueror is much like the conquerors of the real world, who try to separate people as much as possible:
"And I felt like with this being, this beautiful little being Veb, having this incredibly powerful ability, I made the choice, [not] mean as much to Veb as the bond that Veb felt with all the other beings that shared Veb’s source. I believe we all came from the same source, and when the Conqueror took over, as we know from the conquerors of today, one of the best ways to conquer people is to separate them."
Dastmalchian analyzed this idea from a real-world perspective even further by looking at "people who can’t speak the same languages" and people that are seen as different, seeing Veb as somebody that can "connect beings" in a unique way:
"We see it constantly thrust in our face where people in power want to convince you and I that people who can’t speak the same languages as us, people who look different than us, people who come from different places than us, people who worship differently than us are somehow much more different than us than they actually are. What Veb possesses is the ability to connect beings, right? The Conqueror has wiped out every being that has that potential."
After closing out his answer with information about how Veb is "the last of its kind" in the Quantum Realm, Dastmalchian also revealed that the new character is "[his] kid's favorite character" that he's ever played on screen:
"So all of Veb’s family, everyone connected to is pretty much gone now. Veb, as far as he knows, is the last of its kind. I’m hoping and praying there’s another Vez or a Pez out there somewhere. But I found that to be very powerful, and very emotional, and as silly and fun as the character is – And by the way, he’s my kid’s favorite character I’ve ever played – I think it’s kind of heavy like that, and I love it."
Veb's Time to Shine in Ant-Man 3
Seeing Dastmalchian's presence in the MCU evolve from his role as Kurt in the first two Ant-Man movies to embodying a wild character like Veb in this threequel has only helped his status rise as a memorable piece of comic-book-movie history.
This role even allowed him to feel more connected with everything happening in the real world as well, joining a vast group of MCU regulars that have expressed a desire and shown the ability to make the world a better place for all.
Now, the big question moving forward is whether fans will see David Dastmalchian continue on into the MCU's future, whether it be as Kurt or Veb.
Many are hoping to see one or both of his heroes make a comeback in What If...? Season 2 after bringing such a fun round of comedy in his first go-round for the animated MCU series. And with the Quantum Realm potentially serving as a vast set piece for later movies such as Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, the Marvel veteran may have a shot at more glory over the coming years.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters worldwide.