Marvel VFX artists criticize shortcuts taken on Ant-Man 3: "They're squeezing blood out of stones"

Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne and Paul Rudd as Scott Lang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Marvel VFX artists, who recently worked Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, have accused the studio of cutting corners on their projects, resulting in 80-hour weeks, "tension" between workers, and subpar results on screen. 

In a new exposé published by Vulture, the artists, who did not enclose their real names, recalled being "severely understaffed" during the latest superhero sequel as they had to adhere to "unrealistically short deadline." One even revealed that, at one point, several of them were awkwardly diverted to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was in its final stages around the same time, in the midst of production.

"For Ant-Man, there were a lot of editorial changes happening toward the latter third and fourth of the project that were just too late," said Jim, using a pseudonym. "There's a point of no return. Why certain things were changed, why certain notes were nitpicked longer than they should have been – that's on Marvel. But it definitely did cause a lot of tension, turmoil, and weight on everybody."

"A lot of us are sitting here thinking, 'The money is there. Why is it not coming down?'" Jim continued. "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. But if it comes down to them not being comfortable with their bank numbers and us working until burnout, we lose out every time. Honestly, I equate it to human greed."

In the same article, Jim admitted that while "there was so much potential" for Ant-Man 3 to really highlight the extraordinary things visual effects can achieve on screen, Marvel's reported insistence on not splashing the cash in that department made it an impossible task. "I think the movie is getting the reviews it's been getting because Marvel is doubling down as much as possible on constricting quality," they said. "They're squeezing blood out of stones. And we're out of blood."

Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Kathryn Newton, Bill Murray, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania sees the titular heroes get stuck inside the Quantum Realm. There, the ragtag team find themselves coming face to face with Jonathan Majors' villainous Kang the Conqueror, as they try to return home.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is out in cinemas now. For more on the movie, check out our spoiler-filled deep dives on: 

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.