Scripts often evolve throughout the filmmaking process. After going through a number of drafts, sometimes the story changes during pre-production, while on the set, or in the editing room. But in the case of ‘Ant-Man’, which has been in development for the better part of a decade, this movie has gone through some changes because it’s a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While a few things remained the same from Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish’s original script, much had changed since then MCU was established (and then again when Peyton Reed, Paul Rudd, and Adam McKay took over once Wright left the project). And now the director reveals one such change to the ending of the size-shifting superhero’s theatrical debut.
WARNING: This article discusses the ending of Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’, which means that everything after this point is a SPOILER. Proceed with caution if you have yet to see the film.
During the conclusion of Marvel Studios’ Phase Two finale, we find a callback to an earlier gag featuring Michael Pena’s Luis telling Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang about a job. Luis goes through an Edgar Wright-esque montage where he shares some information that came to him through a friend of a friend of a friend. This time, however, it’s actually to inform Lang that the Avengers are looking for him. We’ll see Scott answer the call in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, but the movie originally ended with a more aggressive confrontation. According to an interview with Cinemablend, Reed shared that Martin Donovan’s character Mitchell Carson factored into the ending:
“At the end of the movie he gets away and has these Cross particles, and there was a sequence where Ant-Man has an encounter with him. But then for a couple reasons, it felt like maybe we should leave those particles out there. In that original thing, he took Martin Donovan out and got the particles.”
If the name doesn’t sound immediately familiar, Carson was the high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. official from Dr. Hank Pym’s days with the organization. He was later revealed to be an undercover HYDRA agent when Darren Cross was looking to sell his Yellowjacket technology. Carson also got away with a sample of Cross’ work in the theatrical cut of the film, so it’s possible that he could pop up again in an ‘Ant-Man’ sequel, a Marvel One-Shot, or (more interestingly) on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ where Director Coulson and his crew would be tasked with retrieving the particles from Carson before he can create another size-changing foe like Atlas, one of the many Goliaths, or the third Ant-Man, Eric O’Grady. But with their hands full with the Secret Warriors, the Inhumans, and whatever other vagrants from the Index pop up, who knows if there’s even room for an ‘Ant-Man’ tie-in during season three of the ABC series.
While we wait and see what becomes of Mitchell Carson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what do you think of the ending of ‘Ant-Man’? Do you think that it ended nicely? Or would you have rather seen Peyton Reed’s original ending? Share your thoughts in the comments below.