One of the most memorable moments in the recent string of MCU projects belongs to Disney+'s Loki. More specifically, this came in the show's final hour, when Tom Hiddleston's Loki and his new partner Sylvie burst into the mysterious castle outside of time to find none other than Jonathan Majors ready to greet them.
Majors' role? He Who Remains - a name which might not have been all that familiar to viewers at first. But after some time, it became clear that this is the MCU's new big bad: Kang the Conqueror.
The Variant seen in Loki happens to be a much kinder, gentler version of the character. Either way, Majors knocked it out of the park and delivered an extremely memorable performance. One can't help but wonder how incredible he'll be when he's completely unrestrained as Kang's true self.
So what convinced Jonathan Majors to actually sign on for such a big, important role in the MCU? Well, surprisingly, it was Thor's Idris Elba.
Idris Elba Helped Kang the Conqueror
During a discussion with The Ringer, Loki and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania actor Jonathan Majors revealed that a former Marvel Studios actor helped convince him to take on the role of Kang the Conqueror.
Majors noted how in most of the projects he has done, there was always a point in which he was "in opposition to [it]." The star mentioned how he was going to do theater followed by films, but didn't want to fall into the 'TV guys' trap:
“So many of the things I’m doing or have done I was, in some ways, at a very crucial point in opposition to,” he explains from a hotel room in London, where he’s been filming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. “I was not going to do Lovecraft Country, you know. I thought I was going to do theater and then I was going to do films and I didn’t want to fall into the trap of being a ‘TV guy.’”
When it comes to the MCU, Majors confirmed that "[he] had watched the films," and but "[didn]t think [they] want[ed] me:"
“I had watched the films. Love Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, killed it... [But] I was like, ‘I don’t think you want me. I don’t think you want what I’m going to do. Like, I don’t think you want that.’ That was my hesitation. I was like, ‘You got the right Black guy?’”
The actor recently did a film for Netflix called The Harder They Fall, which also starred Thor star Idris Elba, who played the Asgardian god Heimdall. Majors revealed that the former Marvel god gave him an entire rundown of why he should take the part of Kang:
“He’s Idris Elba, you know, he’s a big dog, he’s done it all... Here comes the youngster coming up, you know, and we were talking about work and the legacy of Black actors and all that stuff. And he said, ‘You can do that.’ What Dwayne Johnson has done to the game, what Idris Elba has done to the game, what Will Smith did to the game. This idea that the Black men can enter into a highly commercial world.”
The new MCU member noted how Elba's entry into the MCU "[made] more room for the fellow behind [him]," and that his final note to him was how "it's on you now."
The Thor and Kang Connection
It's awesome to hear that, even despite some hesitancy, Idris Elba was able to give Jonathan Majors just the right push. The actor is going to have a long and fruitful future in the MCU, with his next big debut belonging to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which releases on July 28 2023.
He certainly has a lot to live up to. After all, he's following on the trail of Josh Brolin's Thanos, whose pop-culture status is now nearly equivalent to that of Darth Vader.
Hopefully, Majors gave Elba a push right back in regards to his own campaigning for a bigger MCU role as well. If James Gunn's The Suicide Squad proved anything, it's that Idris Elba deserves a lot more than what was granted to him as Heimdall. Marvel has reused actors before, so why not again?
Fans will see more of Majors in 2023's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.