*EUR’s Ny MaGee caught an advanced screening of “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” and I’m super excited for Marvel fans to get into Jonathan Majors’ dynamic performance as the MCU’s most powerful villain to date: Kang the Conqueror.
Per the official synopsis: Super-Hero partners Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and the Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought possible. Directed by Peyton Reed and produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a. and Stephen Broussard, p.g.a., “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” also stars Jonathan Majors as Kang, David Dastmalchian as Veb, Katy O’Brian as Jentorra, William Jackson Harper as Quaz and Bill Murray as Lord Krylar.
“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” kicks off Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“The ‘Ant-Man’ movies have always been about family,” says director Peyton Reed in a statement. “In ‘Quantumania,’ we’re deepening and complicating the family dynamic while painting on a much larger canvas. We dipped our toe in the Quantum Realm in the first couple of movies, and this time, we wanted to give the movie an entirely different look: It’s an epic experience.”
(L-R) Producer and Marvel Studios President and Marvel CCO Kevin Feige, Michael Douglas, Kathryn Newton, Jonathan Majors, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Director Peyton Reed, Executive Producer and Executive VP of Production Marvel Studios Victoria Alonso, and Producer Stephen Broussard attend the Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania world premiere at Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, California on February 06, 2023. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
“Creating the Quantum Realm—it’s the ultimate act of world creation. The idea is that they go farther down into the Quantum Realm than we’ve seen in the previous movies. We not only had to create the look of these cities and civilizations, we had to create the internal logic and history, and then populate it with all these creatures, beings and structures,” Reed added.
“We pulled together a lot of visual inspiration—everything from electron microscope photography to heavy metal magazine images from the ’70s and ’80s,” said Reed. “I collected all of these images from old science-fiction paperback book covers—artists like John Harris, Paul Laird, Richard M. Powers. Those paintings were evocative and really moody. We liked that feel and tone for the look of the Quantum Realm.”
Jonathan Majors, who portrays a variant of Kang in “Loki,” fills Kang’s shoes in “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.” Per the studio’s press release, Majors said, “I think the film is ultimately about our relationship to time as human beings and how time plays within our relationships. Love, friendship, legacy: That’s what the story is about and every character from Hank to Janet to Scott—all of us are touched by that and deal with the threat or promise of time in a different way.”
(L-R) Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly attend the Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania world premiere at Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, California on February 06, 2023. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
Marvel’s global press conference last week brought together the cast and studio boss Kevin Feige, who recalled discussions he had early on with the creative team about Quantumania and the Quantum Realm.
“Things act very differently at the quantum level, and Paul (Rudd) was talking about the amount of storytelling and imagination and fun that you could have there. The first Ant-Man movie was mainly about meeting the characters and the origin story, of course, but at the very end of that, we got a taste of it, and that is what led to where we took it in Endgame,” Feige shared.
He continued, “And it is a place that is on the subatomic level where space and time act differently, and that allowed us to time travel at Scott Lang’s suggestion in Endgame, and it allowed us to have this entire manic quantumness [phonetic] in this film, where we go to a point where only Janet had ever seen before. And as Evangeline said, she didn’t talk about it too much, where there is an entire universe below the surface where we meet all sorts of fun, crazy characters.”
(L-R) Jonathan Majors and Paul Rudd attend the Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania world premiere at Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, California on February 06, 2023. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
During the press conference, Majors unpacked his character and the concept of variants, saying “Who is Kang? I think that is a question that we will all be answering for a very long time. I think the quick answer to that is Kang is a time-traveling supervillain,” Majors stated.
“Who is also a nexus being? Which leads to this idea of variants. There’s multiple versions of Kang. Versions being variants. They occupy different universes, multi-verses, they have different intentions. They are all different beings, and yet something that we’re still and I’m still working on and continue to refine and refine and refine to something as a throughline between them. And that, to me, is the Kang gene,” he explained.
“Kang the Conqueror is stuck in the Quantum Realm,” Majors continued, “And he has some issues with some guys, some variants. And he’s not happy about it,” he explained.
The actor also unpacked his approach to playing the character.
“This really feels like joining like the Shakespearean troops back in the day, you know, when you have Shakespeare in the room and you’ve got the guys in the room and they’re just like all right, go, you know? And Shakespeare has a very clear idea of what it is they want to do and you have your lead actor, and they kind of set the tempo and the tone that you get in and you get busy, you know,” said Majors.
Jonathan Majors attends Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” at Regency Village Theatre on February 06, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Majors continued, “And the culture of the play and the story is all there, but it’s really changing. And so, for that, you really have to be very clear about what it is you’re doing and who your character is, the spine of the character, what he’s about, what she’s about, what they’re going after. So, you built that. And the rest of it, you just play hard. At least that was my take, you know. Okay, I think I know. I believe I know until something changes, you know? Play hard, you know, and if we turn left, you turn it left, you know what I mean,” he said.
“And you’re in, you know, Kang gotta Kang, you know. You turn left. They go right, you go right. So, I mean, that’s the approach. Same as all the other pieces of the people I’m blessed enough to play. Kang is just different in so far that he lives in a very different world,” Majors said.
Are you excited to see Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conquerer? Sound off in the comments.
This epic, sci-fi adventure hits the big screen in theaters nationwide on February 17.
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