‘Loki’ Director Kate Herron on Casting Jonathan Majors with Peyton Reed and Sylvie’s “Horrible Goodbye”

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Hollywood Reporter 17 July, 2021 - 05:26pm 43 views

Who is he who remains in Marvel Comics?

And Marvel fans who tuned in got a special treat: Jonathan Majors, who's set to appear in Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania as Kang the Conqueror, making his MCU debut as He Who Remains, a variant of Kang. Marvel EntertainmentLoki: Jonathan Majors on Playing He Who Remains and the Time Keepers

Director Kate Herron also confirms their version of Majors’ character was not Kang the Conqueror

Even though Marvel confirmed last December that Jonathan Majors was joining the MCU as Kang the Conqueror in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” he only got that role because he was going to first appear in “Loki,” which he did during Wednesday’s season finale.

At least that’s the story according to “Loki” director Kate Herron.

“It was such a crazy situation. I was in a casting conversation with Kevin Feige, the studio, and Peyton [Reed], and I was like how am I at this table?,” Herron told TheWrap. “I think Jonathan was just an actor that we all loved. And really, to be honest, it was just a case of seeing if he was interested, which he was and then just trying to make it work with his schedule, because he’s a very busy man.”

Herron said that once Majors was on board to play He Who Remains, who in the comics, is not a version of Nathanial Richards aka Kang, he was pretty quickly cast as the time-traveling villain for the third “Ant-Man” film. “We cast him for the role at the same time,” she said. “When he was cast in that, it was because we knew he was going to be in our show first.”

Once Majors was on board to play Kang, they changed He Who Remains to be a variant of Kang.

“He’s a unique character, there’s a character called He Who Remains in the comics, but our version of that is completely different,” Herron said, confirming He Who Remains is a variant of Kang the Conqueror. “He’s a variant of that character.”

Considering the idea of the multiverse and Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer’s comics history with Kang, many fans expected Majors to show up during “Loki,” at least in a cameo role. “People might have thought maybe he’ll be in one scene in episode six,” Herron said.

For a breakdown of Wednesday’s truly wild finale, click here.

Read full article at Hollywood Reporter

What If Black Widow Had Released In Phase 2 or 3? How The MCU Would Change

Screen Rant 17 July, 2021 - 02:27pm

The solo movie Black Widow takes place at the very beginning of MCU Phase 3, but if it had been part of Phase 2 or 3, it would have changed the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Set during Captain America: Civil War, the movie explores Natasha Romanoff’s previously untold story and her history with the Red Room. Black Widow was the first movie released as part of Phase 4, following on from the MCU’s first canonical TV shows WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki.

Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff has now appeared in nine movies and all four phases of the MCU, having made her first appearance in Iron Man 2. Romanoff’s death in Avengers: Endgame before appearing in a standalone movie required this entry to take place out of chronological order. The movie introduces a host of previously unknown characters including Red Guardian, Melina, Yelena, Taskmaster, and Dreykov, as well as reintroducing Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.

When making Black Widow, writers were constrained by what already existed within the timeline. While they were largely able to avoid plot aspects that could have drastically changed the course of later events, the movie introduced characters whose absence from later films seems strange. If Marvel had made the movie as part of Phase 2 or Phase 3, the writers would not have been limited by the same constraints (including Black Widow needing to set up future MCU properties) and could have included the repercussions of Black Widow’s plot in later movies.

If Black Widow had taken place before the MCU's Sokovia Accords came into effect, it could still have focused on Romanoff’s back story, attack on the Red Room, and reconnection with her family. The major change that would have been necessary was that this would not have been an entirely solo outing. Taking place at the start of Phase 3, Black Widow is missing Romanoff’s close friend, Hawkeye, because he has taken a deal to avoid jail time and be able to be with his family. A Phase 2 outing for both of them would have strengthened their on-screen bond, particularly as Barton is so family-oriented and the film shows Romanoff coming to accept the notion of her found families.

Black Widow suggests that all the other players, from Dreykov’s Black Widows to Red Guardian, have been in the same place for years. This would mean that if the movie’s plot took place in early Phase 2, those characters would be able to appear or at least be referenced in other movies. This would have made the biggest difference in Captain America: Winter Soldier, which featured Romanoff heavily but also focuses on a Russian super-soldier program and mind control.

