Marvel Studios Exec Responds to Concerns About Kang's Limited MCU Role

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Kang Jonathan Majors Marvel

Kang just made his grand debut in an MCU movie thanks to his role as the main villain in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, the first of at least a few appearances during the 2020s.

After only one appearance in Phase 4 during the final episode of Loki Season 1, Kang is now confirmed to be the Thanos-level villain of the Multiverse Saga, although he only has a couple of other projects set in stone for the time being.

But considering how big of a villain Kang is, along with his limitless number of Variants, is Marvel worried about where and when he'll show up before he unleashes his full power over the entire Multiverse?

Marvel Producer Addresses Kang's MCU Presence

Jonathan Majors, Kang, He Who Remains, Marvel Studios

During a chat with the D23: Inside Disney podcast published in March, prior to Jonathan Majors' arrest for alleged assault, Marvel Studios' VP of Production & Development Stephen Broussard discussed concerns about how Kang the Conqueror won't appear in most of the upcoming projects in the Multiverse Saga.

The podcast looked back to the Infinity Saga, specifically how the path for the story wasn't necessarily laid out until closer to the end of Phase 3, comparing it to how fans now expect the MCU to "have Kang in everything" now that his role is set:

"When we look back at the end of the Infinity Saga, while Thanos was the big bad, we didn’t really know where the first three phases were going, at least some of the Marvel fans like me, who may not have a strong familiarity with the comics. Now, when Kevin announced 'Kang Dynasty,' it feels like you gotta have Kang in everything. So obviously, he probably won’t be, but how do you balance setting up a Kang finale of sorts and not have him in every single project leading into it?"

Broussard looked back to how Thanos was "teased in small increments" as the Infinity Saga moved forward, mentioning the Infinity Stones as the thread that connected all of the movies, even when Thanos wasn't around:

"It’s a fair question, and with Thanos, he was teased in small increments as we went along. And the presence of the Infinity Stones was felt in different movies, right? So you could argue there was a throughline leading up to Infinity War and Endgame, even in the films that Thanos was not there."

While making sure the MCU doesn't repeat itself, Broussard pointed to Kang's ability to interact with so many different Variants of himself, looking at the few versions of this villain that fans have seen already in the MCU:

"We’re mindful not to repeat ourselves and so I think, right out of the gate, the notion of Kang, the idea of Kang, the idea of one actor playing radically different versions of this same character. We’ve gotten a taste of a few already, and you can see how different they are. Feels like fresh territory for us. So right there, each incarnation that you’re gonna see of Kang, as played by the brilliant Jonathan Majors, is going to feel very different, right?"

Broussard made the point that he doesn't think Kang is "going to appear in every film," but he also looked at Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige's comments on how the Multiverse Saga will entail more than just Kang:

"So, it’ll set the table in interesting ways as you wade deeper into this character and what he means. I don’t think he’s going to appear in every film, as you say. Obviously, he probably won’t. I’ll also point back to what Kevin [Feige] said at Comic-Con, he branded the first cycle of movies was the Infinity Saga. We are in the Multiverse Saga. And that entails all sorts of things, right?"

This new Saga will explore all kinds of "parallel universes and Variants," which have already been seen in movies like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and will continue to be seen moving forward:

"Not just Kang. It entails parallel universes and Variants. You’ve seen this in 'Loki,' you’ve seen this in 'Multiverse of Madness,' you’ve seen it in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home,' so the Multiverse, I would say, is a rich tapestry, and that’s kind of in the middle of what we’re exploring right now. And there’s so many more stories to tell there."

For perspective, in the Infinity Saga, Thanos made three separate appearances before becoming the main villain of Avengers: Infinity War with short cameos in The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He was also mentioned in other MCU movies across the entire saga.

Thus far, Kang appeared twice, with the He Who Remains Variant showing up in Loki Season 1 and the warrior version of Kang shining in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. Jonathan Majors is also confirmed to play a role as Victor Timely, another Kang Variant, in Loki Season 2 before he appears as the main villain in 2025's Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

How Will Kang Loom Over Multiverse Saga?

Looking back at the Infinity Saga, Josh Brolin only wound up appearing on screen as the Mad Titan Thanos in only a handful of the Infinity Saga's 23 movies before meeting his end. And while Kang has the chance at even more glory thanks to countless Kang Variants existing across the Multiverse, Broussard made it clear that he won't be appearing all that often.

This saga still has a number of ground-level projects and heroes to cover in order to expand the story fully, with entries like Captain America: New World Order and Daredevil: Born Again, amongst others, staying away from alternate universes.

And even while Phase 5 and Phase 6 will include plenty of stories with time-traveling and Multiverse-jumping antics, such as 2024's Deadpool 3, those themes won't overcrowd the greater MCU with some heroes staying closer to reality.

Yes, Kang will be a force to be reckoned with, as Jonathan Majors already proved in his short MCU tenure. But just because he won't be in too many of the likely two dozen new adventures confirmed to come before 2026, that doesn't mean his limited screen time won't make a major impact on the greater narrative.

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters. Jonathan Majors will return as the Kang Variant Victor Timely in Loki Season 2, which will release later this year.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.