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Michael Douglas' Hank Pym Wasn't Supposed To Survive Ant-Man 3, And That's How It Should Have Been

"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" hit theaters last month, and the reception was less than ideal. Critics weren't too fond of it, tying it alongside "Eternals" as one of Marvel's worst, and unfortunately, fans didn't treat it much better. For better or worse, the movie is incredibly strange, but it turns out it could have been even more bizarre. 

"Quantumania" writer Jeff Loveness recently sat down to talk about making the film on "The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith" podcast, revealing that the original plan was to kill off Michael Douglas's character, Hank Pym. "We were going to kill Hank at one point," Loveness put it bluntly. "And I was gonna have him be reanimated, like his consciousness was going to live on through the ants, and he was going to be mentally controlling them. He was gonna be almost this hive mind to the ants." However, as Loveness puts it, the idea "didn't go too far" at Marvel, with the studio electing to keep Hank around for at least one more adventure. 

On the one hand, we get it. Hank "living on" in the minds of an army of ants is a tough sell for any movie and a strange full-circle moment for someone once named Ant-Man. However, we can't deny that, for many reasons, Hank's death would have added something to "Quantumania" and maybe even helped it with its overall reception.

Hank's death could have been the emotional backbone of Quantumania

While a superhero movie doesn't need a big death to be emotional, we can't help but think "Quantumania" would have benefited from Hank Pym dying. It feels like the original Ant-Man's fate has been on the chopping block since the first movie, but Marvel Studios continues to subvert expectations, keeping him alive time and time again.

The stakes were high with "Quantumania," introducing the next Avengers villain in Kang. However, it failed to live up to those stakes as the entire Ant-Family made it out of the Quantum Realm alive and safe. If Hank died in the Quantum Realm at the hands of Kang, it would've given "Quantumania" the raw emotion it needed. Hank spent years trying to rescue Janet from the micro-universe, so meeting his end there after just being reunited with his long-lost wife would've left many audiences with tears in their eyes.

Kang killing Hank also would've pushed Janet's character forward. The two developed a strong relationship during their time trapped in the Quantum Realm, so seeing her former friend kill her husband could have been an interesting dynamic to explore. It also could have set up Michelle Pfieffer as the grizzled "leader" who tells the Avengers they have a real problem on their hands with Kang.

Killing Hank would have made Kang more menacing

Let's get one thing straight: Jonathan Majors is an unbelievably talented actor, and we can't wait to see more Kang in the MCU. The Council of Kangs post-credits scene shows just what he can bring as the next Avengers-level threat, and we're excited to see that come to fruition. However, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" didn't make Kang the Conqueror as frightening as his name suggests.

Prior to the movie's release, the general consensus was that the film would be this massive event that pushed the entire MCU forward. While Majors carried "Quantumania" with his performance, the story relies on telling the audience what he has done instead of showing them what he can do. It may be an unpopular opinion, but seeing Kang kill Hank Pym would've conveyed much more fear than listening to him talk about killing multiversal Avengers. Imagine if, earlier in the movie, he takes out a member or two of the "Ant-Man" family without breaking a sweat. It would show fans that Kang is an unstoppable force, and the MCU isn't ready for a multiversal threat of his caliber.

Killing Hank would also have audiences feeling strong emotions toward Kang. Whether it's hatred, fear, or a combination of the two, if a viewer feels those emotions about a villain, then filmmakers and actors know they've accomplished their goal of creating a good villain. Not to say that Kang isn't a good villain, but we would've liked to see him impose more on the MCU.