MCU’s Kang Actor Reveals How Ultron & Loki Influences His Villain Performance

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Jonathan Majors as Kang, Ultron, Loki

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will feature Jonathan Majors as the MCU's new menacing villain, Kang the Conqueror, and a new interview has shed some light on how the Marvel newcomer used past villains like Ultron and Loki as inspirations for his performance. 

Majors has been at the forefront of Ant-Man 3's promotional drive through various interviews, especially after the thrilling first footage of Thanos' bigger and more dangerous successor in the movie's trailer. Aside from being the main adversary in the Paul Rudd-led threequel, Kang the Conqueror is also set to be the primary enemy of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige even revealed that Kang is the MCU character who is shouldering Phases 4, 5, and 6, with him saying that there was "nobody’s shoulders I’d rather be putting the Multiverse Saga on than his." 

The high praise didn't stop there, as Ant-Man 3 director Peyton Reed hyped up Majors' "energy and...presence" in the threequel raises the movie to new levels of excellence. 

Now, Majors has given new comments about his upcoming portrayal of the time-traveling villain on the big screen. 

How Ultron & Loki Inspire the MCU's New Big Bad

Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania

Speaking with CinePop, Kang the Conqueror actor Jonathan Majors talked about his preparation to play the new MCU villain. 

When asked about his inspirations to portray Kang, Majors confirmed that he "looked at" and studied the past three Avengers villains, namely Loki, Ultron, and Thanos: 

“It’s funny, because I did go through and I did look at Ultron, I looked at Loki, I looked at Thanos. And I had an idea of, just for me, what I wanted to bring to the MCU through Kang. And there’s a certain requirement that has to happen."

The Devotion actor continued by sharing that he took some of the "very interesting qualities" of those three villains and "put those in the Kang soup:" 

"I think Ultron, Loki, and Thanos, I think those would be the quintessential baddies or anti-heroes. They all had very interesting qualities to them and some of them shared qualities, which is just a necessity for taking up the mantle. And so once once I took those out and put those in the Kang soup, I then looked at, ‘What is it we need for this time period?’ Because… how old are you?'"

Majors then asked the interviewer about his age in relation to his comment about what this generation needs to see in a big bad like Kang. 

Majors is aiming for his Kang the Conqueror to represent "our generation" as "a manifestation of our deepest insecurities as (a) society:"

CinePOP: “I’m 35.”
Majors: “Yeah, I’m 33 years old, right? So our generation, what we represent, what is a big bad to us? What are our children going to see? What are our partners going to see? What are our leaders going to see? What is it that our zeitgeist, quote unquote, needs? What are we conjuring up? What’s in the unconscious of our time now? And Marvel has the, in my opinion, the largest platform in entertainment. And so to bring the big bad, the big bad has to represent so many things and has to be connected to so many things. So I read the newspaper, I looked at history books… I talked to people, I look at my child, talk to my partner. What is it we’re afraid of in this time? What is it that’s scaring us? Because Kang has to be… any big bad is a manifestation of our deepest insecurities as society?”

On a related note, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige previously addressed the difference between Kang and Thanos, describing Majors' villain as "totally different" and unlike the Mad Titan, Kang "is many, many different characters:"

“What I love is that he’s totally different than Thanos. That he’s completely different, that it’s not just, ’How ‘bout… is there a bigger purple guy with a helmet.’ That’s not… you know, that’s not what Kang is. Kang is a very different type of villain and the fact that he is many, many different characters is what’s most exciting and most differentiates him."

Why Kang Is So Dangerous to the Avengers

Jonathan Majors' confirmation that he used all the past villains of the Avengers (Ultron, Loki, and Thanos) as inspirations for his performance means that he has the potential to stand out, considering that it allows him to use the strongest facets of those characters combined with his deep take for Kang the Conqueror.

Given that the three villains mentioned greatly challenged the Avengers in their previous outings, Kang's arrival presents a unique foe to Earth's Mightiest Heroes since his many confirmed Variants mean that they will need to fight him several times to defeat him.

In fact, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania's trailer from San Diego Comic-Con confirmed that Kang had already faced (and killed) the Avengers before, meaning that he is familiar with them heading into Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. This is on top of Kang's confirmed telepathic powers that could prove deadly during battles. 

Overall, Kang clearly has the advantage, thus spelling bad news for Earth-616's heroes. 

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to premiere in theaters on February 17, 2023.

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.