Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Writer Says The Quantum Realm Is 'Jodorowsky's Dune Within Marvel'

After 15 years, more than two dozen feature-length films, eight Disney+ series, and a partridge in a pear tree, the powers that be at the House of Ideas have firmly nailed down the art of hyping their latest project as "[Insert type of genre movie or TV show] set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe." By that same token, fans ought to know better by now than to take Marvel Studios' marketing lines at face value. Rarely are the MCU offerings quite as weird or inventive as they're hyped, and only a handful feel like they're guided by a unique directorial vision — and when they are, the results can vary from generally beloved to deeply polarizing.

Take the first two "Ant-Man" movies. The adventures of Scott Lang and his extended fam have many of the same ingredients as breezy caper flicks in the vein of "Ocean's Eleven," yet there's never a point where they truly feel more like heist films featuring MCU characters and less like MCU action-comedies that include some heist elements. 

Now, whether that's really a problem or not depends on what you're looking to get out of your MCU movies these days. I only bring it up as a caveat for discussing "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" writer Jeff Loveness likening the sequel's setting to Alejandro Jodorowsky's unrealized "Dune" film — a comparison that seems geared more towards exciting us cinephiles (i.e. people who actually know what the heck a "Jodorowsky's 'Dune'" even is) than accurately describing the miniaturized multiversal mayhem director Peyton Reed has in store for us.

A limitless place of creation

Alejandro Jodorowsky's "Dune" is easily among the biggest what-ifs in cinema history. Decades before Denis Villeneuve took us to Arrakis, the cult Chilean-French filmmaker behind surreal underground classics like "The Holy Mountain" and "El Topo" notoriously attempted and failed to mount an epic big-screen version of Frank Herbert's touchstone 1965 sci-fi novel, as detailed in Frank Pavich's acclaimed 2013 documentary "Jodorowsky's Dune." Jodorowsky didn't seem all that wowed by his initial glimpse at Villeneuve's "Dune: Part One," either ... but quite frankly, what else would you expect from the mind behind scenes like this?

Speaking to Empire Magazine, Jeff Loveness teased what to expect when Scott and company traverse Kang the Conqueror's trippy microscopic empire in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania." Calling it a "fun place" as well as a "limitless place of creation and diversity and alien life," the writer added, "It's Jodorowsky's 'Dune' within Marvel." Co-star Michelle Pfeiffer further teased the dangerous nature of the Quantum Realm, stating it "can change a person, and you can have a whole other life down there," which is why her own character, Janet Van Dyne, is so reluctant to talk about the years she spent trapped there.

Will the film live up to its psychedelic potential? As a big fan of Peyton Reed's pre-MCU directorial efforts like "Bring It On" and "Down with Love," I would love for him to really let loose with his third time at bat on the "Ant-Man" movies. And who knows? "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Love and Thunder" helmer Taika Waititi got Jodorowsky's blessing to adapt his comic book "The Incal" partly thanks to the former's MCU output, so perhaps "Quantumania" will shock us by winning Jodorowsky's favor after all.

"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" opens in theaters on February 17, 2023.