Ant-Man 3 Director Teases Kang The Conqueror’s ‘Profound Impact’ On The MCU And How He Differs From Loki’s He Who Remains

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Last year, Disney+ subscribers saw The Harder They Fall’s Jonathan Majors debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as He Who Remains, a variant of the time-traveling menace known as Kang the Conqueror, in the Loki Season 1 finale. We’re now just a few months away from Majors making his first appearance as the primary Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the first of the upcoming Marvel movies in 2023. Ahead of that release, Quantumania director Peyton Reed took some time to tease Kang’s “profound impact” on the MCU, as well as share how the villain differs from He Who Remains.

In case you’re out of the loop, Kang the Conqueror isn’t simply serving as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s main villain. He’s following in Thanos’ footsteps as the MCU’s overarching antagonist, with his machinations coming to a head in 2025’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and likely continuing (but not confirmed) into 2026’s Avengers: Secret Wars. So Quantumania obviously needs to present Kang as a formidable opponent, and Peyton Reed assured Empire that Kang’s arrival will have “major reverberations” on this franchise. As the director put it:

I think it has a profound impact on the MCU. Jeff Loveness, who wrote this movie, is writing The Kang Dynasty as well, so there’s been a lot of discussion about the impact that this appearance of Kang The Conqueror makes. There are big things in store.

Later in the interview, Peyton Reed called noted that with the first two Ant-Man movies seeing Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang face off against smaller-scale (pun intended) threats like Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross, Walton Goggins’ Sonny Burch and Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost, he was excited by the prospect of the superhero and his allies dealing with “an all-timer antagonist.” Reed explained that because Scott is “the tiniest, and in some people’s minds weakest, Avenger,” he welcomed the opportunity to pit him against “this absolute force of nature.” On that note, just because Kang the Conqueror shares the same face as He Who Remains doesn’t mean he has the same kind of personality. In Reed’s words:

Kang The Conqueror in our movie is a very different character. He’s someone who has dominion over time, and he’s a warrior and a strategist.

In the Loki Season 1 finale, He Who Remains was revealed as the mastermind behind the Time Variance Authority, having established the temporal organization and weaponized the creature Alioth to close off the Sacred Timeline and stop Kang and his other nefarious variants from continuing the Multiversal War. He Who Remains came off as unhinged in his meeting with Loki and Sylvie, and as a result of living countless lifetimes in the Citadel at the End of Time, he’d also grown weary of his existence. He ultimately met his ends at Sylvie’s hands, but his death paved the way for the MCU’s multiverse to be opened up and for the more reserved, Kang the Conqueror to resume his… well, conquering.

Exactly what Kang the Conqueror is up to in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is still being kept under wraps, although the first Quantumania trailer indicated he’s willing to help Scott Lang get home provided the superhero helps him out with something. We’ll learn what that is when Quantumania is released on February 17 as one of the many high-profile 2023 movie releases. Next year will also deliver Loki Season 2, and since the Season 1 finale revealed that Kang now controlled the TVA, there’s a decent chance he could appear in that show too.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.