Ant-Man 3 Director Peyton Reed Teases Kang's 'Profound Impact' On The MCU

The hierarchy of power in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to — wait, wait, wrong superhero franchise. Even so, Dwayne Johnson's personal motto might just prove fitting for the MCU, if the creative team behind "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" is to be believed.

The pint-sized threequel promises to up the ante significantly more than the previous two Peyton Reed-directed films, which told relatively small-scale (see what I did there?) stories about street-level heists, personal redemption, and visits to the mystical Quantum Realm with lower-tier villains like Yellowjacket and Ghost as primary antagonists. With the addition of a certain supervillain named Kang, however, "Quantumania" will prove to be a major (I apologize, the puns are just flying left and right today) step up in that regard.

Portrayed by the wonderfully charismatic Jonathan Majors ("Last Black Man in San Francisco," "Devotion"), the MCU's next Thanos-level big bad has already been introduced — or a variant of his, at least — in the Disney+ series "Loki." But where that version was known only as He Who Remains and presented a very laid-back and low-key (okay, okay, I'm done, I promise) personality to both Tom Hiddleston and Sophia Di Martino's Loki variants, the one who'll be wrecking everything in sight during "Quantumania" will issue a much more formidable challenge. In a new interview with Empire, Reed spilled the details on this version of Kang:

"I think it has a profound impact on the MCU. 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."

'He's a warrior and a strategist'

Our first proper look at "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" teased a family affair, putting Paul Rudd's Scott Lang, his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), and Evangeline Lilly's Hope Van Dyne squarely in harm's way when a Quantum Realm science experiment goes horribly wrong. Faced with wonders and adversaries beyond ordinary human conception, it'll be up to the hero who once saved the world from Thanos in "Avengers: Endgame" (well, let's give credit where it's due with that rat) to navigate the 616 timeline's first real introduction to Kang. What could go wrong?

Empire debuted a new image from the film, which you can see above, along with new quotes by director Peyton Reed. He goes on to explain the differences between this Kang and the one we saw before in "Loki":

"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."

Describing Kang as "an all-timer antagonist," Reed found a certain pleasure in pitting someone as small and easily dismissed as Ant-Man against a multiverse-level threat. As he put it, "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."

I, for one, would probably offer up Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye for the title of weakest Avenger, but the overall point remains. Ant-Man and Company are in for a wild ride, reiterating previous reports that "Quantumania" will be a can't-miss.

"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" will hit theaters on February 17, 2023.