Ant-Man 3 leak explains one dead MCU villain’s unexpected return

Corey Stoll may be coming back to the MCU, but not in the way fans expect.

Marvel may turn one of its forgotten Phase 2 villains into an entirely new antagonist in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The highly anticipated sequel to 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp is one of Marvel fans’ most anticipated MCU titles due to its well-publicized inclusion of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). However, a new leak suggests that Majors’ Kang isn’t the only notable comic book villain that MCU fans can look forward to seeing in Quantumania.

As a matter of fact, it’s possible that the long-awaited Phase 4 title may actually resurrect a previous MCU villain in one entirely unexpected way.

Corey Stoll as Darren Cross in 2015’s Ant-Man.

Marvel Studios

The Leak — According to a recent leak from Marvel insider DanielRPK, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will see the film’s core team of shrinking heroes come face-to-face with not only Kang the Conqueror in the Quantum Realm, but also M.O.D.O.K., who will serve as Kang’s second-in-command in the Quantum Realm.

The leak also claims that M.O.D.O.K. will be played by Corey Stoll. If true, that means the MCU’s version of M.O.D.O.K. will not be lowly A.I.M. worker George Tarleton like he is in the comics, but Darren Cross, the vengeful, power-hungry scientist that Stoll played in 2015’s Ant-Man. In other words, Quantumania may make M.O.D.O.K. a version of Cross who’s been secretly stranded in the Quantum Realm ever since the end of Ant-Man.

M.O.D.O.K. confronts Captain America in Tales of Suspense Vol. 1 #94. Published in 1967.

Marvel Comics

Introducing a new M.O.D.O.K. — Until more details are revealed about Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, there’s simply no way of knowing how accurate this leak’s claims are. However, the leak itself does line up with several other Quantumania rumors.

Notably, MCU fans began to speculate that Corey Stoll would return as Darren Cross in Quantumania last year after one of the film’s stars, Evangeline Lilly, tagged him in an Instagram post about the script for the Ant-Man and the Wasp sequel. Additionally, a different rumor began floating around last year that M.O.D.O.K. was going to make his live-action MCU debut in Quantumania.

If this leak is to be believed, it looks like those two rumors may be connected in a way that MCU fans hadn’t previously suspected.

It’s been seven years since Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll) was last seen in the MCU, but Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania may bring him back.

Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — Assuming this leak is accurate, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will bring two major comic book villains to the forefront of the MCU. Both M.O.D.O.K. and Kang have the potential to be important new villains in the MCU, so if Quantumania really does feature both antagonists then it seems safe to say that the Ant-Man and the Wasp sequel really does have the potential to be Marvel’s most important Phase 4 title.

However, pulling off a live-action version of M.O.D.O.K. is far easier said than done. While turning Stoll’s Darren Cross into the MCU’s M.O.D.O.K. is an interesting idea, there’s no guarantee that Quantumania will actually nail that transformation. Like so many things about the film, it’s a risk that could go either way.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to hit theaters on February 17, 2023.

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