Imagine for a second if the imaginations of H.P. Lovecraft, James Cameron, and Richard Matheson got caught in a blender and combined to form a universe that was as beautiful as it was haunting. Ok, got that abnormal amalgam swirling around in your noggin? Good.
That should partly prepare you for some unused concept art for the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and The Wasp, created by Tully Summers. A freelance concept artist for Marvel Studios, Summer recently unveiled his work on the MCU characters of Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and Korg's buddy Miek. But when you clap eyes on his vision for the Microverse, you'll quickly wish with every fiber of your being for an Ant-Man movie set entirely within the tiny universe in which Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) had been trapped for the better part of 30 years.
"I was heavily influenced by electron microscope imagery and new medical visualizations of cellular activity," Summers told SYFY WIRE.
According to his ArtStation page, a lot of the Quantum Realm concept art was created as the script was still being written, so as to inspire the story. This is what's known in the entertainment industry as the Blue Sky Phase, "where nothing is set yet, and everything is wide open for ideas," Summers wrote.
"Our job at that phase of production was to create images that inspire, and show creative possibilities," he added during our discussion.
Just take a look at the following image, which Summers has titled "Tube worm Gauntlet" — quite different from the Infinity variety.
Sure, we get some brief glimpses of that ever-changing psychedelic landscape with its kaleidoscopic coloring, floating particles, and hungry Tardigrades, as Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) shrinks down to safe his wife, but we need an entire adventure down there. And hey, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is now trapped in the "QR," so maybe we'll see him traverse its many dangers in Avengers 4.
"Even though much of it was not used, it was lovely to play in the Microverse sandbox," Summers continued. "I grew up on Ray Harryhausen films, and I am endlessly fascinated by the natural world. This was a great opportunity to combine those influences."
Harryhausen is most famous for his monster-related special effects work on classics films like The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and Clash of the Titans. The influence of this Hollywood legend on Summers is obvious in the art where Ant-Man stands in awe of giant microscopic beasts that resemble untold Lovecraftian horrors.
One cool, unused idea involved "Nano Medbots" that were "re-purposed and sent by nefarious folk to end our heroes."
Shrink down to the gallery below for more unseen looks at the MCU Microverse!