Ant-Man 3: What is the Quantum Realm?

The Quantum Realm.Disney/Marvel

The Quantum Realm is where most of Ant-Man 3 takes place, but where is it, and what plays out there in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania?

The Quantum Realm has been teased and glimpsed in the MCU. Janet van Dyne spent 30 years trapped there until she was rescued, though finds it hard to talk about her time in that world.

While at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott Lang is stranded there when The Blip disappears Hanks, Janet, and Hope. Though his ordeal if over much quicker.

But the bulk of Ant-Man 3 takes place there, so this is what we know, and what to expect, from the movie version of the Quantum Realm.

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What is the Quantum Realm?

The Quantum Realm is a tiny dimension that can only be entered through subatomic particles. It’s one of many dimensions within the multiverse, and is described in Ant-Man 3 as “worlds within worlds… a place outside time and space… a secret universe beneath ours.”

The Ant-Man crew end up in the Quantum Realm when Cassie Lang builds a satellite to explore the land, but which instead transports our heroes there.

“The Quantum Realm is just as big an idea as any of the things in any of the other worlds we’ve explored in the MCU to date,” producer Stephen Broussard told Marvel.

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“It’s a world unto itself not unlike Asgard or Wakanda or the world of the mystic arts in Doctor Strange. Getting the chance to establish something that big, and that big in part three of a film has been really, really fun.”

Meaning it has to function like any other world within the Marvel universe, with Broussard adding: “At every angle we’ve asked ourselves what’s the Quantum Realm version of this? What’s the Quantum Realm version of aliens? What does technology look like down here? What does society look like down here, what does religion and politics?”

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Building the world

During their travels in the Quantum Realm, Ant-Man and co. see strange and beautiful wonders, and encounter all manner of alien creatures, from a vicious blob and a flying beast that transports them between cities, to a being whose head is made our of broccoli.

As Hank Pym puts it, the Quantum Realm “changes everything we know about life, about evolution – everything we know about the universe.”

Of pulling together that brand-new world, writer Jeff Loveness tells Marvel: “We really wanted to build it from the ground up and we thought how do we make this different from just outer space, how do we make this different from underwater like Namor’s kingdom Talokan? We came up with [the idea] that basically it’s like the basement of the Multiverse. It’s this connected limbo outside of space and time.”

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Crafting the look of the Quantum Realm

That’s how the Quantum Realm was written, but what about creating the visuals? Production designer Will Htay explains: “When [director] Peyton Reed came to me we started talking about the Quantum Realm being this vast epic, world within worlds,  he wanted it to feel like it was huge.

“What we didn’t want it to be was macro photography, we didn’t want it to be too CG heavy. Even though we knew we’d be relying on VFX and CGI ultimately but what we wanted to do is try and make it as real and tangible in places as possible. So that when we go down there with our protagonist we can feel it and touch it and smell it and that we want it to feel like it is this real place that’s hidden beneath the Multiverse.”

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And that certainly worked on the actors performing in the Quantum Realm, with Evangeline Lilly – who plays Hope van Dyne – describing the experience as follows: “You look across the landscape and [don’t] see anything you would expect to see on planet Earth. Things like gravity functions differently so you have water dripping upward instead of downward, and you have clouds that don’t move in any way that resembles our reality. It’s going to be as silly and fun as it will be sweeping and epic and beautiful. It’s going to be very elegant and very graceful.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in cinemas now, and you can check out more of our coverage below…

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