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While Ant-Man And The Wasp did a great job as a story capitalizing on the previous on-screen adventures of Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne, there is one plot thread from their first movie that has yet to be concluded. At the end of Ant-Man, Mitchell Carson (played by Martin Donovan) was shown grabbing a vile of Cross Particles before escaping the soon-to-be-imploded Pym Tech building, and in the last three years we haven't heard anything about his whereabouts or what he's done with the shrinking material. It remains as a lingering mystery in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it should be recognized that director Peyton Reed knows it's a question worthy of answering, and told me in a recent interview,
It's certainly something we talked about, because it was this dangling thing from the first movie: there are some Cross Tech particles out there. So we talked for a long time about whether we were going to actively pursue it in this movie, and we eventually sort of felt like, 'I don't feel like we want to double back and deal with that thing if it's not germane to the plot of this movie.' But it's still out there!
Earlier this week I sat down with Peyton Reed at the 10 Years of Art in the Marvel Cinematic Universe event at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles, and it was in the midst of our conversation that I brought up Mitchell Carson. I was curious if the character was ever in the mix for the story being told in Ant-Man And The Wasp, and while Reed confirmed that there were discussions about him, they ultimately decided to dedicate more focus to the story they wanted to tell.
What gives this story an extra little twist is that there almost was a definitive end to Mitchell Carson's arc in the first Ant-Man... until there wasn't. As Peyton Reed explained, the production actually filmed a scene for the end of the movie where Carson has a final confrontation with Scott Lang, allowing him to retrieve the dangerous technology, but that sequence was left on the cutting room floor. Said Reed,
We shot a thing for the first Ant-Man that we eventually cut from the movie, which was a Mitchell Carson scene, because originally he got blown up in the Pym Tech implosion, and survived it, and was scarred. And then we had a thing sort of at the end where he was behind a desk at a hotel room or whatever, and a man was coming to take him out. And we actually shot that. And we shot it when poor Martin Donovan had Sciatica. He had serious back issues, so we didn't end up using it.
Of course, there are still many Marvel Cinematic Universe movies coming in the future, and nobody expects that the Ant-Man And The Wasp series will stop after just two titles. Obviously it's not clear now how exactly Mitchell Carson could take advantage of the rare technology he possesses in a third blockbuster, but that's for Peyton Reed, Paul Rudd, and the other creatives to figure out between now and then.
For now, fans can endlessly enjoy both Ant-Man and Ant-Man And The Wasp, the latter having been released on digital this past Tuesday. And if you're more into physical media, the film will be available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD starting October 16th.