Proving that Marvel has failed to listen to any of the criticisms regarding respecting source material leveled at comic book adaptations of every medium in recent years, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania writer Jeff Loveness has revealed that while he based the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Kang the Conqueror on his original stories, he made sure to throw audiences “a curveball” in order to keep audiences guessing.
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Loveness, whose most prominent screenwriting credits include over 200 episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and four episodes of Rick and Morty, opened up about his approach to adapting one of Marvel’s most powerful villains for the silver screen during a recent conversation with SFX Magazine (as shared to the internet courtesy of The Direct).
Asked by the magazine if he had done a “deep dive” into the history (no pun intended) of the time-traveling Fantastic Four and Avengers foe before conceptualizing his live-action interpretation, Loveness jovially exclaimed, “Too deep, too deep! I got way into the Rama-Tut and Scarlet Centurion stuff, trying to read my way through that, and the Celestial Madonna with Mantis!”
“That’s the joy of the character,” the writer added. “He is just this infinite snake eating infinite tails, a man literally at war against himself.”
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However, Loveness then admitted that thanks to Avengers: Endgame’s heavy reliance on time travel as a plot device, he felt the need to set the villain’s sights on the slightly more ambitious target of the multiverse in order to (ironically considering the character) avoid retreading the same narrative ground.
“I haven’t seen a time-traveling character done with such intricacy and exploration,” said Loveness. “I’m a little bummed because ‘Endgame’ did so much time travel, so you almost need to broaden him out a little bit too, maybe broaden out into the multiverse a little more, the dimensionality of the character, the limitless freedom he has while also being completely uprooted from his time and himself. Is it just going to all fall apart again because another version of him can destroy it as well? What’s the purpose of building Rome if you are going to burn it down the next day, because they want to have their own Rome?”
But while such slight alterations are understandable when adapting a story crafted for one medium to another, Loveness then immediately torpedoed the brief good-will he had culled among fans with his claims of extensive research by revealing that though he “certainly took a ton from the comics,” he believed that “the joy of these movies is you also get to put some of yourself into it, you get to put a completely new spin because if you just do a 100% comic book adaptation people know all the tricks and what to expect.”
“You have to use that as a foundation and then throw a curveball,” concluded Loveness. “I’ve tried to lean into him being a more interesting character than people expect, hopefully.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is prepped to kick off the MCU’s ‘Phase 5’ on February 17th.
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