Jonathan Majors almost missed the chance to play Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania's villain, the actor has revealed.
Speaking to Vanity Fair (opens in new tab), Majors revealed that he almost walked away from playing Kang the Conqueror in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The reason? Marvel's executive team was incredibly busy when Majors arrived for a meeting to discuss appearing in the MCU, and he didn't want to hang around and waste anyone's time.
"I hope this doesn’t bite me in the ass, but I walked out of my Marvel general [meeting]," he explained. "This was a long time ago. I had just gotten out of drama school and I’m running around town and I’m sitting in the office. I grew up in a very particular way and I don’t want to waste nobody’s time. So I got in there and they’re just busy. And I was like, 'I’m supposed to be here, right?' It got long and I went, 'I’m just going to go. It’s cool. I’ll just go.'"
Fortunately for Majors – and MCU fans – the Lovecraft Country actor was stopped before he could leave Marvel Studios' headquarters. "I got to the door, but then they said [casting director] Sarah Finn was going to come," Majors explained. "We got in the room and we chatted. We were having this great conversation. I think it was three years later that we had the Kang chat. And there’s no trepidation now, especially because of who Kang is. When I said yes, we got the whole picture, and what is being laid out is cohesive."
Analysis: a Major fillip for the MCU
Majors will play a, well, major part in the MCU moving forward. He's already appeared as one of Kang's variants – He Who Remains – in Loki season 1, and will officially make his Marvel movie debut as Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which opens in theaters tomorrow (February 17).
Installed as the MCU's next big bad, Kang will feature heavily throughout Marvel Phase 5 and Phase 6. The time-traveling, intellectual warlord will prove to be a formidable foe for Earth's Mightiest Heroes over the next few years, particularly with an actor of Majors' caliber embodying the role – or roles, given that there are multiple versions of Kang across the multiverse.
Majors was lauded for his portrayal of He Who Remains in Loki's season 1 finale, and critics have been equally effusive in praising his characterization of Kang in Ant-Man 3. In our Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania review, we said Majors "dominates every scene he's in" and will be "cemented as one of all-time great supervillains" by the time his MCU arc comes to an end.
Majors' all-conquering performances haven't come as a surprise to Marvel President Kevin Feige, either. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab), Feige revealed Majors' Kang is the "highest-testing villain we've ever had". Considering some of the great MCU villains we've seen in recent years, including Loki, Killmonger, and Thanos, that's impressive.
Thankfully, Kang is set to be a fixture in the MCU for some time to come. Kang – or one/many of his variants, at least – is set to get his own Thanos-centric MCU film in 2025, aka Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. He's also expected to appear in other Marvel projects, too, with rumors suggesting he'll show up in Loki season 2 on Disney Plus, and another 2023 MCU flick in The Marvels. Kang could also potentially appear in Deadpool 3 and Avengers: Secret Wars, given their positioning as multiverse-spanning movies. In our view, the more Jonathan Majors we get in the MCU, the better.
For more Marvel coverage, find out how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Additionally, read up on everything worth knowing about Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and Secret Invasion.