Could Kang appear in the MCU before Ant-Man 3?

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Actor Jonathan Majors attends the Build Series to discuss "White Boy Rick" at Build Studio on September 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Actor Jonathan Majors attends the Build Series to discuss "White Boy Rick" at Build Studio on September 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images) /

Kang the Conqueror will be the big bad in Ant-Man 3 – a movie that currently does not have a release date. With many MCU films scheduled to arrive before Ant-Man and the Wasp team up to take down the time traveler, could Kang show up in an earlier film?

Marvel fans have been awaiting some big casting news lately, with the upcoming Disney Plus shows and the Spider-Man 3 multiverse speculations and yet the announcement of the Ant-Man 3 villain was rather unexpected. Not only were we informed that Kang the Conqueror, a major threat to the Avengers in the comics, would attempt to conquer the tiny team of Ant-Man and Wasp in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that Jonathan Majors will be playing him. Majors has been catching producers’ eyes for several years now and was particularly poignant in The Last Black Man in San Francisco.

So why was this news more surprising than other casting announcements? Well, there are eight Marvel Cinematic Universe movies scheduled to release in the next two years and Ant-Man 3 is not one of them. Could this be a clear sign that Kang is destined to make waves throughout the MCU, instead of being designated as a singular antagonist for one film?

When Josh Brolin was cast as Thanos, it was for the long game, culminating in a big Avengers showdown. But first he had a small role in Guardians in the Galaxy and cameoed at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ant-Man 3 is definitely not Avengers 5, however casting for a project that is further down the line signifies that Marvel has something up their sleeves.

We still do not know which characters will be the main villains in Spider-Man 3 (Jamie Foxx’s Electro will likely not be the central bad guy), Thor: Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Black Panther 2, and Captain Marvel 2. Ant-Man 3, as of now, will not come out until after all of those films. And Kang is a much more impactful villain than previous Ant-Man foes, Yellowjacket and Ghost. The fact that Kang was cast before several other antagonists, and that he is a major player, suggests that he is being set up as more than just an Ant-Man movie character.

Could Kang appear in earlier MCU movies?

So if not only intended for Ant-Man 3, where might Kang time travel to first? Spider-Man swings back into theaters on December 17, 2021 and Doctor Strange’s multiverse madness strikes the following March. The former hints at some sort of multiverse by including a character that appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man universe, Electro. And, not surprisingly, Doctor Strange will also be a part of the new Spidey story.

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This direction in the MCU may be the perfect opportunity for Kang to begin his conquering. True, Kang is a time-traveler as opposed to a multiverse jumper, but based on what has been established so far in the Ant-Man and Avengers movies, the two concepts intertwine with each other. Kang doesn’t like anyone but him manipulating time – something that Ant-Man was responsible for in Avengers: Endgame, so he might have a problem with Doctor Strange or Scarlet Witch messing with the multiverse as well.

Elizabeth Olsen will star alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and we may learn more about how all of this will play out in her upcoming mini-series WandaVision. It would most likely be too late for Jonathan Majors to film a Kang appearance for WandaVision, yet fans may want to look out for a potential Kang Easter Egg anyway.

Something else to keep in mind is that release dates keep shifting more than usual in the present environment. So even though there are currently four MCU films set for 2021 and four for 2022, Ant-Man 3 may take one of the latter’s place. With the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Kevin Feige and Ryan Coogler may need more time to develop Black Panther 2, so swapping Ant-Man 3 into a mid-2022 slot to give Black Panther 2 another year seems like both an understandable and viable option that may at least be considered by Marvel.

Ant-Man 3 potentially releasing earlier than expected is another way we may see Kang on the big-screen sooner rather than later.

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Would you like to see Kang show up in another MCU movie prior to his appearance in Ant-Man 3? Let us know in the comments below!