How Kang Forces Ant Man to Grow Up

How Kang Forces Ant-Man to Grow Up

Jonathan Majors plays Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. If you know your Marvel comics, that sentence doesn’t make much sense. After all, Kang is an Avengers-level threat, so why was he chosen as the villain for the third Ant-Man film? As it turns out, the director and cast had a lot to say about this bold decision, so hear what they told IGN about how Kang poses a huge challenge for Marvel’s littlest hero.

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Why Kan?

Most Marvel fans know Kang as Kang the Conqueror, the time-traveling warlord. But what sets him apart from other Marvel villains is that he poses a never-ending threat with countless variants. Comic readers first encountered Kang in his ancient Egyptian form known as Pharaoh Rama-Tut in 1963’s Fantastic Four #19. He then reappeared a year later in The Avengers #8 as Kang the Conqueror, his most iconic and dangerous variant . In the years since, we’ve encountered all sorts of kangs, including the Scarlet Centurion and Immortus. The many Kangs band together to plan the downfall of Earth’s heroes in the Council of Kangs. As a master of time travel, Kang has access to the finest technologies and weapons from now to the distant future. Even if you somehow beat him, there’s a whole legion of variants ready to take his place, like a hydra (not to confuse the Marvel villains, but you get the gist). This villain successfully defeated the Avengers and ruled over the earth. To pit him against a family of shifting heroes just seems unfair. But for director Peyton Reed, it was a premise too juicy to resist.

“Kang the Conqueror takes on Ant-Man, who will win? It’s like, well, that’s a no-brainer. The tension that arises inspired us as a starting point. How will they possibly survive this situation?” Reed explained. “I loved it too, because when we started the first Ant-Man, Scott Lang was kind of a fringe figure. He wasn’t nearly an official Avenger, but he eventually worked his way into this organization somehow. And now the idea that Ant-Man and Wasp, the first two Avengers, would go up against Kang and he would be the focus of this film was really exciting for me personally. It felt like a great progression of the trilogy.”

A time-consuming look at the history of Kang the Conqueror

Kang the Conqueror is easily one of the most important Marvel villains of all time, but he also has a very confusing history.  Here's what you need to know about this time-traveling tyrant as he enters the MCU!

Ant-Man vs. Kang

Never in a million years did Scott Lang ever think he would end up as a superhero, let alone go head-to-head with a tyrannical time traveler. Remember, in the first movie he was up against a guy in a bee suit and in the second he was up against a phase shifter and a gangster/restaurant owner. Challenging but nothing to worry about. He has faced more formidable foes, but whenever he was overwhelmed, like during the Civil War and Endgame, he was aided by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But this time his safety net is gone. He is stranded with his family in the Quantum Realm where the Avengers cannot gather. And he must face Kang, man against man, God against Ant.

“He’s powerful in a way I’ve never seen before,” said actor Paul Rudd of his character’s new nemesis, Kang. “And I faced Thanos, who’s quite powerful, but I also had a whole bunch of other Avengers with me. Kang possesses certain abilities and strengths that even Thanos surpasses.”

Rudd explained how he was kept in the dark about how Jonathan Majors would play Kang, and when they filmed their first scene together, which also happened to be the first time their characters met, his reaction to Kang’s imposing personality was genuine.

“We never talked about what we’re going to do. I didn’t know exactly what he would do. Our first scene in the film where we meet was the first scene we ever shot [together]. So it was really interesting to be like, ‘Oh wow, I see, oh yeah, this guy is serious. Kang means business.’ Jonathan certainly has this role under control. And it was really challenging to act with Kang in the film for the first time,” said Rudd.

bring Kang to life

It goes without saying that transferring Kang from comics to screen has been a challenge. He wears green and purple armor with a chunky helmet and a blue face mask. His powers are vaguely defined as time manipulation, sophisticated technology, and energy beams. He experiences time differently than normal people, giving him a distant personality. But it’s a challenge that director and actors have taken on.

“It’s always the big trick to bring these characters, most of whom were created in a comic book back in the ’60s, to life now and make them feel like living, breathing dimensional characters. There was a lot to understand visually,” Reed said. He spoke about how he worked with Majors on Kang’s look, specifically the scars that run down either side of his face. “We talked about scarification and the idea, what if we made these scars? And when the mask is lit, it highlights those and they’ve been energized as part of the suit thing. The scarification, which I love, because Jonathan showed up in the makeup, and it was like, okay, that’s cool because there’s an implied thing. This guy’s been through some shit, he’s been through some battles. I don’t know if that’s a ritual thing or if it was battle scars. Was it the mask? But we just love the looks.”

