Kang the Conqueror may not be the only notable villain in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. A new post from one of the film’s lead stars suggests that Quantumania could also feature the surprise return of an MCU villain many currently believe to be dead.
The News — Evangeline Lilly, who plays Hope van Dyne (aka, the Wasp in the Ant-Man films) shared an image on Instagram this past Thursday of the official Quantumania script. In the post’s caption, she both shared her excitement over the script and tagged numerous members of the film’s cast, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Kathryn Newton, and Paul Rudd.
But what’s interesting about the caption is that — included in the list of the previously mentioned Quantumania cast members — was a hashtag for Corey Stoll, the actor who played Darren Cross (Yellowjacket) in 2015’s Ant-Man. As a result, Marvel fans are starting to wonder if Yellowjacket will be making a surprise return in the film.
Several hours after the post went live, Lilly not only removed Stoll’s name from its caption but eventually deleted the entire post. Fortunately, some fans were quick enough to take screenshots of the post (and its original caption), which you can see for yourself in this tweet.
Yellowjacket’s Return — The possibility of Stoll’s Darren Cross returning in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a surprising one, considering the state he was in the last time we saw him.
2015’s Ant-Man climaxed with Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang shrinking himself to subatomic size and damaging the Yellowjacket suit’s internal mainframe. That caused the suit to collapse in on itself and brutally crush Darren. Ever since, fans have understandably operated under the assumption that he was killed by the rapid shrinking process.
However, Peyton Reed (director of the Ant-Man films) hinted way back in 2018 that Cross may not have actually been killed at the end of Ant-Man. Instead, the director teased that the character could be “somewhere down in that Quantum Realm.” So it’s entirely possible that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania could reveal that Cross hasn’t been dead this whole time, but simply trapped in the Quantum Realm.
But if Cross is really dead, the film could still find a way to bring him back to life — especially since it’ll feature an appearance from a known time-traveler like Kang the Conqueror. That’s assuming, of course, that Evangeline Lilly’s mention of Stoll in her Instagram post really does mean he has a role in the film, and it wasn’t just a mistake or nod to his role in 2015’s Ant-Man.
The Inverse Analysis — The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a long history of bringing characters back from the dead, so it’s not like Yellowjacket returning in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania would break any established rules. In fact, it’d be well within the logic of the MCU.
Whether or not that’s what Evangeline Lilly actually meant when she included Corey Stoll’s name in her Instagram post remains to be seen. The actress notably didn’t include a hashtag or mention of Kang actor Jonathan Majors in her post, but it’s unclear what that could mean in relation to Darren Cross’ possible role in the film.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be released in theaters on February 17, 2023.