Before the release of Doctor Strange, fans got a glimpse of the films trippy visuals when Scott Lang briefly descended into the quantum realm. From the mind altering vision that the Ancient One gives Strange to the mirror dimension that warped all of NYC, the VFX in Doctor Strange were on another level. So the challenge now is how do you go back to the quantum realm, which we saw briefly in Ant-Man, and give it more personality without rehashing the amazing visuals from Doctor Strange? Steph Ceretti, the VFX supervisor for Ant-Man and the Wasp, discussed this saying,
We’re still working on exactly where we want to drive it on this one… We’re going there, but we don’t want to redo the same thing that we’ve done. We want to evolve it and have an experience that is even more immersive in this one…the thing that we did in Doctor Strange [with the “magical mystery tour” sequence] that we will keep doing here is that we want things to be all the time fluid and moving and evolving and being alive. All these environments are not physically solid. They evolve. And they are part of the story and everything kind of melts and changes.
This seems to indicate that the quantum realm will be dealt with much the same way that Doctor Strange’s powers were in Avengers: Infinity War. We saw them develop in his own movie, but he was clearly much more powerful and able to do more complex spells in Infinity War. So even though we’ve already seem the quantum realm, it looks like it’ll have a fresh coat of paint making it new and exciting. But as Ceretti mentioned, that comes with a host of other challenges like giving the characters and environment a sense of scale.
It can’t be a black void like you had a little bit in the first film, so it’s gotta be landscape-y, but how do you make it still feel at scale? How do you make it feel microscopic with the camera treatments and the relationship of the horizon and stuff like that? Figuring all that out has been a bit of a head trip, but it’s pretty cool. It’s not Lawrence of Arabia. It’s not a giant desert because that triggers scale cues in your head, but you still have to feel like it would be scale appropriate if you’re down there, and finding that balance between the small and the epic has been the challenge.
Since it seems like there are sizable portions of the film taking place in the quantum realm, Marvel had to reimagine what it looks like to make it a bit more dynamic and understandable. Even though we already got a glimpse of it in the first film.
Luckily, we’ll be able to see what they came up with in a few weeks when the film releases on July 6th.