Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Director Addresses A Big Unanswered Question In The Ant-Man Movies

Mitchell Carson (Martin Donovan) in Ant-Man
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

One of the big reveals in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania addresses a Marvel mystery that has been lingering for eight years: what happened to Yellowjacket a.k.a. Darren Cross? In 2015’s Ant-Man, the character, played by Corey Stoll, was shown being shrunk down into nothingness, and we learn in the latest blockbuster from the MCU that he went to the Quantum Realm and was transformed by Kang The Conqueror into the cyborg known as M.O.D.O.K. It’s an interesting way to address a popular question, but fans are still waiting to learn the answer to another loose Ant-Man thread: what happened to Mitchell Carson, played by Martin Donovan?

Curious about this, I took the opportunity to ask director Peyton Reed about it earlier this month during the Los Angles press day for Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania. I inquired if the filmmaker had a canonical answer to what ended up happening to the Ant-Man antagonist, and while he didn’t provide a specific answer, he did pose a bunch of additional questions that opens up the door to different possibilities. Said Reed,

Well yeah, Martin Donovan is out there somewhere still. Mitchell Carson, I remember, has a vial of Cross Particles. Where are those Cross Particles? What's gonna happen to them? They were sort of rip-offs of the Pym Particles. Do they still retain their power? Do they not? It's a very good question. One of the few boxes we have not checked off in the Ant-Man movies. Who's to say? You never know!

For those who don’t recall the character, Mitchell Carson was introduced in Ant-Man as the Head of Defense at S.H.I.E.L.D. – though he was secretly a HYDRA operative. In the movie, he works to make a deal with Darren Cross to acquire Cross Particles – a rip-off of the proprietary shrinking technology invented by Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym (a.k.a. Pym Particles). In all of the chaos featured in the third act, he is shown escaping with a vial of the potentially dangerous material, and we have not seen him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since then.

So what happened to him? That’s presently up in the air in the Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity. As suggested by Peyton Reed, it’s possible that Cross Particles aren’t as stable as Pym Particles and that the technology didn’t work well enough for further use by Mitchell Carson and his associates. On the other hand, it’s possible that they remain as dangerous as ever and that they are secretly being used in nefarious ways that have not yet been revealed.

For what it’s worth, there was originally a scene in Ant-Man that provided a firm answer regarding what happened to the villainous character. When I interviewed Peyton Reed back in 2015, he told me about a deleted scene from the end of the blockbuster that featured Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang confronting Mitchell Carson in the aftermath of his first big shrinking adventure and getting the Cross Particles back. The sequence was cut from the film because the filmmakers liked the idea of the dangerous tech being out in the world – potentially as story material for sequels – but nothing is said about them in either 2018’s Ant-Man And The Wasp or the newly released Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania.

Without an official answer on the table, the door is wide open for Mitchell Carson and his Cross Particles to make a surprising reappearance in a future Marvel Cinematic Universe film or television show… but we have no idea when that might happen. We may just have to wait and see if Marvel Studios ends up giving a green light to a fourth Ant-Man And Wasp movie.

For now, you can learn about everything that is on the way from the franchise via our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV guides, and take a deep dive into the MCU with our ranking of the Marvel blockbusters and our outline of the Marvel timeline. Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters everywhere.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.