While Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania featured a stellar cast of stars in the MCU's 31st movie, the crew almost included Steve Martin in an important role.
Marvel Studios' first Phase 5 movie brought the heat with an impressive cast of characters behind Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, mixing newcomers like Kathryn Newton with industry icons like Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Also included in the Ant-Man 3 cast was comedy legend Bill Murray, who played an intriguing role in the threequel as Lord Krylar in the Quantum Realm.
And although this appearance was only a one-time thing for Murray, his part was a pivotal one as he helped explore Janet van Dyne's sketchy backstory 30 years after she went subatomic.
Steve Martin Almost Played Bill Murray's Ant-Man 3 Role
Speaking with Variety, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania writer Jeff Loveness revealed two alternate options for actors he imagined playing Krylar if Bill Murray hadn't taken the role.
He first mentioned actor Matt Berry, expressing his love for the star after his performances as Laszlo in What We Do in the Shadows and the droid known as 8D8 in The Book of Boba Fett:
"Yes. There was a couple of names tossed about. I don’t know if I can even say. I think in my in the back of my head, I had Matt Berry in mind. I just love that guy so much."
Other than Berry, Loveness also pointed out that Steve Martin was on the shortlist for the role of Krylar, calling himself "a big Steve Martin fan." However, the writer didn't think that the idea of Martin playing the role "ever got too far:"
"But obviously once Bill Murray came around, you kind of molded the voice to him. It’s almost like a Bob Hope cameo in an old movie: Just give him four minutes of runway, let him do his thing, boost the elevation a little bit, and let him get out. Matt Berry was a choice, and I’m just a big Steve Martin fan, but I don’t think that ever got too far. I think Murray pulled it off pretty great."
Loveness also spoke with Vital Thrills about Murray's appearance in the film, comparing the actor's scene to the movie What About Bob? which is a staple movie that his own family watches on a regular basis:
"Oh man! You know what? My mom, my family… I guess our family movie is 'What About Bob?' That’s a movie we watch almost every year and we don’t really watch a ton of movies together in a way that everyone enjoys. And in being there at the premiere with my mom watching the scene very reminiscent of the 'What About Bob?' dinner, kind of by intention, and to hear my mom laugh at that meant the world to me."
The head writer loved the idea of having "an old pro come in" and give their best performance without overstaying their welcome, calling Murray's appearance something "like a weird dream" that he hasn't even fully processed yet:
"I like to have an old pro come in and just kinda do what he does best. He comes in, jumps out, doesn’t overstay his welcome. It feels almost like a Bob Hope cameo or something. It just feels like an effortless kind of thing. I still haven’t quite processed that ’cause like so many good things happened in this movie. It’s almost like a weird dream. I’m not sure it happened!"
Imagining Steve Martin in the MCU
Looking at comedy history, Steve Martin has as impressive of a resume as anybody. Most recently known for his work alongside Martin Short and Selena Gomez in Hulu's Only Murders in the Building, Martin is still going strong and could have brought a vibe similar to Murray's if he had played Krylar.
Seeing Martin join the MCU would have been a strange trip for fans, although it was already interesting enough to have the former Ghostbusters standout join Ant-Man 3.
Martin has indicated that he may be close to the end of his career after Only Murders ends, but he hasn't ruled out continuing with other projects.
But for now, Bill Murray takes the spotlight in one of his wildest roles, adding to the insanity and wackiness that came through in the Quantum Realm during the MCU's latest theatrical outing.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters worldwide.