Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — released in mid-February worldwide — now ranks as one of two Marvel Cinematic Universe films to receive a ‘rotten' rank on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Only 48 percent of critics awarded it a positive score, with the common point of concern being the subpar CGI backgrounds, which seemed too cheap for a film that promised beautiful visual landscapes in the form of the urban megacity of Quantum Realm. In the wake of those comments, three unidentified VFX artists who worked on Ant-Man 3 have come forward and blamed Marvel Studios for diverting its major resources and crew members towards Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — leading to time constraints.
Speaking to Vulture, the artists, who used pseudonyms, admitted to taking shortcuts for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which was in post-production around the same time as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It makes sense for multiple Marvel movies to be ready around the same time, given that the arcs/ phases are mapped out beforehand, with movies or shows being rolled out in time. However, there seems to have been some errors in terms of planning, as one of the technicians confirmed that certain scenes were “trimmed or otherwise altered” in order to cover up unfinished visual effects and meet a tight deadline. The studio heavily prioritised Black Panther 2, leading to the Ant-Man 3 team being severely understaffed. It's understandable, taking into account Chadwick Boseman's legacy and how well the first 2018 film performed on both critical and commercial levels.
“This was like a second wave of what happened with James Cameron on Titanic, where the compositors were basically taking naps under their desks, because there wasn't enough time between shifts to go back home, then come back,” an artist revealed in the report. They also noted that there was no question of pushing back against the shortcuts as they didn't want to take measures that would 'jeopardise' their livelihood. This wouldn't be the first time Marvel suffered backlash for the mistreatment of its visual effects team. "A lot of us are sitting here thinking, the money is there. Why is it not coming down? Marvel spending a bit more money to pay more VFX people wouldn't make that much of a difference for the executives all the way at the top,” he continued. “Honestly, I equate it to human greed.” That said, the technician is satisfied with their work on Ant-Man 3 — what's billed as the starting point for MCU's Phase Five lineup.
Another VFX artist felt that returning director Peyton Reed wasn't 100 percent clear about what he wanted to do with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania's backgrounds. “We had a rough environment that we were sticking a few main characters in. At that time, we weren't told where the characters should be in that environment. We were just going with what felt right,” they said. There were points where the artists were asked to recreate an actor's movement, which ideally, should have been covered while filming. Something as easy as a two-second-long shot had to be recreated digitally about 20 times — essentially, overwriting other artists' work.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has collected $284.7 million (about Rs. 2,356 crore) at the worldwide box office, serving as the strongest opening for the shapeshifting superhero trilogy. In it, the Ant Family is inadvertently transported to the Quantum Realm, a megacity ruled by the villainous Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who offers Scott Lang/ Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) some lost time in exchange for completing a sinister task. The film also stars Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne/ Wasp, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne, and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theatres worldwide. In India, the third Ant-Man movie is available in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.
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