The news broke yesterday that Jonathan Majors had become the first new addition to the cast of Ant-Man 3, and came with the added caveat that he could be playing Kang the Conqueror. As one of the most famous and iconic villains in the Marvel back catalogue, one that’s been heavily rumored to be heading to the big screen in recent months, Kang’s debut may have huge implications for the entire shared universe.
Scott Lang’s third solo outing doesn’t seem like the obvious place to introduce a bad guy of Kang’s magnitude, especially when the character has been linked as the next Thanos-level threat for the Avengers, but even more exciting is the possibility that it could potentially start planting the seeds for the Fantastic Four to make their way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Director Peyton Reed has already teased that Ant-Man 3 will be bigger in scale than the last two movies, and the filmmaker also has previous ties with the aforementioned superhero team having once pitched Fox a 1960s-set adventure before they decided the best idea was to hand the keys to Josh Trank instead, which didn’t exactly go as planned.
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Furthermore, in the comic books, Kang was originally Nathaniel Richards, a descendant of Reed Richards from the 31st Century. The Ant-Man franchise’s heavy reliance on pushing scientific boundaries had already led to widespread speculation that Marvel’s First Family could be introduced in the third installment as well, long before Majors’ casting was announced.
While we shouldn’t expect Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch and Thing to show up in the third act and save the day, the connections are too obvious to ignore. And even a couple of Easter Eggs or indirect references would be enough to hint that the Fantastic Four exist in the MCU and aren’t too far away from gracing our screens for a fifth time with a fourth different lineup.