A new villain will quite literally conquer the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Ant-Man 3.
After Ant-Man and the Wasp opened to warm reception and solid box office numbers in 2018, Deadline just announced a surprise casting decision that may or may not shake the foundations of the MCU. Jonathan Majors will reportedly become the Marvel big baddie known as Kang the Conqueror in the upcoming bug-sized sequel.
This news is surprising for a few reasons. For one thing, this is the first major role that Jonathan Majors will be portraying. For the past few years, Jonathan has been cast in a variety of supporting roles for indie projects ranging from Hostiles in 2017 to White Boy Rick in 2018 to The Last Black Man in San Francisco last year. His most recognizable role is probably as Delroy Lindo’s son David in the Spike Lee Vietnam war epic Da 5 Bloods.
But what’s even more surprising is the role Majors will be portraying. First debuting in 1963, Kang the Conqueror is a time-traveling super villain who has frequently fought both the Avengers and Fantastic Four. Besides having the ability to travel through time, Kang can also project holograms, create force fields, and manipulate energy beams against his enemies. He’s a very powerful villain and easily one of the most intimidating foes the Marvel heroes have ever gone up against.
I’m excited to hear that Majors has been cast as Kang the Conqueror. Physically he fits the part to near perfection, and I’m excited to see how playing a villain may potentially catapult his career forward. My biggest problem with Kang isn’t with who’s portraying him: it’s who’s movie he’s debuting in. While Ant-Man and Kang have had a few skirmishes here or there in the comics, they’ve had nothing to the level where he warrants appearing as a key antagonist in his own movie. With his level of ability and raw power, his villainy fits better in an Avengers movie, or even in the “Loki” miniseries he was long rumored for. But how does he fit in with Ant-Man, exactly? Kang dwarfs Ant-Man in just about every way imaginable. You might as well make Thanos the villain for Ant-Man 3.
Granted, Loki was the main antagonist in Thor before he was cast as the big baddie in 2012’s The Avengers. But even Loki doesn’t compare to Kang’s intimidating presence. But at least Kang makes more sense in the “Loki” miniseries, because Loki would feel challenged by Kang’s skill and manipulation and ultimately grow as a result of that conflict. Plus with the time travel element, that would have worked well with reversing Loki’s death from Avengers: Infinity War (spoiler alert). But Ant-Man feels too, er, small for him. It feels like he might be wasting his potential rather than building up to something bigger and better in the MCU.
What do you think? Are you excited to see Kang conquer the quantum realm, or did you want him to save his evil plans for The Avengers 5 or “Loki”? Comment below, let me know.
– David Dunn
SOURCE: Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter