Jonathan Majors Hit A Thanos-Sized Milestone In Early Screenings Of Ant Man 3, Reveals Kevin Feige

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

Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is officially here, with Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania marking the first installment of this next slate of programming. There are some big stakes involved, including the debut of the shared universe’s next big baddie: Kang the Conqueror. And Kevin Feige revealed that actor Jonathan Majors hit a Thanos-sized milestone in early screenings of Ant-Man 3.

Thanos’ full arrival in Avengers: Infinity War was teased for years, with Josh Brolin’s Mad Titan facing the entire superhero roster of the MCU through two movies. It remains to be seen how Kang will provide another epic threat of this nature, but Kevin Feige shared one way they’re similar during a chat with EW. Namely, for being super popular during test screenings. As the head of Marvel Studios put it,

In the early days of ‘Quantumania’ [test screenings], Jonathan started to pop in a big way. 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.

Jonathan Majors has been on a roll professionally, thanks to roles in projects like Creed III, Ant-Man 3, and HBO’s Lovecraft Country. And according to Kevin Feige, he was brought a terrifying and layered performance to Kang that shone even before visual effects were added to the equation. And it seems like this is still only the tip of the iceberg regarding what he’ll be able to bring to the table– especially in a future project like Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

This Thanos-like praise for Jonathan Majors is significant, as the MCU has historically been hit or miss when it comes to villains. While some characters like Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger really resonated with audiences, they’ve not all fared that well. And if Kang is going to be an overarching presence in the shared universe, his likability is very good news for everyone involved.

In that same interview with EW, Kevin Feige explained that Kang’s arrival as the next villain after Thanos has been a very long time coming. He also shared how the multiversal nature of Jonathan Majors helped him to bring something new to the table, as Feige shared:

For years, we’ve always had the inkling that Kang would be an amazing follow-up to Thanos. 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.

He’s not wrong. While Jonathan Majors is stepping into the spotlight as Kang in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (see the reviews here), he actually made his MCU debut back in Phase Four. Namely the finale of Loki, where he played a Kang variant known as He Who Remains. And with the multiverse being explored more and more throughout the MCU, there’s no telling where that character(s) might go.

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is in theaters now. Be sure to check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. And yes, there are two credits scenes in the Paul Rudd threequel.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.