Kang has a unique relationship with time that affects how he sees the world around him. It’s an intoxicating concept, but Majors explained that Kang controls time, but because he’s in the Quantum Realm where time behaves differently, time doesn’t move for him anymore. He watches the time go by, but he doesn’t let it move him. Time is “his greatest attachment and his greatest adversary,” Majors said.

Kang becomes a family affair

Though it’s Scott who ultimately has to face Kang in Quantumania, he’s not entirely alone. He’s joined, of course, by his family of fellow superheroes, not to mention his teenage daughter getting dressed for the first time. Together they must find a way to thwart Kang’s plans.

Actor Michael Douglas who played Dr. Playing Hank Pym, and knowing a thing or two about playing a movie villain, had nothing but praise for Majors’ performance as Kang.

“A good villain exudes power without having to appear strong. [Kang] just has an inner sense of strength that always felt menacing,” Douglas said, also praising Major’s supervillain physique. “I knew [Majors] was in good shape because I saw poor Paul coming back from those fight scenes, that’s gruff. I think it will be a wonderful addition to the Marvel Universe.”

Pym’s daughter Hope van Dyne, played by Evangeline Lilly, is known for being confident. So when she gets lost in a dangerous place like the Quantum Realm and faces off against a villain like Kang, she gives herself a second guess.

“I feel like there’s so many scenes in this movie where Hope just has this really insecure look on her face because she’s never – well, I mean in Endgame, I think she was put in that position , but she was surrounded by formidable Avengers by this time. But being alone in the world with the people she cares about most and who are fully at stake under her care is a bit overwhelming. And I think it’s really great to see her on the backfoot because she’s usually so knowledgeable and capable in all situations. And Kang is certainly in a league she’s not familiar with,” Lilly said.

But not everyone is afraid of Kang. Cassie Lang, played by MCU newcomer Kathryn Newton, may be too young to have a healthy fear of overpowering bullies. Comic book readers may know Cassie as the Young Avengers heroine Stature, but in the film we see her become a heroine alongside her family instead. She appears to be wearing the purple armor of her Stinger persona from the comics. Well, whatever she wears gives her the confidence to stand up to evil, even if she doesn’t know what she’s getting into.

“[Cassie is] a little naive about the power that [Kang] has, and you can feel it. When she first meets him, she says, well, what are you talking about? Very young to think like that. Almost disrespectful because she doesn’t know that. She doesn’t know how powerful she is. So I think it’s kind of nice that she says I don’t really care who you are. i will fight you And she does. She is not afraid. And I think that comes with youth. The older you get, the more afraid you become of being hurt. She doesn’t care if she gets hurt. She just leads with her heart and she’s a little bit impatient and falls over and is clumsy,” Newton said.

Cassie Lang’s gigantic journey to become a Marvel hero

Click through for a brief overview of Cassie Lang's history in the Marvel Universe and her journey to becoming a superhero in her own right.

Kang Across the Multiverse Saga

Finally, it’s important to note that Quantumania is just one stop on Kang’s journey through the Multiverse saga. We already got to know one of its variants in the Disney Plus series Loki. The energetic and talkative He Who Remains warned of far worse variants than he did and that we’d meet them after he was killed, why everyone in the Marvel Multiverse is in grave danger now, and why we’re about to see a lot more Kangs than we already have know, the next Avengers movie will be Kang Dynasty, named after the classic comic where Kang conquers Earth. Reed shared what it was like to effectively tell the middle chapter of Kang’s story and the chilling impression they wanted to make on the audience.

“I like the idea that in Loki, He Who Remains there’s kind of a weird hint that a villain is coming. So we like the idea of ​​Kang the Conqueror being the most feared Kang of all variants. So much so that there’s a reason it’s in the quantum realm. He was exiled. We still don’t know exactly why, why he was exiled, he did something bad. Jonathan and I were talking about what it would be like if you didn’t live time in a straight line, if it was in a loop, how would that affect your personality? And the idea of ​​Kang being some kind of man out of time and broken gives Kang a sadness. Because that is where he sees his destiny. He speaks to Scott and says: You are an avenger. have i killed you before It’s like he’s fought the Avengers before, and it sounds like he’s fought them that many times. He can’t keep it straight. And that’s scary. There’s something scary about this guy who’s world-weary and battle-weary, but he keeps going. Kang has a frightening inevitability. And we talked about how Jonathan performs in this economy of movement and dialogue. When he says something, he really, really means it. And it’s a scary energy to face Scott Lang.”

For more information on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, check out our Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania review and everything you need to know about Cassie Lang aka Stature.