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How The Thanos Butt Theory Ended Up Getting Addressed In The New Marvel Show On Disney Wish

There’s a lot for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to enjoy on board Disney’s newest cruise ships, but chief among them is the new Worlds of Marvel dining experience. It’s full of action, humor, and pretty good food, as well as a hilarious reference to an ongoing meme regarding Ant-Man, Thanos, and Thanos’ ass. It turns out we can thank (or blame) Loki scribe Michael Waldron for the hilarious reference, with a little help from Paul Rudd.

While on board the Disney Wish Christening Cruise last week I had the chance to speak with Walt Disney Imagineering’s Danny Handke (opens in new tab), the creative director in charge of Worlds of Marvel. He revealed that the opening sequence, where Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man tries to explain why he could not have killed Thanos by entering, and then enlarging himself, was written by the man behind Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, screenwriter Michael Waldron, though Paul Rudd apparently also took some license with the scene a bit. Handke explained….  

We wanted to bring up that awkwardness of this is his first time doing a big speaking engagement post-Endgame. We wanted him to be a little bit awkward and have a really weird ice breaker. Michael Waldron wrote that scene for us. And then we gave it to Paul to see if he was game to do that and Paul put his own spin on it and that’s what made it into the show.

The “Thanos Butt Theory,” as it came to be known, was born of the Kuleshov Effect, when a pair of images in a trailer for Avengers: Endgame gave us a shot of a microscopic Ant-Man flying through the air, followed by a shot of Thanos screaming. Fans jokingly surmised that Ant-Man had jumped inside Thanos through a readily available, if unsanitary orifice. It became an ongoing joke that apparently exists within the MCU itself, as Scott Lang feels compelled to bring it up at the outset of the new show.  

The Worlds of Marvel dining experience may be “just” a show put up on screens while people eat dinner on board the new Disney Wish cruise ship, but you wouldn’t know it by the depth of the talent involved. In addition to Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Brie Larson and Iman Vellani all appearing on screen, we now know that Michael Waldron wrote at least part of the show, and Candyman director Nia DaCosta directed the stars of The Marvels prior to that production getting underway.

Even if you’re not a super big Marvel fan the dining experience has cool nods to classic Disneyland, and also, pretty damn good food.  

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.