Ant-Man Writer Calls the MCU Quantum Realm “The Basement of the Multiverse”

In Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) described the Quantum Realm as “a reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant as you shrink for all eternity.” Jeff Loveness, writer of Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, likens the subatomic dimension to “the basement of the Multiverse” — one that happens to be the domain of trapped time lord Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). Unlike Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), who spent 30 years lost in the quantum void where time and space work differently, Kang has been unable to escape what Loveness calls an “unexplored place” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“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 [in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever]?” Loveness told “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.”

As seen in Ant-Man, Ant-Man and The Wasp, and Avengers: Endgame, 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,” said producer Stephen Broussard. “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.”

For the first time, a Marvel movie will spend the majority of its running time inside the Quantum Realm when the Ant-Fam — Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), Scott’s superhero partner Hope (Evangeline Lilly), and her parents Janet and Hank — find themselves trapped in this realm ruled by Kang. Filmmakers built Quantumania‘s new universe from scratch, creating a strange world inhabited by characters and creatures like Veb (David Dastmalchian), the telepath Quaz (William Jackson Harper), the freedom fighter Jentorra (Katy O’Brian), and the eccentric Krylar (Bill Murray).

“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,” explained production designer Will Htay. “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.”

As described by Lilly, the Quantum Realm is a world of “vicious suns that can eat you, blobs that can morph, broccolis that can fight in battles, buildings that are part of a freedom fighter brigade.”

“You look across the landscape and [don’t] see anything you would expect to see on planet Earth,” Lilly continued. “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.”


Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathryn Newton, William Jackson Harper, Katy O’Brian, David Dastmalchian, Bill Murray, and Jonathan Majors, Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opens only in theaters February 17th.