Jonathan Majors is about to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Deadline reports that the Lovecraft Country actor has been cast in Ant-Man 3, and while Marvel has not made official comment, sources say that he will play villain Kang the Conqueror. He’ll join series leads Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Evangeline Lilly (Wasp) for the film, which has series director Peyton Reed returning as well.
Kang the Conqueror is a time-traveling scholar from the 31st century who is a pretty major villain. He’s not really an “Ant-Man bad guy” per se, but he’s had tangles with the Avengers plenty of times and, possibly more importantly, the Fantastic Four. In the comics, Kang could be a descendant of Reed Richards himself, and with Disney now owning the rights to the Fantastic Four, it could in theory be using Kang as the bridge to bring the first family of Marvel into the MCU. Fan theories on this have been floating around for a while now, with hints in the films that the team has been trapped in the Quantum Realm.
Despite being a small character (both literally and in terms of his film’s relative box offices), Ant-Man has been one of the most important characters in the MCU, providing the solution to that whole Thanos problem upon his return from the Quantum Realm in Avengers: Endgame. With that in mind, and time travel already established by that film as well, Kang could be a key part of the newly unfolding storyline that Marvel is tackling in the next phase of the MCU.
Deadline, in fact, notes that, while Kang is most likely to play the villain in Ant-Man 3, he may be used later on in other ways. Marvel, much like DC, is barreling headlong into a multiverse, and time travel will clearly play a role unless Kang’s character is morphed into something different like the studio did with the Mandarin.
Jonathan Majors has been shooting up to stardom rapidly since his fantastic turn in The Last Black Man in San Francisco. It’s easy to see why Marvel went after him for what could be a crucial role throughout the next phase of the MCU, as his turns since then in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods and HBO series Lovecraft Country have cemented him as a strong actor and an increasingly recognizable name.
Ant-Man 3 (or maybe Ant-Man and the Wasp 2?) is currently looking to land sometime in 2022.