Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now out in theaters featuring Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, where in an interview, writer Jeff Loveness happens to tease Avengers deaths and explains the difference between Kang and Thanos.
Note: Spoilers follow.
Jeff Loveness explains the Ant-Man happy ending
A big gripe some fans have – me, too – with the flick is that Kang is defeated. I recently questioned how Marvel said Kang is the next big MCU villain, even bigger than Thanos, but then Kang is defeated by Ant-Man and a bunch of ants? Huh?!
I also said I thought Ant-Man should have died – or anyone – as it would have made Kang out to look like a big threat, but again, this version was defeated, so what’s that say?
In an interview with THR, Loveness, who is also writing Kang Dynasty, actually tackles complaints some fans have about the film (well, he doesn’t mention the special effects) and he does make some good points.
Regarding Kang potentially killing everyone in the movie, Loveness makes a point that this is an Ant-Man movie and that they decided to have a happy ending similar to something like The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy doesn’t get stuck in Oz but returns home:
We certainly gamed out a ton of scenarios, but it just felt a little obvious. It’s up for debate, but it just felt like we’d be copying the Thanos approach where he comes in pretty heavy and wipes the floor with everybody. I certainly see the critiques and all that, but this is a multi-step story that we’re telling. It’s also an Ant-Man movie. (Laughs.) I think people say they want that, but do you really want to see Paul Rudd get murdered in his third movie? It was all debated, all discussed and all gamed out, but in The Wizard of Oz, you don’t want to see Dorothy die and never go home. It’s supposed to be one of these classic adventure movies. If everyone gets eaten in Jurassic Park, I don’t know if you’ll want to see the next Jurassic Park.
Jeff Loveness teases Avengers deaths
As I wrote up in my Who Are The New Avengers In Kang: Dynasty? article, I’m guessing Kang Dynasty will be more similar to Infinity War where Jonathan Majors is shown as super powerful, and Loveness backs up those claims:
But I wouldn’t worry too much about Kang’s kill count. He’s going to rack up some kills as he goes along.
Differences between Kang and Thanos
Regarding the comparisons to Thanos, Loveness brings up another good point in that Thanos is just one person, but Kang is legion, so Kang could actually be looked at as a bigger threat:
The main theme to get across is that Kang is many things, but he is not a liar. All the hints, threats and warnings he was giving Scott in the middle of the movie turned out to be very true, and Ant-Man, the Wasp and the whole family barely survived beating just one of these Kangs. So, what the hell are the Avengers going to do against a thousand Kangs? And on a villain level, we saw how bad Jonathan Majors was as one Kang, so who was bad enough to beat him? Who’s the Kublai Khan to the Genghis Khan of the Kang Dynasty? Who is the Caesar Augustus to the Julius Caesar of the Roman Empire? Who is clever and cunning and evil enough to take out the dictator of the Kang Dynasty? So it’s a bit of an exponential step up, and it’s a way to show the Avengers are in way over their head. They just don’t know it yet.
And so that allowed us to really give Jonathan Majors an opportunity to show the sheer humanity of this character. It’s also the opposite of Thanos. Josh Brolin did a terrific job, obviously. So much has been said about Thanos, but he is a purple, CGI space alien. So it was thrilling to write for a human face and one as expressive as Jonathan Majors’. But there’s going to be plenty of sci-fi and conquering in these Avengers movies going forward, so my approach was to give people a taste of who this guy is…
And so the short answer is that I can’t say anything, but the big answer is that Kang is a legion. So let’s see what that legion is like, and let’s get great character performances from the best actor around right now.
Kang getting defeated explained
So what about that ending where Kang is defeated?
Well, I think you root for someone who knows defeat. Thanos says that he knows what it’s like to lose, but we never see him lose until the end of Endgame. All he does is toss away the people that he loves and beat Thor’s ass. (Laughs.) But yes, it’s a risk, and we certainly took some heat for it. But I am willing to bet that we are going to root for a guy that we’ve seen stumble and fall, much like Chris Claremont’s Magneto from those X-Men comics. That guy loses a lot, and we see how much pain he’s been through. And so by the time he really unleashes that rage, we’re on his side and we kind of get it. So I think we’re allowed to have a villain that takes a few shots along the way as [Kang the Conqueror or his variants] make their rise.
Loki also loses pretty hard in that first Thor movie, and so by the time he rolls back around, we get more of his baggage. But once again, the big distinction between Thanos and Kang is that Kang is more of a human being. And so his defeat was a way to showcase his humanity and his unending passion. If you go back in the comics, you can beat Thanos once, and that’s the end of the day. Kang is not a guy that you can beat once; he is an existential problem. And so he doesn’t care if he loses because he’s got nothing but time.
Again, Loveness makes some good points and I suppose it is better they just didn’t go with a carbon-copy approach to Kang.
Loveness also jokes throughout the interview there is the 3-hour Loveness Cut and talks about what they left on the table including a deleted scene involving Evangeline Lilly in the Multiverse with kids. Loveness doesn’t go into details about what happens in the scene and teases maybe they will use it in Kang Dynasty (basically confirming Ant-Man and Wasp) but from the outside looking in, my two cents is that it seems too close to what happened with Scarlet Witch and her own Multiverse kids, right?
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now in theaters.