When I spoke with producer Kevin Feige at the Los Angeles press day for Ant-Man back in summer 2015, one of the things he told me was that the end sequence of the film was very much a set-up for the psychedelia that would be featured within the visuals of director Scott Derrickson's Doctor Strange. At the time Feige didn't describe it as a direct table setting, but instead more of an appetizer... but apparently Derrickson decided to take that idea to another level. On the new director's commentary for Doctor Strange, the filmmaker confirms that one dimension we see the titular hero float through is the Quantum Realm from Ant-Man.
The scene in question is within the so-called "Magical Mystery Tour" that Benedict Cumberbatch's Dr. Stephen Strange goes on courtesy of Tilda Swinton's The Ancient One. In the sequence, we see him float through many different radical dimensions with all varieties of physical laws, but as the good doctor floats through a mirror-esque arena Scott Derrickson directly identifies it:
This image here is obviously a nod to Ant-Man and the Quantum Realm, acknowledging that as one of the mysterious realms of existence.
For those who are a bit rusty on the events in director Peyton Reed's 2015 film, Paul Rudd's Scott Lang winds up in the Quantum Realm when he disables restrictions from the Ant-Man suit and shrinks to microscopic size in an attempt to defeat Corey Stoll's Darren Cross. Unfortunately, shrinking himself that small meant that his physical existence was no longer represented within the normal world, and instead his form had been transported to a dimension outside of time and space. Thanks to the events of Doctor Strange, there are now two Marvel heroes who have taken trips to that special location.
With the connection between Doctor Strange and Ant-Man officially solidifying here, it forces us to ask a question: could this connection be furthered in Peyton Reed's 2018 film Ant-Man And The Wasp? We learn in Ant-Man that Hank Pym's wife/Hope Van Dyne's mother, Janet Van Dyne, has spent decades trapped in the Quantum Realm, and it's possible that Dr. Stephen Strange could be very useful in rescue efforts. Solidifying this theory, the Benedict Cumberbatch character is already set to make his first Marvel supporting appearance in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, and there's also every possibility that Ant-Man and his crew will meet Doctor Strange during the events of The Avengers: Infinity War (which will be in production concurrently with Ant-Man And The Wasp).
What do all of you think? Would you like to see the connection between Doctor Strange and Ant-Man go to the next level with special cameos, or do you think Ant-Man And The Wasp will function just fine without added elements of magic? Hit the comments section below, and check out Doctor Strange on Digital Download now, and on Blu-ray/DVD February 28th.