While Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still in its earliest stages of unfolding, we've started to see an interesting trend begin: the return of particular solo movie villains. Earlier this year Captain America: Civil War's Baron Zemo (played by Daniel Bruhl) made his return in The Falcon And The Winter Soldier; it's been confirmed that The Incredible Hulk's Abomination (played by Tim Roth) is going to be back in both Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings and She-Hulk; and now there is chatter going around that we may get to see the return of Corey Stoll's Darren Cross a.k.a. Yellowjacket in the upcoming Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania.
The primary source of this rumor is Vanity Fair writer Joanna Robinson, who says on the latest episode of the Still Watching podcast that Corey Stoll will be back in "some shape for Ant-Man 3." Obviously that's not exactly a lot of information, but it is noteworthy that the subject came up because of a reference to Stoll's character in the fifth episode of the Disney+ original series Loki.
Early in the episode, a giant version of Yellowjacket's helmet can be briefly spotted in the vast expanse that is referred to as "The Void." You can check it out in the screenshot below:
For those who don't recall, Darren Cross wasn't exactly in great shape when audiences last saw him in the third act of Peyton Reed's Ant-Man. During the showdown in Cassie Lang's bedroom, the titular hero sacrifices himself (or so he thinks) by disabling the regulator on his suit and shrinking down to molecular size so that he can destroy Yellowjacket. Ant-Man is successful, and the yellow-and-black weaponized armor malfunctions. As it does, it appears to crush Darren Cross (starting with his arm), and eventually he disappears into nothingness.
The prevailing thought in the aftermath of this has been that Darren Cross is dead, but it doesn't seem impossible that he could still be alive... albeit somewhere else. Rather than being killed inside his suit, he may have just had an incredibly violent ride to the Quantum Realm, which is expected to be a hugely important setting in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania (the title is the hint). That in mind, this rumor can't be totally dismissed until we get some kind of confirmation either way from the studio, the filmmakers, the cast, and/or Corey Stoll himself.
Set to star Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathryn Newton, and Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror, Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania is already in production... though it is going to be a minute before we actually get to see the film. Following the 2022 slate that includes Sam Raimi's Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, Taika Waititi's Thor: Love And Thunder, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Nia DaCosta's The Marvels, the third movie in the Ant-Man series will be released as the first Marvel blockbuster of 2023 – specifically on February 17, 2023. For the full rundown of everything that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has hitting the big screen in the next few years, head on over to our Upcoming Marvel Movies guide.