Ant-Man 3 Just Tapped Lovecraft Country's Jonathan Majors For A Huge Role

Jonathan Majors' very good year could turn into a great couple of Phases for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans.

Majors, the breakout star of the hit HBO series Lovecraft Country, has been tapped for a lead role in the forthcoming, as-yet untitled third entry in the Ant-Man series, according to Deadline. Although Marvel Studios is currently remaining mum on what role Majors will be playing, sources close to the publication are tossing up an extremely intriguing name: Kang the Conqueror, an iconic and insanely powerful Marvel villain with strong ties to the Fantastic Four.

If you're not familiar with Majors, don't worry — you soon will be. He may have been on screen for less than a decade, but in the last couple years or so, he's really out the pedal to the metal with his career. In 2019 alone, he appeared in no fewer than four features: The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Captive State, Gully, and Jungleland. In 2020, he's been at the center of a couple of hot properties with Spike Lee's Vietnam War drama Da 5 Bloods and Lovecraft Country, which has been generating lively conversation and critical raves since it debuted in August 2020.

Those projects raised Majors' profile considerably, but do you know what will really boost a young actor's name recognition? You guessed it — a starring role in the MCU, the single biggest film franchise of all time. Ant-Man 3 director Peyton Reed (who, incidentally, will become the first MCU director to complete a trilogy) has teased that the third solo vehicle for Marvel's smallest hero will be... well, bigger in scale than the films that came before it, telling Collider last month to expect a "sprawling movie" with a "very different visual template." If indeed Kang the Conqueror is to be involved, it's quite safe to say that Reed was not just whistling Dixie.

Who is Kang the Conqueror?

The timeline and history of Kang the Conqueror in the pages of Marvel comics is more intensely convoluted than perhaps any other character, for reasons that will soon become clear. Here's the nutshell version: the man who would come to be known as Kang was born Nathaniel Richards in the 30th century of an alternate universe designated by Marvel as Earth-6311, a reality in which the Dark Ages never happened. According to various records of his time, he is a direct descendant of Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, and may also be distantly related to Richards' greatest foe, the Latverian dictator and supervillain known as Doctor Doom.

Possessed of an otherwordly, superhuman intellect, Kang employs technology which — among many, many other purposes — allows him to travel through time and in between alternate realities. There are countless versions of Kang across the multiverse, each aware of all the others, and "Kang Prime" embodies the knowledge and experience of every one of them. He has ruled as a warlord in ancient Egypt, and as a despot in the far-flung future; he's been known to command armies of warriors from all across time. He has taken on the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and many more of the most powerful heroes of Earth-616 (the mainstream Marvel timeline), and if ever he is defeated, there's always another version of him waiting to take his place.

In order to discuss all of Kang's powers, we would have to write a novel, so just know that if the creative minds at Marvel Studios are developing their next Thanos-level threat, there would be few characters more qualified. Kang is fearless, near-unstoppable — and he lives up to his name, as a slew of galaxies and even entire realities have fallen at his hand.

Kang the Conqueror may have been set up in Avengers: Endgame

Whether purposefully or otherwise, the use of time travel as the major plot device of Avengers: Endgame could have set up the arrival of Kang quite nicely. It's been posited that the team's meddling in the time stream may end up having ramifications that are not yet fully understood, and that the alternate timelines created in the film — like the one Captain America caused when he remained in the past, or the one created by Loki when he escaped with the Space Stone during the team's return to the Battle of New York — might somehow give Kang the means to slip sideways into Earth-199999 (the numerical designation given to the MCU by Marvel).

For that matter, the MCU's Kang doesn't necessarily have to have so complicated a backstory. He could be an anonymous but brilliant scientist at Pym Laboratories or Stark Industries, inspired to tinker with time by the Avengers' success in reversing Thanos' snap. Or, perhaps he doesn't exist yet in the MCU, but does in the reality occupied by whatever version of the Fantastic Four will soon make their way to Earth-199999, enabling Kang to follow. Or the fact that he's debuting in an Ant-Man movie could mean that it's the Quantum Realm which serves as the conduit for Kang to appear.

It's all speculation at this point, but if indeed Majors will be portraying Kang in Ant-Man 3, two things are certain. First, the Mighty Marvel has made yet another stellar casting choice. Second, the MCU is in big, big trouble. Stay tuned, as we'll be keeping our finger on the pulse of this story.