What does Kang’s amazing future look like? Jonathon Majors’ He Who Remains in Loki is perhaps the most important addition Marvel Studios has made to the MCU since Disney+ launched in early 2021. It’s in Tom Hiddleston’s series where Loki and Sylvie meet He Who Remains, where the latter introduces his sinister Variants and hints at Kang’s possible role in the MCU.
There is only one Kang the Conqueror and he has already been confirmed to appear in 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as a genius and time-travelling overlord.
Many MCU fans believe that Kang will be the next major villain in this current Multiverse Saga because of the MCU’s ongoing Multiverse themes. The director of Loki, meanwhile, believes that Kang, the new time-obsessed villain, will have a bright future.
Ahead of Kang’s expanded role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki Season 1 director Kate Herron spoke with The Playlist about her experience in teaming up with Jonathon Majors and how he is “going to be an amazing character.”
“When we blocked it, he leapt up and I was like ‘Keep that because that’s so cool:'” Herron said when asked about how much of Majors’ performance as Who He Remains was down to the actor or the script.
“Well, the scripts we had were brilliant for episode six. I would say credit to all really. The first thing you are going to do as an actor is you’re going to look at the script and be inspired by that. But I would also say Jonathan, for example, when we were blocking it, I didn’t know he was going to jump on the desk. Me and my DP, I remember we had it on track and [cinematographer Autumn Durald] was kind of feeling it out. And then when we blocked it, he jumped up and I was like, ‘Keep that because that’s so cool. Definitely do that jump up.’ Because I think that was the key thing. It’s almost bookended, we begin with a conversation and we end with one. And it’s for me about how do we change blocking here to feel dynamic? When is the camera really close to He Who Remains? So it almost feels like he’s whispering in your ear and getting you on his side. And when should we go wide, because it’s almost like you have to build these mini chapter breaks because you can’t just stay in the same position for the conversation. Because I think otherwise the audience will start to lose attention.”
Filming Loki Season 1 finale was “like filming a play,” the director said, but Majors’ performance as He Who Remains is just the starting point for the actor, who will go on to become one of the Avengers’ biggest threats: “He’s going to go on to be an amazing character,” he said.
“So it was amazing working with him. He is a fantastic actor and it honestly felt a little bit like filming a play. Which was really fun. That was the thing. It wassuch a privilege seeing an incredible actor find this character because it is going to go on to be an amazing character.”
Because of his upcoming role as Kang in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, actor Jonathon Majors is well-aware of and excited about the character’s “significance.”
“And when I looked at the significance of Kang in the MCU, I agreed to the role the same way I agreed to any other film that I do. ‘Can the world move forward without them? Can the scene move forward without them?…’ If it can then I’m okay, and if it can’t then it’s something I want to take on.”
Majors claims to know what “everyone else [knows]” about Marvel Studios’ plans for Kang the Conqueror and that “this is where we’re starting:”
“Well, I [know] what everyone else [knows]. And still do, actually. You know where it’s like this is the role, and this is where we’re starting. That’s as far as we got, and that was enough for me. To try and understand who this character was.”
Herron revealed that rehearsals were conducted via Zoom when he was asked about the lack of opportunities to rehearse with the entire cast.
The director had “a lot of conversations one-on-one with Jonathan as well, about character and influence:” despite Jonathon Majors’ hectic schedule.
“So I would say with Jonathan specifically, it wasn’t actually pandemics. Just, he’s very busy. we didn’t do rehearsals in person, but basically, we did them on Zoom…did a few read-throughs on Zoom with all the cast. And then I also just had a lot of conversations one-on-one with Jonathan as well, about character and influence. And we would always check in with each other and talk about that. I think that was really key before we got to set. And then with the rest of our cast, no. I did quite a bit of rehearsal to be honest. It was mainly to be honest, lots of read-through, talking through the characters with the actors, but also because then when you get to set, everyone’s working from the same rule book. And it’s not to say you can’t play on set because Owen would throw in three different alts for every line. That would be so funny. But I think for me it was about making sure we’re all going in and making the same thing.”
When it comes to Majors’ MCU role, one of the most intriguing aspects is that he plays a variety of characters. Not Kang, but He Who Remains. All of his attempts with the TVA and the Sacred Timeline were aimed at stopping Kang, as the character explained in Loki. When viewers see Jonathon in the MCU again, he won’t be jumping on desks like in the first movie.
He Who Remains, the actor who will play the character, is “going to go on and play a massive part of the MCU,” so Herron expressed her gratitude for being a part of the conversation with Feige.
“And with the other actors, I was so grateful to be part of the conversation with Kevin Feige for He Who Remains, that’s a massive role. And that was me chatting with them and the team about who would be the right character for this. Because obviously, they’re going to go on and play a massive part of the MCU.”
The return of Kate Herron’s Kang is still coming, despite the fact that fans have not seen Majors’ Kang since Loki’s Season 1 finale.
In the sixth episode, Hiddleston’s Loki said as much, and while Owen Wilson’s Mobius didn’t get it, Marvel Studios did. He’s probably already in the mix, given the Multiversal craziness that’s dominated recent MCU projects.
Concerns have been raised by Marvel’s fan base about the company’s apparent lack of a unified strategy for Phase 4. However, based on Herron’s comments, it appears that Kang has a bright future ahead of him.
Because Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Kate Herron were so deliberate in their casting, knowing the actor would “play a massive part of the MCU,” Kang’s future has been planned out in advance, as well. As a matter of fact, Kang may well be the thread that connects all of the Marvel stories together and leads to an Avengers 5.