Ant-Man 3's Kang vs. Loki's 'He Who Remains': Differences Explained by Actor & Director

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Kang, Ant-Man, Loki

Is Loki's He Who Remains different from Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania's Kang the Conqueror? Jonathan Majors compared the two MCU characters, explaining why there are "no similarities."

The anticipation surrounding Kang's big screen debut is sky-high, but many fans have wondered if some traits from Loki's He Who Remains will be shown. While the TVA ruler had an eccentric personality in the Disney+ series, Ant-Man 3's trailer already showed a glimpse of a much more dangerous and menacing Marvel nemesis. 

Ant-Man 3's Kang is described as the "warrior version" of the villain, noting that the character "developed every type of combat skill." This marks a heavy difference from Loki's version, seeing that He Who Remains is just a laid-back iteration of the Kang Variant. 

Now, the Ant-Man 3 actor elaborated on the differences between the two characters.

Jonathan Majors Sheds Light on Ant-Man 3's Kang

Kang, Loki

Speaking with Total Film, via GamesRadar, Jonathan Majors explained the differences between He Who Remains and Kang the Conqueror.

While confirming that there are "no similarities" between the two MCU villains, Majors said that he doesn't even call He Who Remains Kang, teasing that he "may or may not be a Kang Variant:"

“I’m so radical about my language around it because I say, He Who Remains is He Who Remains. I don’t even call him Kang. He may or may not be a Kang variant. I leave my mind open to think that Kang the Conqueror may be a He Who Remains variant. It has to be that lucid for me, to keep it going. But, no, there’s no similarities in the two roles."

The Creed 3 actor ended by saying that he "didn't look at the template" for He Who Remains when preparing for his performance as Kang: 

"I did play Kang the Conqueror second… I didn’t even look at the template for He Who Remains in regard to Kang. On purpose.”

Speaking with Empire, Ant-Man 3 director Peyton Reed described Kang the Conqueror as an “an all-timer antagonist,” noting that the time-traveling villain will be "very different" from He Who Remains: 

“Kang The Conqueror in our movie is a very different character. He’s someone who has dominion over time, and he’s a warrior and a strategist.”

Circling back to his interview with Total Film, Majors shared that one of Kang's superpowers is his intelligence, teasing that the villain's "brain function is just greater than even the smart guys:"

“I mean, he’s hyper-intelligent – it’s one of the superpowers. His brain function is just greater than even the smart guys. He’s on that level. And the gravitas is a necessity. It’s Kang against the world, isn’t it? At least that’s his point of view. There’s no frivolity. Kang himself is very economical. He understands energy, he understands time, he understands what is needed to survive. He doesn’t suffer fools. Which is interesting because not to say anything pejorative about Ant-Man, but Ant-Man is a jokester. He’s a funny guy. And now you’ve got Scott Lang going up against Kang the Conqueror, who does not joke. He does have a sense of humor. And you’ll discover that. But he does not joke.”

Ant-Man star Paul Rudd also chimed in on the conversation, teasing that Kang is a "formidable foe:"

“He’s a formidable foe – the understatement of the century. Scott’s never faced anybody like this. He’s Kang the Conqueror! Thanos is obviously the closest but, yeah, he doesn’t have any of the other [Avengers] gang with him. How do you go about stopping somebody like that? It’s not easy."

Will Ant-Man ultimately defeat Kang? Rudd said that he hopes the audience will root for him: 

"Whether or not Scott is even successful people will see… but I think that hopefully the emotion, and wanting to do what he’s trying to do, makes sense to an audience. Hopefully they’ll be rooting for me.”

Will Ant-Man 3 Reference Loki's He Who Remains?

Jonathan Majors' latest comments about not using He Who Remains as a template for Kang the Conqueror indicate that the two characters are vastly different despite being similar Variants. This is important, especially after the actor teased that Kang has "so many Variants of him" that he is excited to portray.

Not using any template for his performances as many Kang Variants allow fans to distinguish who's who ahead of the villain's important showdown against Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Using many Kang Variants, aside from He Who Remains and Kang, also solidifies how Majors' character is a unique villain that fans have never seen in the MCU. 

Still, the question remains if whether Ant-Man 3 will reference Loki's He Who Remains, considering that the TVA ruler is an important fixture in Kang's history. It's possible that Quantumania's Kang will mention He Who Remains during his conversations with Scott Lang, or the threequel could include Easter eggs tied to the Loki villain. 

Whatever the case, Ant-Man 3 will give fans a taste of Kang's ruthless personality that surpasses He Who Remains. 

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is set to premiere in theaters on Friday, February 17.

Release Date
February 17, 2023
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.