Marvel Studios is set to kick off Phase 5 of the MCU in early 2023 with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, under the direction of Peyton Reed as he completes the Ant-Man trilogy. This time, Reed will get to pull out all the stops by fully diving into the Quantum Realm, which will also bring along Jonathan Majors in his theatrical debut as Kang the Conqueror.
Taking over for Thanos as the mega big bad of the MCU in the Multiverse Saga, Kang is set to make his presence felt in a big way after one of his Variants, He Who Remains, stole the show in the final episode of 2021's Loki on Disney+. The first footage from San Diego Comic-Con 2022 already teased how many Avengers he's killed over the years, and he'll certainly be out to eliminate as many as possible as he runs into Marvel's tiniest heroes in Ant-Man 3.
Peyton Reed teased during Comic-Con that the events of Ant-Man 3 would "change the Marvel Cinematic Universe permanently," which seems all the more likely with a villain as big as Kang at the center of the action. Now, with the threequel only less than six months away, Reed looks deeper into Majors' performance and how it takes the story to another level.
Ant-Man Director on Kang Star's Performance
Speaking with The New York Times, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania director Peyton Reed discussed Jonathan Majors' performance in the film as Kang the Conqueror and how it makes the threequel better.
Although he admitted it to be a cliché, Reed compared Majors to "a young Marlon Brando," bringing an "energy and...presence" that raises the movie to new levels of excellence:
“It’s become a cliché over the decades to compare somebody to a young Marlon Brando, but Jonathan has that. He has just this energy and this presence, and our movie is definitely benefiting from that.”
Majors looked back to Majors' work in 2021's Loki, where He Who Remains was more or less toying with Loki and Sylvie in the Citadel at the End of Time. He tries to get something exciting out of them, alternating between displaying nonchalance and pure chaos as he sits with them, with Majors describing it as being "pure clown."
The actor also reminisced on some books that he read in preparation for the role, including "Poetics of Relation" by Martinican philosopher-poet Édouard Glissant.
He noted how that book has "some Kang energy," teasing the ideas of radical change that's coming across the entire MCU with his supervillain:
“Distant reader, as you recreate these imperceptible details on the horizon, you who can imagine — who can indulge the time and wealth for imagining — so many open and closed places in the world, look at him.”
Kang Ready to Make Waves in the MCU
Kang was already known as one of Marvel Comics' biggest villains long before he was confirmed to join the MCU as the Multiverse Saga's main antagonist. But with Reed's new quotes teasing the energy that Majors brings to the roles, it's clear that MCU fans are in for something special when he makes his return early next year.
Ant-Man 3's plot remains largely a secret, although Kang is confirmed to be the core antagonist as he begins his quest for Multiversal domination, using countless Variants of himself to cause pure chaos across multiple dimensions and worlds. And with Majors bringing such a unique energy and presence to the role, Reed seems highly confident that his third Ant-Man solo movie will only be better off for having this character involved in such a big role.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to open the MCU's Phase 5, debuting in theaters on February 17, 2023.