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This might be the super-villain who replaces Thanos in the next Avengers movie

Published Sep 15th, 2020 4:36PM EDT
Marvel Movies
Image: Marvel Studios

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  • The upcoming phase of Marvel movies and TV shows will not include any Avengers adventures, as the studio is in a rebuilding phase where it will introduce new superheroes and villains.
  • A series of reports indicate that the next supervillain of the MCU has been cast. That’s Jonathan Majors, who will supposedly play Kang the Conquerer in Ant-Man 3.
  • Kang could be used in the future in several upcoming Avengers adventures, including Young Avengers and Avengers 5.

Avengers 5

is one of the most anticipated films in the upcoming MCU phases, but it’s also a movie that doesn’t technically exist right now. There’s no Avengers film in MCU Phase 4, and it’s unclear when the Endgame sequel will actually be released. The current pandemic has impacted the movie business both when it comes to theatrical releases and unfinished productions. The health crisis might force Disney to postpone the launches of some of the upcoming Marvel movies and TV series — and the company might have to delay all of its Phase 5 adventures.

As it stands right now, the fourth phase of the MCU isn’t expected to lead to an epic conclusion like Endgame. Phase 4 will introduce a variety of new heroes, including brand new Avengers team members who will replace the ones who died or retired. Phase 4 also has to set the stage for the imminent introduction of the X-Men and Fantastic Four, superhero team-ups that Disney can finally use in the MCU following its Fox acquisition. On top of that, we’ll need one or more new villains who will challenge the Avengers, and Phase 4 will also set things in motion on that front. We already have an idea of what sort of bad guys to expect in upcoming Avengers adventures, and now one of them is all but confirmed.

One of the wilder Endgame fan theories said that Kang the Conquerer would appear in the film. That didn’t happen, of course, but Kang remains a viable villain option for the MCU going forward. Now, it looks like we’re finally getting closer to seeing Kang on the big screen, as Marvel has reportedly cast Jonathan Majors for the role.

You’ve seen the actor recently in HBO’s TV series Lovecraft Country and in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods movie. Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter both reported that it’s Majors who has been chosen to play Kang.

The studio has not confirmed the casting, but sources familiar with the matter told Deadline that Majors is likely to play Kang in Ant-Man 3. “Sources add that like with so many new characters in the MCU, there could be a twist with how the character is featured in future films, but as of now he is likely to be one of the main villains in the next installment in the franchise,” the report noted.

The third installment in the Ant-Man franchise will bring back Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly as Ant-Man and the Wasp. Peyton Reed directed the first two films and will helm the third installment. “The third Ant-Man movie is going to be a much bigger, more sprawling movie than the first two,” the director said earlier this month, per THR. “It’s going to have a very different visual template,” Reed said, without revealing any secrets about the plot or supervillain.

Kang is the kind of time-traveling supervillain who might appear in a variety of Marvel projects, and Ant-Man 3 is likely just the first. It makes sense to assume that Majors will also appear in a future Avengers adventures, although nothing is confirmed at this time. We have no idea what sort of contract Majors has, or whether it covers both movies and TV series. But we do know that Marvel will release plenty of TV shows on Disney+ to extend the MCU — and to drive more subscriptions for Disney.

One of the rumored Disney+ projects concerns a team of superheroes we keep seeing in reports: Young Avengers might become a TV series rather than a standalone movie. Several team members are about to be introduced in Phase 4 films or series before they end up joining forces to… avenge things. AsMurphy’s Multiverse explains, it so happens that the Young Avengers group formed when a young version of Kang went back in time to avoid becoming evil. That younger version was known as Iron Lad. That said, we’ll have to see how the whole time-traveling thing works in the MCU, now that Endgame made it clear that we’re working with more realistic time travel rules than famous theories from movies like Back to the Future.

We’ll also point out that neither Ant-Man 3 nor Young Avengers are part of MCU Phase 4, but the former is at least confirmed to be in the making. Assuming the doesn’t cause anymore significant delays, Ant-Man 3 should hit theaters at some point in 2022.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.