Ant-Man 3's CGI Suffered Because Black Panther 2 Was Getting More Support

With "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" now in theaters, more people are packing into the cinema to see the long-fabled Quantum Realm. Unfortunately, this storied part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may not exactly be the rich visual landscape many might have hoped for. That's because according to a new report by Vulture, Marvel Studios allegedly forced its post-production effects partners to divert most of their resources away from the VFX-heavy project. For what, you might ask? "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," which was recently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

"In terms of priority, 'Wakanda Forever' was definitely at the top of the list," an anonymous visual effects technician told Vulture. "All the money went to that. All the best resources went to that." This claim was backed up by a similarly-anonymous VFX artist. They said that it felt as if "Quantumania" wasn't considered a priority by Marvel nor the effects house they worked for.

If that didn't make things stressful for the artists working on "Quantumania," the micromanaging and encouragement to do sloppier work certainly did. The technician said that shortcuts were made to cover up unfinished effects in order to meet deadlines, resulting in majorly palpable changes to the film's editing and pace:

"There was a lot of shortening and rolling of shots. It really did feel like certain scenes were trimmed or otherwise altered to either save money, save time, or cover up the inability to get it done."

Yet another example of pixel f***ing

While other interviewers for the report said that "Quantumania" was not the worst effects experience they had ever worked on, what grievances they did have were pretty damning. The aforementioned effects artist expressed annoyance when trying to do the same shortcuts mentioned earlier — editing around unfinished or incomplete scenes so that the movie can be rushed out as soon as possible:

"A quick shot that maybe takes two seconds would have to be redone 20 times to get the look that they want. I ended up taking over and reworking a large portion of other artists' work — which is not how things usually go when you are working for other studios."

Unfortunately, this type of stressful work environment, one that involves both upper-level micromanagement and a lack of direction, is not at all uncommon with MCU movies. A similar report was released in July 2022, where anonymous artists said that Marvel is pushing their talents and abilities to an unhealthy brink. However, it seems to have gotten worse since that report instead of better, as that report's subject said that they often averaged 64 hours a week on a Marvel film. With "Quantumania," that average allegedly ballooned to 80 hours a week.

If this is not indicative of a major problem, then what possibly could? One of our biggest criticisms against "Quantumania" was its visual effects, and they are absolutely not worth the crunch put against these underpaid and overworked artists. No project, not even the Oscar-nominated "Wakanda Forever," is worth this, and we can only hope that Marvel makes significant changes to their post-production work soon. Otherwise, we could be facing a major reckoning.