The Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen its fair share of memorable villains, from Josh Brolin’s Thanos to Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Cate Blanchett’s Hela. But according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, no villain has gotten higher test screening scores than Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conquerer. Kang debuts in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” which sets up the character as the new Thanos of the MCU.
“For years, we’ve always had the inkling that Kang would be an amazing follow-up to Thanos,” Feige told Entertainment Weekly. “He’s got that equal stature in the comics, but he’s a completely different villain. Mainly, that’s because he’s multiple villains. He’s so unique from Thanos, which we really liked.”
“In the early days of ‘Quantumania’ [test screenings], Jonathan started to pop in a big way,” the Marvel Studios boss continued. “He’s the highest-testing villain we’ve ever had in any of our friends and families [screenings]. That’s really saying something with a movie like this. Even early on without the effects, Jonathan is his own effect. He was working from the start.”
Kang actually made his Marvel debut in “Loki” on Disney+, but he was playing a variant of Kang and not the version audiences will meet in “Quantumania.”
“It’s always one of the fun rolls of the dice that we do at Marvel, which is to say: ‘Hey, we’re going to make multiple movies around this character, and we’re going to start before the audience has even had a chance to meet him,’” Feige said. “We really go all in on these ideas and this casting. It was a big relief when the season ender of ‘Loki’ season 1 happened. People really seem to be on board for Kang. People are chanting, ‘Kang!’ when Jonathan goes on talk shows, and they haven’t even seen him in the movie yet!”
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” opens in theaters Feb. 17 from Disney.