As part of their latest issue, Empire have unveiled a new look at Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, with some new imagery teasing an encounter between Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).
The first trailer for the film was released in October, timed to co-incide with a theatrical launch accompanying Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The plot for Quantumania sees Scott, his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), and his partner Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), and her parents, Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne (Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer) finding themselves brought into the Quantum Realm, and discovering the bizarre worlds, creatures, and Bill Murray within.
Marvel fans were first introduced to a variant of Kang the Conqueror, known as ‘He Who Remains’, in the season one finale of Disney+ show Loki, where the titular character came face-to-face with the man at the end of time. In that show, the variant warned Loki that his death would bring about a multiversal war, led by the variants of Kang, who would not rest until all worlds were conquered.
Kang the Conqueror is set to be a fixture in the Marvel Cinematic Universe through Phases 5 and 6, with the next Avengers film set to feature a team-up between the MCU‘s superheroes to battle the supervillain, with the film set to be subtitled The Kang Dynasty. The final scenes of Loki also teased the presence of Kang running through the second season, as Loki chases down his variant, Sylvie, who took the plunge and killed He Who Remains, opening multiversal fissures in space and time, and setting events into motion.
“I think Kang has a profound impact on the MCU,” said Peyton Reed, director of the film. “Jeff Loveness, who wrote this movie, is writing The Kang Dynasty as well, so there’s been a lot of discussion about the impact that this appearance of Kang The Conqueror makes. There are big things in store. Kang The Conqueror in our movie is a very different character. He’s someone who has dominion over time, and he’s a warrior and a strategist.”
Previously, Ant-Man has had to face some of the less imposing villains in the MCU, such as Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll) and Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins). That minor quibble should be erased entirely once Scott Lang has his showdown with the time-traveling entity, one of Marvel’s longest-serving and intimidating antagonists. “That’s interesting to me: to take the tiniest, and in some people’s minds weakest, Avenger, and put them up against this absolute force of nature,” said Reed.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opens in theaters on February 17, 2023. You can check out Empire’s new image below: