For a while, it looked like Paul Rudd might have made his last solo appearance in the MCU. Neither Ant-Man nor Ant-Man and The Wasp were huge successes at the box office and Scott Lang’s story was largely resolved in Avengers: Endgame. But last month we got surprise confirmation that Ant-Man 3 is indeed coming. It’ll be directed by Peyton Reed and will probably hit cinemas sometime in 2022. Better yet, though, is that it could introduce a fan favorite antagonist, too.
According to our sources – the same ones who revealed that Taskmaster would be the villain in Black Widow and that Daniel Radcliffe is being eyed for the MCU’s Moon Knight, both of which we now know to be true – the movie may introduce the MCU’s version of Norman Osborn. Previously played on screen by Willem Dafoe way back in the first Spider-Man, the character is one of the bigger villains in the Marvel Universe. We’ve also heard that Marvel Studios are eager to position him as an ongoing Earth-based threat across the next few phases.
From what we understand, the main antagonist of the threequel will be a mysterious figure known as the Benefactor – Sonny Burch’s boss from Ant-Man and the Wasp – whose identity will ultimately be revealed to be either Osborn or Doctor Doom. It’s currently undecided who it’ll end up being, but the reveal will apparently be made before the film concludes, with the villain then going on to show up in further movies.
If it is indeed Osborn that they pick, then that’s obviously hugely exciting as the character has a ton of potential. For instance, major Norman Osborn arcs they could adapt moving forward include the Dark Avengers storyline. Here, Osborn had painted himself as a reformed villain and took up the hero persona of Iron Patriot (essentially combining Iron Man’s armor and Captain America’s look). He proceeded to assemble a team of villains masquerading as the Avengers and wreak havoc across the Marvel Universe.
It’ll also be fascinating to see which heavyweight actor Marvel Studios choose for what’s sure to be a villain we may become extremely familiar with over the next decade. Not to mention that it’ll be nice to have a threat closer to home than invading alien armies. Sure, HYDRA has long been a thorn in the side of our heroes, but I reckon Osborn has the theatrical imagination needed to really kick things up a notch.