HBO's Lovecraft Country star Jonathan Majors has been cast in Ant-Man 3, as Kang The Conqueror, according to industry sources. The role is a big one for Majors to have landed, as Kang will follow Loki and Thanos as a major Marvel franchise villain - one whose role is a lot bigger than most Marvel Cinematic Universe fans think. Unless you are familiar with decades of Marvel Comics history (and timelines), you probably don't know all the pivotal places that Majors could show up as Kang in Phase 4 of the MCU (and beyond). Below you can find Marvel's Kang The Conqueror explained in full, along with how the source material could guide Jonathan Majors' future in the MCU.
Who Is Kang The Conqueror?
Marvel's Kang The Conqueror is an interdimensional, time-hopping warlord, who (true to his name) conquerors entire worlds and timelines for the sport of it. Kang is able to win in battle using advanced weaponry and technology from a ravaged future he conquered in battles against earlier and more primitive civilizations. No one knows who Kang is under his flamboyant battle armor, helmet and mask - so really, if Jonathan Majors is taking on that role, it's not one that necessarily requires him to appear onscreen showing his face. And therein lies the key...
Kang Is Many Roles
In Marvel Comics lore, Kang the Conqueror is not just Kang. The man who wears Kang's armor is actually a mysterious figure who has ended up filling several key roles throughout the history of Marvel Comics lore, based on different points in his life, and different points in time that he's traveled to. In that sense, Jonathan Majors could get the chance to play several characters in the MCU, with other actors potentially joining him in sharing the role.
In his time, Kang has taken on several alter-egos throughout history:
Rama-Tut - Kang's early time-travel ventures landed him in Ancient Egypt, where he used his future technology to establish himself as the Pharaoh known as Rama-Tut. Kang's presence in Egypt during those early years of his life (and again later, when he was older and disillusioned with war) actually helped to catalyze some key events in other Marvel franchises. Rama-Tut helped shape the Fantastic Four in their travels through time, and he helped spark the evolution of Marvel's first mutant, En Sabah Nur (aka Apocalypse) as his potential heir. That means that as an actor in the role, Jonathan Majors' Rama-Tut could be influential in building a suitable framework for the MCU to introduce both the Fantastic Four and X-Men to the franchise.
Scarlet Centurion - After first coming to the 20th century (or 21st century in the MCU), Kang shedded his Rama-Tut persona after meeting Doctor Doom, and instead designed an armor suit to become the Scarlet Centurion. He forced The Avengers to fight alt-reality versions of themselves - a story that would definitely be fun for the MCU.
Immortus - When Kang ages into an older man, he stops trying to conqueror and instead becomes a scholar of time. Eventually, he's recruited into serving the "Time Keepers," the masters of time, from a base outside of time called Limbo. It's the discovery that he is fated to become Immortus (and that revulsion) that spurns Kang to renew his commitment to war and conquer. It will be interesting to see if the MCU embraces the Immortus character along with Kang - and if Jonathan Majors would wear aged makeup in the role, or if an older actor would take the Immortus role.
Iron Lad - A young adolescent/teenage version of Kang eventually travels to the present-day and forms the Young Avengers team, in order to stop his future self from manipulating the timestream. Like with Immortus, there's room for Jonathan Majors' Kang to share the role of Iron Lad with a young actor who resembles him. Since Marvel Studios has already started laying the foundation for a Young Avengers franchise in the MCU, Iron Lad may already be on the way...
Nathaniel Richards - The man behind Kang is a 31st-century scholar who believes he's the descendant of Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. It is Doctor Doom's experimental time travel tech that allows this man to start traversing time back to Ancient Egypt, to become Rama-Tut.
Cause And Effect of Kang
As you can see, the role of Kang isn't just a "Big Bad" villain like Thanos was in the MCU Infinity Saga; Kang is a complicated figure that is both a war-mongering time travel villain, political leader (Rama-Tut); hero (Iron Lad), and cosmic influencer (Immortus). If you fold in the Fantastic Four, Young Avengers, and X-Men connections, Kang also presents some mind-bending cause and effect twists in the larger Marvel saga. Jonathan Majors' MCU version of Kanga would have ties to more Marvel movies and series than Thanos ever did.
Based on this casting news, it will be interesting to see if Kang will be introduced in the Loki Disney+ series, as has been rumored.