The Quantum Realm is a place where the Marvel Cinematic Universe has really been before albeit not for a very long time, unless you’re Scott Lang and it only seems like five minutes. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, from Marvel Studios, is returning to this uncharted territory as Marvel’s smallest heroes open Phase 5 in a huge, dramatic manner. The Quantum Realm has an important place in the MCU’s past, as was previously seen in Ant-Man, Ant-Man and The Wasp, and Avengers: Endgame. And now that Scott has unintentionally become stranded there, he and Cassie, Hope Van Dyne, and their parents Hank and Janet will all need to work together to survive in this hostile environment.
What is it then? How does it feel down there? Who resides below? All of those mysteries will be clarified when the film hits cinemas, but for now, just know that the Quantum Realm is the most recent unexplored territory in the MCU. Producer Stephen Broussard says, “The Quantum Realm is equally as huge an idea as anything in any of the other worlds we’ve explored in the MCU to yet. Similar to Asgard, Wakanda, or the domain of the mysterious arts in Doctor Strange, it is a planet unto itself. It’s been a lot of joy getting the chance to construct something so significant in the third act of a movie.
The same idea is shared by author Jeff Loveness, who also points out that although it has undoubtedly been mentioned and depicted in other films, it is still a mostly “unexplored region.” We really wanted to construct it from the ground up, so we asked ourselves, “How can we differentiate this from merely being in space or from being underwater like Namor’s realm Talokan?” Love clarifies. “We came up with the concept that it’s basically like the Multiverse’s cellar. It’s like a linked limbo that exists beyond of time and space.
And while it’s undeniably a well-known and talked-about site in the MCU, the creative team had to start from scratch when it was time to truly bring it to life for more than a few minutes. It was imperative that it resemble every other place an Avenger may visit, but on a quantum scale. “At every turn, we’ve asked ourselves, ‘What’s the Quantum Realm equivalent of this?'” says Broussard. What does the extraterrestrial look like in the Quantum Realm? What is the state of technology down here? What does the culture, politics, and society down here look like? In order for audiences to see and feel all of these things with the Ant-Fam, production designer Will Htay had to really bring the Quantum Realm to life.
“We started talking about the Quantum Realm being this enormous epic, world inside worlds, he wanted it to feel like it was huge,” Htay says. “[Director] Peyton Reed] came to me.” We didn’t want it to be overly CG-heavy, and we also didn’t want it to be macro photography. Even while we were aware that we would eventually be reliant on VFX and CGI, we still wanted to try to make it as genuine and palpable in certain spots as we could. We want it to seem like this genuine location that is hidden beneath the Multiverse when we travel down there with our protagonist and can sense it, touch it, and smell it.
Scott, Hope, Hank, Janet, and Cassie are now trapped there despite the fact that it’s large, expansive, and a genuine functional area where creatures dwell. Star Evangline will give you a little preview of what to anticipate. Lily makes fun of things like “dangerous suns that can devour you, blobs that can change, broccolis that can engage in combat, and structures that are a member of a freedom fighter brigade.” You “don’t see anything you would expect to see on planet Earth” as you glance across the terrain, she says. “Things like gravity behave differently, so water drips upward rather than downward, and clouds don’t move in a way that matches our world. It will be just as hilarious and enjoyable as it will be grand, epic, and stunning. It’s going to be really graceful and exquisite.