12 films into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans have now become somewhat familiar with the Marvel Studios process. The studio likes their directors to shoot plenty of coverage during principal photography so that in the editing room, they have a number of different options. Sometimes this results in simply fine-tuning a movie to play to its strengths, and other times the film can take on an entirely different shape during post-production (just ask Thor 2 director Alan Taylor).
Marvel’s latest film, Ant-Man, is no different. As director Peyton Reed has been making the press rounds, he’s been pretty open about the process behind bringing the superhero pic to fruition, and he recently revealed a very different resolution to one of the larger subplots. During an interview with CinemaBlend, Reed said the film originally ended with fisticuffs between Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and the sinister character Mitchell Carson, played by Martin Donovan:
“At the end of the movie [Carson] 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.”
Carson first appears in the film’s 1980s prologue as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent working with Hank Pym and Howard Stark, but in the present day sequences we learn that he was an undercover Hydra agent. So while Reed originally intended to wrap up Carson’s storyline—and the Cross particles—at the end of the film, it sounds like Marvel maybe opted to leave that plot thread hanging in order to pick it up in a future MCU movie. Will the Cross particles factor into Captain America: Civil War or Avengers: Infinity War? It’s anyone’s guess at this point, but you can bet that they’ll return in some form down the line.