“Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson has confirmed a rumor that has been swirling since the Sorcerer Supreme first hit the big screen. That rumor is that, in one of the film’s more psychedelic sequences, viewers got a glimpse of a dimension that closely resembles the Quantum Realm featured in the 2015 “Ant-Man.” In putting the rumor to bed, though, Derrickson might have opened up an even bigger, deeper can of speculation.
Derrickson confirmed the Quantum Realm cameo in the director’s commentary for the “Doctor Strange” home release. The realm in question can be glimpsed in the scene when Strange’s senses are assaulted by the Ancient One, who sends him flying across dimensions to convince the skeptical doctor that magic does, in fact, exist.
“This image here is obviously a nod to 'Ant-Man' and the Quantum Realm, acknowledging that as one of the mysterious realms of existence,” Derrickson said.
The Quantum Realm was first seen in “Ant-Man” when the eponymous hero, played by Paul Rudd, shrinks himself to a subatomic level to defeat his nemesis, Darren Cross, who has taken on the role of Yellowjacket. The realm is described by former Ant-Man Dr. Hank Pym as an inescapable subatomic realm “where all concepts of time and space are irrelevant.” Pym also recounts how the realm consumed his wife, Janet Van Dyne, when she shrunk too small while the two were on a covert mission.
The inclusion of the Quantum Realm in “Doctor Strange,” and the seeming ease with which it was accessed, begs the question of whether Janet, who moonlighted at the Wasp, could actually be saved by the Sorcerer Supreme, or someone similarly magically-inclined.