Doctor Strange and the Quantum Realm are right up there with time travel as the most common elements of any Avengers 4 fan theory, and since there exists exactly one scene in MCU history thus far where these two things directly meet, you can bet that there’ll be speculation to be spun from it.
The scene in question comes from a sequence in 2016’s Doctor Strange where a still-naïve Stephen is sent on a mind-expanding journey through multiple dimensions, including the Dark Dimension and the Quantum Realm. This new theory observes how Strange’s trip is accompanied by voiceover from the Ancient One, who at one point makes the following observation about these many worlds:
“Some, benevolent and life-giving; others, filled with malice and hunger.”
What’s interesting about this line (heard at 1:42 in the above video) is that its second half coincides perfectly with Stephen’s arrival in the Dark Dimension, and seeing how the movie would later delve into this place of malice and hunger, that’s likely no coincidence. The theory then goes on to observe how the “benevolent and life-giving” part was timed to fit with the character’s journey through the Quantum Realm, suggesting that this place could be the key to bringing back the many lives lost at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
While there’s some debate to be had over just how much the team behind this 2016 film would know about the content of next year’s Infinity War sequel, Marvel Studios are certainly known for playing the long game with these subtle Easter Eggs. Either way, it’s clear that the mysterious world first featured in 2015’s Ant-Man will be playing an important part in the movie, and from the sound of things, the Ancient One herself could be making a return as well.
We’ll find we’ll find out what secrets the Quantum Realm yields when Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.