The MCU’s newest big bad waxes lyrical on ‘The Dark Knight’

ant-man and the wasp quantumania kang
Photo via Marvel Studios

As MCU Phase 5 baddie Kang, Jonathan Majors knows a thing or two about appearing in a Marvel movie. His role as a villain gives him a unique perspective on the process, and he recently shared his thoughts on another comic book movie: The Dark Knight.

In a lengthy essay on the subject for Variety, he spoke about how the movie’s characters – Joker and The Batman – are basically the same person reacting differently to their environment, with one choosing a so-called evil path and one reaching for goodness. It’s actually a very human essay that gets to the core of why we love these type of movies so much.

Who knew he was so eloquent? Check out this paragraph:

“Did you notice how the eyes of both Christian Bale’s Batman and Ledger’s Joker are painted similarly, blackened by what looks like the love child of oil and charcoal, as if these two men, as dissimilar as they may appear, have seen the same things and perhaps see them the same way?” Beautiful stuff.

Majors starts his essay by describing the feeling of being an 18-year-old and attending a midnight screening for the movie. He uses Ledger’s line from the movie “And here we go,” as a throughline, and he compares it to his own experience being changed by watching it.

“We settle in, get cozy, and what transpires between that screen and my 18-year-old self to this day is remembered and recalled with the vigor of youth and tenacity of self-exploration. So, ‘here we go.'”  Sure, this could be considered trite and simply the musings of a rich actor who’s completely isolated from reality, but it doesn’t read that way.

You can tell Majors genuinely loves and respects the art of movies and what they can do for the human soul.

The movie, he said, “entertains at the highest cinematic rung while simultaneously challenging its audience with each frame to reach higher in their own self and social knowledge, teasing our retinas with color palettes and patterns that prescribe meaning, and incites debate in our imaginations and the collective subconscious.”

All right, somebody has a thesaurus but pretentiousness aside it really is a hopeful sentiment. His take on Batman and The Joker is actually very insightful and human. You can tell Majors thinks about this kind of stuff regularly.

“After all, one, Batman, is the ‘good guy’ and the other, the Joker, the ‘bad guy.’ What made them different is what they decided to do after seeing and reckoning with a Gotham that was just as morally challenging, ambiguous and fluid as the characters that populate its police force.”

Human to Majors means exhibiting all of the flaws and gray areas of being a person and trying to be good while others refuse to do so. His message is hopeful: “And that the few things that can truly guide us are our empathy and hope for a greater tomorrow, with a dogged belief in the goodness of ourselves, others and our own personal Gotham. Follow the goodness. Believe in the goodness.” The whole essay is worth a read.

We’ll be able to see if Majors nails these character complexities when he makes his MCU movie debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which releases on Feb. 17 of next year.