From Tom Hiddleston (Loki) to Josh Brolin (Thanos), the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had numerous memorable villain performances. However, according to the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conquerer has the highest test screening score of them all. Kang was initially introduced in the Disney+ series Loki, and is now debuting as a villain in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. In Loki, Kang was playing a variant of Kang, not the version that fans will see in the highly-anticipated Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
The film sets him up to be the new Thanos of the MCU. He's Marvel's new big bad, and he does it well. Feige told Entertainment Weekly, "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."
Jonathan Majors Succeeds
The Marvel Studios president went on to tell Entertainment Weekly that, "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." Characters like Thanos have significantly higher amounts of CGI and effects needed than Kang to make them work. It's impressive that Majors was able to wow audiences with his performance of Kang the Conquerer even prior to the assistance of visual effects.
Feige said, "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. 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!" Watch Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conquerer in Disney and Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which premieres in theaters on February 17, 2023.