According to director Peyton Reed, the abundance of Kangs seen in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s pair of post-credit scenes is a tease of things to come – specifically an over-reliance on the concept of ‘multiversal variants – for the Marvel Cinematic Universe
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As is tradition for Marvel Studios, the widely-panned third-entry in the Ant-Man trilogy closes out its run time with a mid- and post-credit scene, both of which revolve around the film’s aforementioned protagonist, Kang the Conqueror (as portrayed by Hollywood’s latest ‘forced flavor of the month’, Jonathan Majors).
In the first, as multiple Kangs begin to teleport into a large arena (itself appropriately themed in their own image), three specific versions of the villain – Pharaoh Rama-Tut, the Scarlet Centurion, and Immortus – are seen discussing the fate of the film’s ‘antagonist Kang’.
“The exiled one,” begins the Centurion, clad in a blue outfit rather than his traditional scarlet red. “He’s dead.”
“You’re sure he’s dead?” asks Rama-Tut, only to be met with the curt reply from his counterpart, “If it wasn’t true I wouldn’t call you.”
“It must really beat you up that you’re not the one who killed him,” taunts back Rama-Tut, only to be interrupted by Immortus.
“None of us killed him. They did,” chastises the raspy-voiced Kang before warning, “They’re beginning to touch the multiverse and if we let them, they will take everything we have.”
“So let’s stop wasting time,” he then orders his companions. “We’re late.”As the camera pans out to reveal the arena filled with an overwhelming number of Kangs, the Centurion questions “How many did you call?”, to which Immortus confirms “All of us”.
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In the second, a clip from the upcoming second season of Loki opens with another Kang variant known as Victor Timely taking the stage in the early 1900s to show-off a new invention – an old-timey version of his ship’s power core – which he advertises as his “Astounding Temporal Marvel!”
Talking with a strange, syncopated speech pattern, Timely tells the crowd, “[time] shapes our lives…but perhaps we can change it.”
The camera then cuts to a terrified Loki, who confirms to Agent Mobius, “That’s him” (referring to his meeting of He Who Remains at the conclusion of the show’s first season).
“You made him sound like this terrifying figure,” a baffled Mobius replies. “He is,” the shaken God of Mischief warns in return.
Speaking to his decision to go all-in on Kang for both of the film’s post-credits scenes during a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight’s Ash Crossan, Reed explained, “Jonathan Majors, I think, just leapt off the screen as Kang the Conqueror. And it really felt like, ‘OK, this is pointing the way toward, you know, a whole new phase for Marvel.'”
“We knew we wanted to sort of just give a tiny taste of the potential of what some of these Kang variants are and brief nods to [Pharaoh] Rama-Tut, [Scarlet] Centurion, Immortus,” he continued, though he declined to refer to any of these three as their respective ‘prime’ incarnation, instead suggesting, “Maybe they’re variants of those versions.”
Offering up the film’s depiction Rama-Tut as support for his ‘variants’ idea, Reed asserted that the Pharaoh was “just this sort of ancient Egyptian version in the comics, but then we sort of bent [him] up a little bit and made him this very strange sort of bionic variant of Rama-Tut.”
Turning to the on-screen assembly of Council of Kangs, Reed detailed, “We wanted to give three distinct feelings and set up the idea of this triumvirate inside this sort of star chamber and now that Kang the Conqueror has met the fate he meets at the end of this movie, ‘What does it mean for the larger sort of political body of Kangs, right?'”
“What happens in the sort of Godfather type thing of this power struggle of ‘Well, why was he, you know, in the movie?'” he said. “We revealed that he was exiled into the quantum realm and why and who did it. But [we] sort of starting to get into sort of the political aspect of how the Kangs relate to each other, which I think holds really strong potential for Phase Five.”
Eventually asked by Crossan if there were any particular reason Rama-Tut, the Scarlet Centurion, and Immortus were specifically chosen to be the ‘featured Council members’, Reed revealed that their identities were selected by Marvel’s new apparent golden boy, Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty scriptwriter Jeff Loveness, who “is starting to write or is now well into writing” the next proper outing for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
“What we wanted was to sort of tease the audience,” he detailed. “But always my idea was, ‘Let’s end this thing with that classic panel of the Council of Kangs and do our version of that with all these different Jonathans.'”
As for the Loki teaser, Reed briefly confirmed that not only was the post-credits scene “a cut-down version of a scene from season 2”, but that it’s inclusion “really was to sort of tease the audience with the idea of like, ‘In Phase Five, you’re going to meet a lot of different variants.'”
“As the MCU has been steering towards these multiversal stories… it made sense to sort of adapt [Kang] for that,” concluded the Ant-Man trilogy director. “And it worked with what was going to go on in Loki, so very early on as they were developing Loki and we were developing this movie, it just made sense.”
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is currently on track – though its roster has yet to even be teased – for a May 2nd, 2025 release date.
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