If you’ve seen Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, or the new Ant-Man and The Wasp trailer you’ll have heard the term “Quantum Realm” and maybe wondered what it exactly is.
The new trailer for the Ant-Man sequel explains that Hank Pym has opened up the Quantum Realm and a new villain called Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) is dipping in and out of it in order to commit crimes, including stealing Pym technology.
So here’s what you need to know.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Quantum Realm is an alternate dimension where time and space is believed to be irrelevant. It was also believed that it could only be accessed in three ways: through magical energy, through mystical transportation like Doctor Strange’s Sling Ring, or through subatomic shrinking caused by the Pym Particles.
Scott Lang accessed the Quantum Realm in the latter way at the end of Ant-Man and managed to escape by altering his suit’s mechanisms and replacing the shrinking regulator with an enlarging one.
Hank Pym’s wife Janet (played in the sequel by Michelle Pfeiffer) didn’t have the same equipment to do the same when she went subatomic during a mission as the Wasp, and she ended up sacrificing her life to disable a Soviet nuclear missile.
Pym has since dedicated his life to researching the Quantum Realm and trying to find a way to get his wife out, but hasn’t been able to learn much about it since, or so we thought.
From the Ant-Man and The Wasp trailer, we can see that Hank has designed a craft that is able to navigate through the Quantum Realm, which means progress has been made to understand it and ultimately get back his wife Janet.
But he could probably use a sit-down chat with Doctor Strange as the dimension made an appearance in his solo movie when he went to Kamar-Taj. The Ancient One sent him through it as well as several other dimensions and realities which is collectively known as the Multiverse.
In the Marvel Comics, the Quantum Realm is actually known as the Microverse but Paramount has the rights to the name along with the Marvel property Micronauts.
Dr. Spyridon Michalakis, a quantum physicist and scientific consultant for Marvel Studios, coined the name instead and has suggested that – because of Ant-Man’s ability to go back and forth between the real world and the Quantum Realm – he could be the most powerful hero ever.
“If someone could go to a place where the laws of physics as we know them were not yet formed, at a place where the arrow of time was broken and the fabric of space was not yet woven, the powers of such a master of the quantum realm would only be constrained by their ability to come back to the same (or similar) reality from which they departed,” Michalakis explained to Inverse.
“All the superheroes of Marvel and DC Comics combined would stand no chance against Ant-Man with a malfunctioning regulator.”
He also hinted that the Quantum Realm will play a role in Captain Marvel too.
“This is exciting for the future. There are different ways that some of these ideas appear on-screen in a few years,” Michalakis said. “Not just for Ant-Man, but also for Captain Marvel and all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
Evangeline Lilly, who plays Hope/The Wasp, teased the Quantum Realm in an interview with Vanity Fair:
In Ant-Man and the Wasp, they are trying everything in their power to safely enter the Quantum Realm and return back from it because they have evidence from the first film that Scott Lang was able to do that. If he can do it, why can’t we? If we do succeed in Ant-Man and The Wasp, then that does open a whole entire new multiverse to enter into and play around in. I’m not the story creator, so I can’t tell you what they’re going to do with that. But I definitely see the potential there.
This ability to essentially move between alternate dimensions could be the key to the role Ant-Man and Wasp have to play in Avengers 4.
We’ll just have to wait and see exactly how it’s explored when Ant-Man and The Wasp hits cinemas on August 3