Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Writer Says MODOK Haters Are Just Plain Wrong

This article contains spoilers for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania."

The latest "Ant-Man" film is easily the most divisive of the three, making headlines for being one of the only two Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to get a rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes. There are plenty of possible reasons for this: maybe it's because the CGI was questionable, or because a lot of the jokes fell flat, or because viewers didn't connect to the main characters this time around. Or maybe it was because of MODOK, the giant-headed monstrosity that the poor villain from the first film has been turned into. 

It's a weird return for Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), a character who was always evil but was never this pathetic or unsettling. He once had the proportions of a normal man, but now he's just a giant head attached to tiny little arms and legs. It's a character design reminiscent of Mr. Electric in "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl," except MODOK evokes more of that creepy feeling that the 2004 "Cat in the Hat" movie gave the adults in its audience. For a lot of viewers, MODOK in "Quantumania" wasn't simply too weird or too unconvincingly rendered; he was just deeply off-putting.

But for writer Jeff Loveness, MODOK was a great addition to the film, one that he fought to include. "I will go to the mat for MODOK," he said, responding to the haters in an interview with /Film's own Ethan Anderton. "It was such a fight. And it was such a labor of love and passion and all that, just to get the comedy balance of this guy [...] We're on the internet. People got opinions. Those motherf***ers are wrong."

In MODOK's defense

If there's one good thing about MODOK, it's that his death scene was a pretty fitting, funny ending to the character, one that Loveness has every right to be proud of. "I think that death scene is my favorite that I've ever written," he explained. "I love it so much."

In the scene, MODOK has been killed after fighting against Kang (Jonathan Majors), but before he dies he gets to have one last conversation with Scott Lang while the rest of the Pym family stands by. The delusional side-villain thinks he's fully redeemed himself with his last-minute, not-particularly-helpful turn towards the light side, and Scott decides to just go along with it. "At least I got to die as an Avenger," MODAK says, and a confused, uncomfortable Scott figures there's no point in correcting him. 

On one hand, MODOK might represent the larger issue of the MCU's unwillingness to take itself seriously, something a lot of fans have criticized the franchise for over the years. A little bit of silliness is unavoidable for certain characters, however, and in this case, it might be best for the movie to lean into it. Jeff Loveness knew they could never pull off a serious version of such an absurd comic book villain, so they made the smarter choice to not even try. As Loveness explained, "I'm sorry, you want to do a serious take on MODOK? I played that 'Avengers' game on PS5, good luck."