Kang and M.O.D.O.K. made for a formidable one-two punch as the villains of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. Jonathan Majors‘ tormented and desperate Kang paired deliciously with Corey Stoll‘s demented and deformed Darren Cross to stack the odds pretty heavily against the Ant-Family until a reformed Cross helped turn the tide against Kang. As crazy of a character as M.O.D.O.K. was, however, there was a time when another, potentially crazier villain was on the table for an appearance in the film.
While explaining to Hank and Hope why they were never able to discover the Quantum Realm cities brimming with life, Janet mentions that interference from The Void and Sub-Atomica prevented them from being able to see things clearly. Though it’s never mentioned again, Sub-Atomica has an interesting history in the comics as it is its own star system and is home to a number of planets and interesting species all of whom are ruled over by Fantastic Four villain Psycho-Man.
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1967, Psycho-Man often clashed with Marvel Comics’ First Family over the years after deciding to conquer Earth. Using his Control-Box, a weapon that induces emotional responses in humans at his whims, Psycho-Man actually presented a pretty major threat to the Fantastic Four and the Marvel Universe on occasion. During my interview with Quantumania writer Jeff Loveness, I asked him if there was ever any conversation about including Psycho-Man in the madness especially given director Peyton Reed’s love for the Fantastic Four and admission that he turned to their stories for inspiration for his Ant-Man films.
Oh man, yeah…I don’t think it made it too far. I certainly like Psycho-Man. I had–I can’t remember–it was so long ago. I mean MODOK was always in the cards and I was a big proponent of MODOK as well. Peyton and I from Day One…Peyton had the idea of making him Darren Cross, which was just incredible, I just jumped on that.Jeff Loveness
Psycho-Man was indeed a possibility for the film but was ultimately left out as they developed M.O.D.O.K. That seems to have been for the best as M.O.D.O.K. is frequently mentioned in conversations about the best bits of Quantumania. Loveness went on to explain how he found inspiration for this version of M.O.D.O.K. in a classic episode of The Simpsons.
Are you a Simpsons fan at all? Did you ever watch that episode “Homer’s Enemy” with Frank Grimes and all that? I just thought there’s such a Frank Grimes quality to M.O.D.O.K. in the way of if you had not seen Scott Lang in 10 years, he’s [M.O.D.O.K.] missed so much! There are more of those jokes in the movie but he didn’t even know Scott was an Avenger. He doesn’t know he time-traveled twice with Captain America. He’s in love with Hope. Hank Pym respects him. All this stuff has happened and Darren is just this big, fat floating head and to play the broken man quality of that I thought was really fun.Jeff Loveness
Loveness then returned to the idea of Psycho-Man, revealing that discussions about his potential inclusion in the film went as far as crafting some jokes around his Control-Box. “Psycho-Man, I’m a fan of him, but that does seem maybe that’s someone for the Fantastic Four to deal with and that’s in their wheelhouse.,” said Loveness. “There were some jokes that there was a big button that said AFRAID, SAD, HORNY,” he added referring to the ridiculous-looking and deadly device the character uses to control the emotions of the humans he hopes to conquer.
Though he didn’t make the cut for Quantumania, it’s fun to hear such a wild character was considered for the film. Given Marvel Studios’ penchant for revisiting ideas that didn’t make it into different projects, there may yet be hope that fans will see Psycho-Man realized on the big screen one day!