WARNING: Some spoilers ahead for “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”
Jonathan Majors makes his official debut as Marvel mainstay villain Kang the Conqueror in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” — and a few hundred other variants of him. And for him, playing one character in a bunch of different ways all at once is a lot of fun; but he knows that it could also be “a nightmare.”
Though we spend most of “Quantumania” with Kang the Conqueror, we first met Majors in the role back in “Loki” season one. There, he plays He Who Remains, a variant of Kang who’s spent most of his existence keeping his other selves at bay. But, once he’s killed, the multiversal door is opened to all his variants, and sure enough, both post-credits scenes in “Quantumania” bring us more versions of Kang.
In fact, the mid-credits scene brings us a whole stadium full. Each Kang is different — both in appearance and personality — but all equally fired up. By the end of the film, we’ve “met” roughly five Kangs, and seen a few hundred. It seems to be a pretty clear indication that the Marvel heroes may each be squaring up against a different version of Jonathan Majors throughout Phase 5.
“Listen, it’s probably an actor’s dream or an actor’s nightmare, you know what I mean?” Majors told TheWrap with a laugh. “The level of the level of difficulty is high, and the character is quite high profile. So, you know, there’s no hiding. That just happens to gas up my engine, which I quite like. I like the high stakes.”
So far though, Majors has found one major throughline to his daunting character, which makes the role fall squarely in that first camp.
“Kang has a chip on his shoulder, I can get with that. I understand what that is,” he continued. “And so for me, it is indeed a dream. Not just the role, but where the role is being put up, where we’re doing it. You know, this happens in cinemas, this happens with the largest franchise in the history of franchises — enterprises, rather — with the MCU. And there’s no limit. The only limit on the character is my instrument. And so every time I get after it, I get to challenge myself to grow and get better. And so that is great. That is great.”
Now of course, Majors is very aware of the fact that Kang, in all his forms, is a legacy villain in the Marvel universe. So yes, he knows that fans have certain hopes and expectations. But, he would note that “there’s a difference between getting it right, and getting it truthful.” And his focus is always the latter.
“I very much respect the MCU fans and the comic book fans,” he said. “I respect Stan Lee and his vision, I thank him, I’m honored to be a part of it. I also honor Kevin Feige and everything they’ve done, the art that they’ve made. So it’s about support, you know, it’s about changing that lens and not seeing it as pressure, but support.”
He continued, “Haters gonna come. If you’re doing anything right, you know, you will have opposition, and that’s OK. But I’m not in the interwebs or on the streets where I can feel that opposition. So my job is to create with an open heart, as boldly and as bravely as I can. And I’m keeping the comic books in mind, I’m also keeping the audience’s in mind as I create it. And there is a good deal of it, that is from them and for them. There’s a great deal that’s for and from me, and for and from the MCU team and family. And hopefully all of that hits a tone of universality. And that gives us you know, the template for Kang and how I move forward in it.”
You can watch TheWrap’s full interview with Jonathan Majors in the video above.