SpongeBob SquarePants Inspired David Dastmalchian For Ant-Man 3

"Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" was an underwhelming start to Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is partially because the film was generally alienating towards many fans of the previous "Ant-Man" movies. Director Peyton Reed set his ambitions high, but his time and space defying adventure in the Quantum Realm unfortunately lacks the quaint charms that we normally associate with the Ant-Family's corner of the MCU. Sure, this film has an enigmatic Jonathan Majors performance as Kang the Conqueror and a wacky take on M.O.D.O.K. (Corey Stoll), but the absence of Scott Lang's (Paul Rudd) old friends from his cat-burglar days is extremely felt.

Now, we're not arguing that the inclusion of Luis (Michael Peña) and his pals would have fixed "Quantumania," but it certainly would have injected a little more personality into the whole thing. If you're an attentive viewer, you'd know that David Dastmalchian, now known for his role as Polka Dot Man in "The Suicide Squad," got his start in comic book movies as Kurt in the original 2015 "Ant-Man." He's actually in "Quantumania" as well, but not as Scott and Luis' silly, superstitious Russian hacker friend — Dastmalchian actually plays Veb, the pink and squishy member of the Quantum Realm resistance.

Naturally, as both an earnest fan of comic books and a daring character actor, Dastmalchian jumped at the opportunity to play two roles within the MCU. In other hands, playing Veb, a motion-captured blob of ooze with a zany personality might have been a challenge, but Dastmalchian understood his wacky assignment.

Last week, Dastmalchian spoke to Comicbook.com about fleshing out his performance as Veb, and he cited "SpongeBob Squarepants" as one of his inspirations.

A good balance of lovable and grating inherited from SpongeBob

The connection between Veb and SpongeBob makes immediate sense. Depending on who you ask, Veb is either lovably eccentric or just incredibly grating (we know where Kang stands). Dastmalchian revealed that director Peyton Reed and writer Jeff Loveness were the ones that approached him to return for "Quantumania" to play a brand new character.

"Yeah, and they did have scripted pages. Jeff Loveness, who is a genius, he and Peyton were writing these freedom fighter characters. They sent me the fascination with different beings' physical structure, fascinating to Veb, holes with humans. Wow, amazing. I loved that. And I went back into thinking about the Micronauts ... I was thinking about SpongeBob. I was thinking about, oh God, all different mythologies, cartoons, and comics that I love and trying to find Veb's voice, Veb's way of moving. I was in a hotel at that time, and I just started moving around and playing with his speech and the way he operated. I would make videos and send them to Peyton. And he was like, 'Yes, yes, yes.'"

A little comedic relief goes a long way, and Dastmalchian's Veb managed to be a highlight in an otherwise overstimulating film. He also has that animated "squish factor" that many CG characters lack, selling the otherworldly physics and cartoony, "Rick and Morty" tone that a lot of other elements of the film fail to sell. Knowing that he motion-captured all the weird and "goopy" movements that we saw in the film is a delight. 

We can probably go without seeing more of "Quantumania," but it's always a pleasure to watch Dastmalchian do what he does best.