The Inverse Interview

Kang Dynasty Will Unleash the “Next Generation” of Avengers, Quantumania Writer Says

Marvel scribe Jeff Loveness unpacks Kang’s loneliness and teases the MCU’s future.

Jeff Loveness at the premiere of "Ant Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" held at Regency Village Theatre...
Mark Von Holden/Variety/Getty Images

Before he stepped into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jeff Loveness cut his screenwriting teeth on comedies like Miracle Workers and Rick and Morty. But penning the script for Marvel’s latest, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, was no laughing matter.

The first of Marvel’s Phase Five slate introduces the verbose multiverse villain, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who’s primed to be Marvel’s biggest bad guy since Thanos. At first, Loveness thought he had Kang in the bag.

“I come from comedy and TV. Your first instinct is to make him kind of playful, make him fun,” Loveness tells Inverse. “It’s an Ant-Man movie, right?”

But when Loveness saw Jonathan Majors play a ”variant” of Kang in the Disney+ series Loki in 2021, the game changed. “As soon as I saw Loki, [director Peyton Reed] and I went, ‘Oh, no.’ That’s already been done. Let’s do straight-up Kang the Conqueror. Don’t make him a broken, goofy variant.”

In an interview with Inverse, Loveness unpacks Kang and what his presence might mean for the future of the MCU — a future that includes Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, a 2025 movie Loveness is currently writing.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Warning: Spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ahead.

Quantumania screenwriter Jeff Loveness, on set with Kathryn Newton (as “Cassie Lang”).

Marvel Studios

How do you even begin to write a character like Kang?

I think the big challenge was to fulfill the threat and promise of what he was saying at the end of Loki. We didn't have too many conversations [with the Loki writers] directly, but it was just picking up the baton and kind of throwing ourselves into the arena.

In other interviews, you’ve described Kang as lonely. That’s a funny thing to say about a character with an entire council of themselves. How does loneliness drive Kang?

I think those “great men” of history are lonely in the times they live in. That's why they break those times. They feel this compulsion to go on a crusade across the ocean and make a name for themselves. They want to be remembered, and they want to leave something behind, even if that means burning down civilization to do it. Kang can go anywhere, anytime, in any universe. What does he actually have?

Is there a scene with Kang in Quantumania that illustrates this point?

I tried to exemplify that in that quiet scene with him and Michelle Pfeiffer [as Janet van Dyne], right before she learns the truth about him. They have this heart-to-heart talking about the daughter she misses. All she wants to do is get back to her. Michelle is incredible in it, but when you look at Jonathan, you see this “Time God” realizing how valuable time is to this person. It’s a king realizing how much a peasant values their daily bread. You see this shift in him.

He’s not lonely in that scene. That’s why he feels a connection with her. He doesn’t have to be Kang the Conqueror, he gets to be a regular person. That’s why the schism between them is so severe. It’s like Xavier and Magneto, you are not going to murder your best friend because then you are truly alone. We’ll be exploring more of this. There’s plenty of him out there, but each of these guys just reminds him of how alone he is.

Jonathan Majors returns to the Marvel franchise as Kang in Quantumania. The actor played a variant of Kang in 2021’s Loki.

Marvel Studios

There are a lot of writers and producers at Marvel Studios who, like yourself, previously worked on Rick and Morty. What is it about that show that seems to incubate so much talent for Marvel?

I couldn't tell you. I think the multiverse knowledge kind of helps. How to write multiverse and time travel and stuff like that.

But, and not including myself here, they hire pretty good writers. They hire pros who know story structure. It really is that Dan Harmon-Joseph Campbell story circle, “Hero's Journey” stuff. They really boil that into you, and it’s really helpful. It helps you track stories. Rick and Morty teaches you how to do story structure, which is helpful for Marvel.

We’ve seen a lot of new heroes in Phase Four, and we’ll meet more in Phase Five. Which of the heroes we’ve met would you say are taking the lead against Kang in The Kang Dynasty?

I can't say on a plot level. We’re still figuring a lot of that out. But they’ve introduced a lot of fun characters, and the promise of this movie is to do the next generation of Avengers.

“This is our chance to do Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

The benefit of making 30 Marvel movies for almost 20 years is that people have grown up with these movies. It’s not a bad thing that Marvel movies have been around for a long time. That just means we’re growing up. People get to have their jumping-off points and their jumping-on points. There is history and a legacy, in the same way Star Trek works. This is our chance to do Star Trek: The Next Generation. This is our chance to do a brand new take people are going to love more than the original.

The next Avengers movie could introduce the next generation of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Marvel Studios

On that subject, what era of Marvel did you personally grow up with?

I’m a hardcore X-Men fan. My era is the ’90s, that’s just when I grew up with it. But I can jump back and read that Chris Claremont stuff [from the ’70s and ‘80s]. And I’m like, “Oh, this is incredible! This is what tees up all this stuff!” It’s a rich world. All this to say, I love that we have these new heroes that people might be overlooking or not thinking they’ve got what it takes, or all the chatter of people saying stuff. But that to me is the challenge.

In the post-credits scene, we see the Council of Kangs. Rama-Tut and Scarlet Centurion come from the comics, but regarding the other variants of Kang, did you imagine who appears at the end?

Yes. If you pause and look closely, you will see a couple of Easter eggs, because there are endless Kang variants from the comics to pull from. But we tossed in a few of our own and slowly built out the army. We really wanted to nail the vibe of John Buscema’s art [from Avengers #292]. So there are specific Kangs in there and we’ll be meeting some of them. Certainly, there are some modeled off of Centurion, Immortus, and Rama-Tut, but there’s much more to discover and more we haven’t met.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters.

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