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By the end of 2015's Ant-Man, one of the great lingering mysteries is the existence of the Microverse known as the Quantum Realm. Scott Lang is narrowly able to avoid being stuck there forever thanks to some creative thinking, but it makes you question if Dr. Hank Pym's wife, Janet van Dyne, could have survived there after being trapped during the Cold War. Even in the moment it's clearly a set up for an eventual sequel, but director Peyton Reed had to give it very careful consideration in the making of Ant-Man and The Wasp:
When we started talking about the Quantum Realm, it's problematic in terms of the fact that it's essentially infinite. It can be whatever you want it to be, and so we needed to decide what the Quantum Realm wants to be for our story, and then what it is in sort of the larger sense of things. I knew one thing, there had to be a device with which they enter the Quantum Realm. In the first movie, Scott goes down, he adjusts the regulator and goes down just freefall. Here it needed to be bigger. It needed to be something that was not a game time decision and not accidental, but something very, very constructed and purposeful.
Peyton Reed spoke at length about the Quantum Realm last year when I joined a small group of other film journalists to visit the set of Ant-Man and The Wasp down in Atlanta, Georgia when the movie was still in production. One of the key things we got to see was the specially-designed pod in Dr. Hank Pym's lab, and Reed explained that it was the method to gaining controlled access to the mysterious alternate reality introduced in the last movie. They key mission in the film will find Hope van Dyne becoming The Wasp and trying to save her mother, and that will involve finding the best way to access the Quantum Realm.
It's a good thing that Peyton Reed and his team of writers and producers gave serious thought to the strange dimension, as fans have spent the last three years pondering questions about it. How has Janet been able to stay alive without food or water? Is the concept of time directly relative, or is it altered? Does it exist as a separate parallel universe, or is it bound to normal reality? It may be a challenge for Ant-Man and The Wasp to explain all of this, but there certainly exists hope that it will.
As for the pod that will take our heroes to the Quantum Realm, one thing that Peyton Reed stressed in the making of Ant-Man and The Wasp was the importance of practical effects. The production not only built Hank Pym's lab as one of the largest full-scale sets in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Reed stressed that the Quantum Realm pod look like it really could be used to enter alternate dimensions. Said the director,
The pod that they go down in, that was another thing that felt... if I'm a kid, I want to play with this thing. It's got to be functional, and you look at this thing and you'll be able to sort of scrutinize it down there, but you really see this is a... it really feels like, 'Oh, okay, I could get in that thing and head down there.' So the, the tactile quality was really important.
It should be a wild adventure, and Marvel fans will be able to see it all go down when Ant-Man and The Wasp hits theaters on July 6th.