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Watch Paul Rudd’s Quantum Battle With Stephen Hawking

Several nerd worlds collide in Anyone Can Quantum, a new short film from director Alex Winter, who you may remember as the Bill half of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure/Bogus Journey. Pitting Paul Rudd against Stephen Hawking in a game of quantum chess, this match-up is encouraged by a former Winter co-star who emails Rudd from somewhere in the distant future. He also calls him on the phone.


As it turns out, the stakes are unusually high. In addition to bragging rights, this match will determine the future of the world. After Siri puts Rudd in touch with Hawking, the renowned theoretical physicist tries to dismiss his challenge, but he eventually gives in, promising to crush Rudd “like an ant… man.” By all indications, Hawking has nothing better to do, as he is introduced moments earlier watching a weird cat-monkey video.


Made in collaboration with Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM), this short premiered last night as part of One Entangled Evening, a two-day celebration of all things quantum physics related. While Hawking’s background gives him the obvious edge, Rudd has also spent time in the quantum realm. In fact, IQIM scientists consulted on the script for Ant-Man, which Rudd had a hand in writing.

We won’t reveal what happens in this 12-minute nail-biter, but you can see all the twists and turns below.