The Marvel Cinematic Universe may have just found its next Thanos-sized villain. Jonathan Majors – who has been making waves thanks to his breakout role in Lovecraft Country – has reportedly been cast in Ant-Man 3 opposite Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily. The kicker, though, is the character Majors could be playing.
According to Deadline (opens in new tab), the actor looks set to play the supervillain Kang the Conqueror. Kang is an interesting villain in Marvel lore – one that could potentially open the MCU up to further time travel shenanigans as well as providing a potential entry point for the Fantastic Four.
Born Nathaniel Richards (familiar surname, we’ll get to that), Kang existed in the 31st Century and, through various stories and series, travels to the present day to battle Avengers and the Fantastic Four, all in the hopes of conquering that timeline instead of his more apocalyptic, barren time.
Nathaniel Richards is also the name of Mr. Fantasic/Reed Richards' father, who also often travels through time. Some versions of that character have become Kang, some haven’t. Still, it feels like an almost too obvious tease for the Fantastic Four coming to the MCU – and that could give Ant-Man higher stakes as a series than it ever has before.
Sources added that the movie-iteration of the character will likely be different in some regard, but will be one of the major villains in the franchise going forward.
Peyton Reed will direct the third instalment in the Ant-Man series, having also directed the first two. Interestingly, Reed had previously pitched a version of Fantastic Four to Fox. “I developed it for about a year and we went through some different permutations and some different writers, but yes, one of the big ideas was a set-in-the-’60s thing that at the time was structurally gonna be basically like [The Beatles’] A Hard Day’s Night, where we were not going to even deal with the origin story,” Reed said at the time.
Meanwhile, Majors has become something of major presence in Hollywood thanks to starring roles in Lovecraft Country, spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, and last year's The Last Black Man in San Francisco. He will next appear in Netflix's The Harder They Fall.