In Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott Lang aka Ant-Man is re-hired by Hank Pym to go on a mission to the Quantum realm in order to rescue his wife Janet Van Dyne who has been stuck there for decades. He has to first locate Janet and then safely extract her through a special pod designed by Pym. He managed to come out alive when he went sub-atomic, that’s why Pym chose him. But things went sideways as usual.
Hank Pym defined Quantum realm as “the reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant as you shrink for all eternity”.
“If Ant-Man can shrink down to the smallest of the small, he will enter this nothing, this non-reality. All of time and space will be open to him. He could literally change the universe around him Dr. Manhattan-style. And he could traverse time at will.”
But it wasn’t exactly the correct way as his wife Janet Van Dyne couldn’t have then returned to the real physical world in the state she did as compared to when she entered.
The Marvel President Kevin Feige explained that it is a more complex phenomenon and there are layers upon layers to the quantum realm. The deeper you go, more the laws of physics cease to apply. For instance, Janet Van Dyne was rescued from “Wastelands beyond the void” which wasn’t the deepest layer there is. Hence, she did age but it’s not comparable with Hank Pym.
Here’s what Feige said:
“Ultimately you wanna have an emotional reunion with Michael Douglas, an emotional reunion with Evangeline Lily and our first instinct had always been specifically now Michelle Pfeiffer from that first movie. It felt like it should be somebody who’s the right age. As opposed to Michael Douglas with somebody who has not aged. Or Evangeline Lilly connecting with somebody who’s not aged. That just adds another layer of sort of sci-fi weirdness.”
A Reddit fan has discovered an easter-egg which suggests that there is an entire Quantum civilization out there like any other bustling metropolis with mini skyscrapers, different kinds of alien creatures etc. Here’s what Paul Rudd said:
“What would that place look like and what would have been going on while she was there and not up on terra firma?”
He added: “This idea that there are other things down there that you could interact with is interesting, and God knows there are tardigrades and all kinds of microscopic things. Treating it almost like outer space made sense.”
The director Peyton Reed said that there were a lot of easter-eggs connected to Quantum realm. Here’s what he said:
“Yeah, there’s a lot of little-hidden things. I mean, definitely as you go through Hank Pym’s laboratory, on the practical set and then some of the stuff we added later digitally, there are a lot of weird, little Easter eggs and things. And then as we kind of go further down into the Quantum Realm in this movie, there definitely is some things to sort of look for. That was a challenge, the Quantum Realm, ’cause it really could be infinite. It could be anything. And figuring out how much of our story took place in the Quantum Realm and particularly like designing that last act that cross-cuts between the chase and the Quantum Realm. But there’s stuff to look for in there definitely.”
In the post-credits scenes, Scott Lang aka Ant-Man is sent into the Quantum realm to fetch quantum energy to heal Ava. He sent a communication to the physical world to extract him as he successfully collected the mysterious particles required, but there was no response whatsoever. The next scene is in the real world, where Thanos had snapped his fingers resulting in the death of entire Pym family, while Ant-Man is left stranded.
We know that he will somehow escape the Quantum realm as the set images of Avengers 4 show him in the physical world. But how will he do that? Well, Janet Van Dyne told Lang to avoid getting stuck in the time vortexes as they are dangerously unstable, but they can also be the pathway to travel to any time at any point in time. Let’s wait for Avengers 4 to come out next year.