Jonathan Majors’ career is about to enter a new level with the release of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” Majors stars as Kang the Conquerer, the new Thanos-sized villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe whose arc will extend all the way through at least 2025’s “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.” But Majors revealed in a new interview with Vanity Fair that his Marvel career could’ve ended before it began after he decided to walk out of his first general meeting with the studio.
“I hope this doesn’t bite me in the ass, but I walked out of my Marvel general [meeting],” Majors said. “This was a long time ago. I had just gotten out of drama school and I’m running around town and I’m sitting in the office. I grew up in a very particular way and I don’t want to waste nobody’s time. So I got in there and they’re just busy. And I was like, ‘I’m supposed to be here, right?’ It got long and I went, ‘I’m just going to go. It’s cool. I’ll just go.'”
Majors walked out of the meeting, but he didn’t make it out of the building.
“I got to the door, but then they said [casting director] Sarah Finn was going to come,” Majors said. “We got in the room and we chatted. We were having this great conversation. I think it was three years later that we had the Kang chat. And there’s no trepidation now, especially because of who Kang is. When I said yes, we got the whole picture, and what is being laid out is cohesive.”
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has cited Majors’ role in “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” as the reason the studio was interested in speaking to the actor. Fortunately for everyone involved, Majors is earning rave reviews for his Kang debut in “Quantumania.” Feige told Entertainment Weekly that love for Majors started immediately as Marvel began testing the film.
“In the early days of ‘Quantumania’ [test screenings], Jonathan started to pop in a big way,” the Marvel Studios boss continued. “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.”
Kang actually made his Marvel debut in “Loki” on Disney+, but he was playing a variant of Kang and not the version audiences will meet in “Quantumania.”
“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,’” Feige said. “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!”
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” opens in theaters Feb. 17 from Disney.