Posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
Ant-Man wouldn’t be a Marvel movie if it didn’t contain a bunch of fun easter eggs and references to comic book creators, storylines and side characters. We’ve chronicled many of the references and hidden details in previous Marvel movies (like this in-depth dissection of Guardians of the Galaxy’s many easter eggs), and now its time to take a look at Peyton Reed‘s Ant-Man. After the jump you will find over 20 easter eggs for the latest Marvel superhero movie starring Paul Rudd.
Ant-Man Easter Eggs
At one point in the film, we’re told that”we’ve got one that jumps, we’ve got one that swings, we’ve got one that crawls up the walls.” This is clearly a reference to Spider-Man, right? Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige claims that the line was written before Marvel made their deal with Sony and was just meant to be a generic line and not a reference directly to Spider-Man. He told io9:
“When that was shot, that was before the whole [Spider-Man] thing had happened. It really was just her listing relatively generic powers leading into Falcon saying, ‘I’m looking for someone who shrinks.’ Now that the Spider-Man deal has been announced, it takes on a different connotation.”
However, director Peyton Reed plays it off very differently, claiming that the line was added very late in the game after the Spider-Man deal happened.
“Well, as everything the Marvel Universe, things are constantly changing and evolving,” he said. “It was something that very late in the game happened. We had those conversations about, ‘Are we going to deal with it in our movie? Should we deal with it in our movie and if so, how?’ We liked the idea of just dropping a little, tiny reference toward the end of the movie. That excited me. Just to have that connection with a character I grew up loving – it was great.”
Janet Van Dyne Stuck in the Quantum Realm
In the film, Hank Pym explains the danger of shrinking too small is that you could fall into the Quantum Realm, a subatomic place where time and space are irrelevant. In the comics, it’s also known as the Microverse. In a flashback, we learn that Janet Van Dyne’s version of the Wasp (Hayley Lovitt) disappears into the Quantum Realm in an effort to save the world. We never see her again… or so you thought.
Peyton Reed has teased that we might see Janet Van Dyne again if you look hard enough. The easter egg can be seen during the sequence when Scott Lang goes into the Quantum Realm.
“I don’t know if you caught any of the imagery as Scott is going down into the quantum realm, you might be able, on repeat viewing and definitely when you get the Blu-ray, there’s something the audience can see down there that Scott doesn’t see, that, may play a larger role.”
Fans have also spotted a small winged creature on the right hand side of the screen during the moment when “we’re falling into the Quantum Realm.” If Janet is actually seen on screen, this means that she could one day be saved. And since time does not matter at the sub atomic level, she could possibly return in a future Marvel movie not having aged a day since her “death”.
Also, the Quantum Realm kind of sets up Doctor Strange. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige explained to CinemaBlend:
“If you look up the study of quantum mechanics, when you get down that small, as Hank Pym says, space time is meaningless, and there’s a lot of that stuff that applies to ‘Doctor Strange, So this is sort of an appetizer for, ‘If you think this is weird … ‘”
Also revealed in the film is that Dr. Hank Pym was studying the Quantum Realm pretty heavily between 1987 (after Janet disappeared) to 1997. This could also tie into Doctor Strange.
“Tales To Astonish”
As Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) reveals old classified footage of Hank Pym’s Ant-Man technology in action, he admits that the stories of the tiny hero were written off, calling them “tales to astonish.” The phrase got a huge laugh at my screening of Ant-Man. Tales to Astonish was the name of a real Marvel comic series published from January 1959 to March 1968. It began as a science-fiction anthology to showcase artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, but later featured Silver Age superheroes. The series also featured the first appearance of Hank Pym in issue #27, his transformation into Ant-Man in issue #35, and the Wasp’s debut in issue #44. Tales To Astonish was turned into The Incredible Hulk with issue #102, published in April 1968.
When the Ant-Man trailers were released, many fans were speculating that Scott Lang would be locked up at Seagate Prison, the same facility where Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin was put at the conclusion of Iron Man 3. But it turns out Lang served his time at San Quentin in the more story-fitting location of Northern California. And while he didn’t share a cell with the Mandarin, there’s a reference to that villain’s organization the Ten Rings. While it may not be visible in the final film, one of the characters on set for the scene had a “10 Rings of the Mandarin” tattoo on the left side of his neck.
Former /Film writer Germain Lussier theorized that since the actor was hanging out with Martin Donovan’s character, maybe Martin Donovan is being set-up to be the real Mandarin? Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige seems to turn down that reading of the situation:
“I guess anything is possible but that’s not necessarily what we were currently thinking,” Feige said. Then he jokingly added “But now that you said it…”
Stan Lee Cameo
I feel like at this point even the non comic book audience mostly recognizes Stan Lee’s cameos in Marvel movies. The legendary comic book creator can be seen in this movie during the second convoluted story told by Luis (Michael Peña), towards the end of the movie. Luis explains that his friend told him she was “Super fine!” and that the bartender, portrayed by Stan Lee, agreed that zshe was, “Super fine!” Of course, all of the story is voiced over by Michael Peña’s character. Above, you can watch a supercut of all of Stan Lee’s cameos up until 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.