Ant-Man’s Kang star Jonathan Majors says Heath Ledger’s Joker inspired him

The Dark Knight
(Image credit: Warner Bros./DC)

Jonathan Majors is about to step out as the MCU’s new big bad in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which he describes as a full circle moment for him in a new interview. The Kang the Conqueror actor opened up to Entertainment Weekly about feeling deeply inspired by Heath Ledger’s comic book villain Joker in The Dark Knight.

Calling watching him in the movie a pivotal moment, Majors explained: "First of all, he’s gorgeous. He’s got that fucking jawline, and he didn’t give a fuck. He threw his body around. He was so full. And I went, 'I’m coming for that. I’m inspired.' It takes a lot, you feel me? To be inspired."

The actor continued to explain that he recognized the gray area that the Joker fell into, which is why it resonated with him. "The way I grew up, the people I grew up around, drug dealers, killers, murderers, everybody was just coming out of jail," he added. "Everybody had an ankle monitor on. So I knew the complexity of the guys I grew up with. Yeah, you did do that, but you also did this. And what I saw in Heath, and in everything he did, was: It's this and that."

The Dark Knight was released in July 2008, a few months after Ledger's death in January 2008. The actor won an Oscar for the role posthumously at the 81st Academy Awards. 

Majors is a big fan of Christopher Nolan’s film, even penning an essay for Variety about the experience of watching it when he was younger. "My 18-year-old self sat in the cinema long after the credits rolled," the Marvel actor recalled, "gobsmacked by a beauty and complexity of humanity hitherto unwitnessed in cinema and dare I say in my own existence."

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania kicks off Marvel Phase 5 on February 17, 2023. For all of the other new superhero movies on the way, check out our guide to all of the upcoming Marvel movies and shows.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.