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The Bizarre Way Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Might Be Changing One Of Its Villains

Corey Stoll's Darren Cross in first Ant-Man movie
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Although Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror has been touted as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s main antagonist, it’s looking like he won’t be the only villain causing trouble. Back in July, it was reported that Corey Stoll, who played Darren Cross, a.k.a. Yellowjacket, in the first Ant-Man movie, will be back “in some shape” for the threequel. However, new information has surfaced that instead of resuming his Yellowjacket duties, Stoll’s Cross is allegedly being turned into a different, arguably more famous Marvel villain.

Earlier this week, The Direct shared that MODOK will have a “major role” in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, though contrary to rumors from elsewhere, Jim Carrey will not play the big-headed baddie. Instead, GWW is now claiming that Corey Stoll will play MODOK in the third Ant-Man movie, which would be a drastic departure from the character’s comic book depiction.

Having first cameoed in 1967’s Tales of Suspense #93 and then been fully introduced in the following issue, MODOK was originally George Tarleton, a technical who worked for the criminal organization called A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics). A.I.M. forcibly transformed Tarleton a super-intelligent being called MODOC (Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing), but Tarleton in this new form killed against the scientists who “created” him, took over A.I.M. and rechristened himself as MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing). In addition to his boosted intellect, MODOK also has psionic powers, but the gigantic size of his head requires him to maneuver around either in a hover chair or a giant robot body.

MODOK Marvel Comics illustration

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Outside of the comics, MODOK has appeared in numerous animated TV shows and video games, the most notable of the bunch being his own animated comedy series starring Patton Oswalt that premiered on Hulu earlier this year. Appearing in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is the logical next step to boost the character’s popularity, and is something that Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo have wanted to happen. Back in 2015, humorist John Hodgman also expressed interest in playing MODOK.

Instead though, assuming this latest rumor is true, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will use an already established character as its MODOK rather than bring in someone new. When we last saw Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross in Ant-Man, his Yellowjacket suit had been sabotaged by Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, leading to him shrinking uncontrollably until he disappeared. While one wouldn’t be faulted for thinking at the time that he died, given that both Scott and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet van Dyne shrank so small that they eventually entered the Quantum Realm, it’s easy enough to envision that the same thing happened to Cross.

From there, evidently something happens to Darren Cross that results in him becoming MODOK, whether it’s a transformation that biologically occurs from his time in the Quantum Realm or happens scientifically thanks to strange technology from that alternate dimension. Who knows, maybe Kang the Conqueror is responsible for turning Cross into MODOK in the MCU, although at this point, it’s unclear if these two villains will be working together in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania or are plotting separate schemes. Regardless, if MODOK is indeed appearing in the movie, fingers crossed he comes across looking more intimidating than goofy.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania arrives in theaters on July 28, 2023. In the meantime, you can re-watch the previous Ant-Man movies on Disney+ and/or go to our upcoming Marvel movies guide to learn what other cinematic stories the MCU is developing.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.