Marvel's Loki series on Disney+ gave fans a surprising bit of casting news, recently. Richard E. Grant has joined Loki, coming off a run of geek-culture hit films that includes Logan and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Grant has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe joined the cast of Loki in a mystery role, with no details given other than the fact that it will indeed be a costumed role. Well, that small detail has led Marvel fans to some quick convergences in speculation, and it basically boils down to one big question: Is Richard E. Grant playing Kang The Conqueror in the MCU?
The question could actually be more complex and multifacted than usual, for a Marvel Studios role. In our breakdown of why Kang if the perfect "Big Bad" for MCU Phase 4, we explained how the role of Kang in the MCU will actually be multiple roles in one. Kang is a time-traveling warlord, and at different points in his life, he has adopted different alter-ego identities, which he's used in different eras of time. It's always been a question of what kind of actor would be able to cover the majority of Kang's identities in the best way - and Richard E. Grant could be that actor.
Grant has the acting chops and sheer menacing gravitas to bring Kang the Conqueror to proper life in the live-action MCU - and the best part is, it wouldn't require that much physical acting from the 62-year-old actor. The nature of Kang's costume (big helmet and mask always covering his head), a stunt performer can do all the conquering, while Grant provides that gravely, menacing voice, and any facial performance needed to animated the mask.
Meanwhile, Richard E. Grant has the perfect actual face to play the other big half of Kang's character arc: Immortus. When Kang reaches a his elder years, he loses his passion for conquering and instead turns to the study of time. Eventually his is recruited by the Time Keepers (chronal guardians created by the Time Variance Authority) and assigned with observing and protecting the Tmestream from Limbo, the place outside of time. Nailing Immortus' dry wit and scholarly aloofness would be equally within Grant's wheelhouse. Finally, Grant would be the spitting image of Marvel Comics' version of Kang's Rama-Tut persona. (MILD SPOILERS): And when we get to the reveal that Kang/Immortus/Rama-Tut is actually Nathaniel Richards, a distant future descendant of Reed Richards... Well, Grant would be just as good making the jump to Marvel's Fantastic Four reboot.
So: Is Richard E. Grant playing Kang The Conqueror in the MCU? It's not even close to being confirmed yet, but we sure do hope so!
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1st, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier August 20th, The Eternals on November 6th, WandaVision on December 20th, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Marvel Studios Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.