Back in August 2014, based on an early draft of the Ant-Man script, Latino Review reported that the prologue scene would feature Hank Pym meeting with Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Armin Zola, and a young Alexander Pierce at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. However, when the film came out, that scene — which took place in 1989 — featured Pym meeting with Stark (John Slattery), Carter (Hayley Atwell), and Mitchell Carson (Martin Donovan), but Zola (Toby Jones's character) and Pierce (Robert Redford's character) were nowhere to be found.
Based on concept art created by Josh Nizzi (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Daredevil), we now know for a fact that Arnim Zola was supposed to appear in 2015's Ant-Man, and it appears that he would have been seated at that S.H.I.E.L.D. meeting.
As a quick refresher, Zola made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger. The Nazi biochemist worked for the Red Skull, harnessing the energy of the Tesseract. He was later captured by Cap during the train sequence, and information extracted from Zola helped Cap locate a key Hydra base. Zola reappeared in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier; however, this time, he's been digitized. We learn that before his death in 1972, Zola had a super-computer built in Camp Lehigh (Steve Rogers's old military training base) that could store his consciousness. It is believed that his computer-self was killed when an airstrike, meant for Cap and Black Widow, destroyed the base. Zola also appeared in the first season finale of Agent Carter (aired February 2015), showing him as a prisoner in America a year after World War II.
So, since the Ant-Man prologue took place 17 years after Zola's death, the villainous character (who was "working" for S.H.I.E.L.D. at that time) would have appeared in digital form again, but this time, he would have looked like his comic book counterpart, sporting a digitized face on a robot body. You can check out four variations of that in the gallery below.
Aside from the Zola artwork, Nizzi shared some designs of Scott Lang's army of ants.
The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios' Ant-Man. Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Doctor Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
2015's Ant-Man, directed by Peyton Reed and starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena and Evangeline Lilly, was a huge success for Marvel Studios, earning $180.2 million domestically and $339.2 million internationally for a global total of $519.4 million.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is set to crawl into theaters July 6, 2018.