The Winter Soldier’s mind control is psychological rather than chemical, so her experience with freeing the Black Widows would only have been passingly relevant, but her knowledge of Russian super-soldiers would have come up with a possible appearance from Red Guardian himself. Black Widow does not explore the origins of Red Guardian’s super strength, but Romanoff certainly would have known about his strength since childhood as she sees him toss a trailer out of the way of their airplane. Although Romanoff famously plays things close to her chest, her not mentioning her knowledge of Russia having a successful super-soldier program during Captain America: Winter Soldier feels like a continuity error.

Romanoff’s other appearance in Phase 2 is in Avengers: Age of Ultron. While the events of Black Widow would have had little effect on the main plot of this film, it could have had a larger consequence on Romanoff’s treatment of the Hulk during the final battle. Her choice to push Bruce Banner off a ledge to force him to transform into Hulk is based on her belief that the mission is more important than individual people and relationships. However, Black Widow shows her learning to embrace these connections more strongly as she allows herself to be more vulnerable, which would make this mercenary decision harder to follow through on.

Had Black Widow been exactly the same movie that Marvel released in Phase 4 but was released at the time of its events instead, then it would have caused some changes to Romanoff’s final chronological appearances in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. There are multiple valid reasons why it might have been difficult for Red Guardian, Melina, Yelena, or the Black Widows to appear at the fight of Wakanda in Infinity War, and there are several characters and groups who are missing from these scenes. But had the characters been established by the MCU already, then they certainly would have had cameo appearances during the final battle of Endgame.

The larger change post-Black Widow would have been a tonal shift for how Romanoff’s story was understood. Romanoff never mentions her family of Avengers-level agents, despite calling on all the forces she can at the start of Endgame to keep peace across the planet and beyond. With Black Widow released prior to these films, her family would appear or be mentioned here and be able to help in the fight. If they continued to be missing, then it would suggest a more tragic situation: the family that Black Widow had reconnected with had all been snapped by Thanos.

Having her family snapped would have caused changes in how Romanoff’s death played out because Hawkeye’s family was snapped as well. Under similar circumstances to each other, Romanoff threw herself into working to try and help everyone who was still around while Barton went on a revenge-killing spree of everyone he deemed to have survived the snap unjustly. Their disparate reactions to these familial losses would have played as more direct foils against each other and could have driven a wedge between them. During their fight on Vormir, Romanoff’s own family would have been brought up, and not just Barton’s.

The most important change that would have happened by releasing Black Widow in MCU Phase 3 is that it would have made her death feel more justified. Her death in Endgame came as a shock to many audiences as the character’s arc still felt incomplete with a lot left to explore. If her backstory and relationships had already been filled in, then it would have allowed Black Widow’s Endgame death to be the end of her story and the completion of a full arc, rather than the death of a protagonist who was never fully realized.

Kang The Conqueror's 10 Strongest Comic Powers, Ranked

Screen Rant 17 July, 2021 - 01:30pm

Loki introduced "He Who Remains" in the season finale, which many fans have inferred is none other than Kang The Conqueror, one of the greatest Avengers supervillains from Marvel Comics. Kang The Conqueror is unique in that he doesn't have any superpowers of his own, but achieves his ruthless aims with advanced technology and fierce determination.

Since his debut in Avengers #8 in 1963, Kang has menaced the Marvel Universe in several incarnations, some of which have different abilities and attributes. Whether it's Kang himself, Rama Tut, or Iron Lad from the Young Avengers, Kang has a broad array of powers to use against his enemies and sometimes, himself.

Richards actually builds off of the time travel technology of Doctor Doom, who invented the Time Platform in the present day of Marvel Comics. Richards then used that technology to travel forward and backward in time, developing even greater technologies as he went.

He has used this to his advantage against his enemies in the present day, becoming a persistent threat across decades and even centuries. It's compounded by the fact he has so many variants, some of which are older or younger than the prime Kang.

He has demonstrated working knowledge of history and technology from numerous timelines and realities. He also has shown that he can manipulate the Cosmic Cube, a staggering feat given that the device is beyond the understanding of all but a few individuals in the comics.

He invented anti-gravity floating chairs first seen in his debut appearance in the comics and other unique weapons, including the Damocles Base, his giant sword-shaped spaceship that he launches his conquests from.

Kang's enhanced strength comes courtesy of the 40th century, where he adopted a highly advanced synthetic alloy to produce his suit. With his armor, Kang has been able to go toe to toe with many Avengers in battle, which, unlike some villains, he actually prefers to do.

This field can extend out to varying lengths depending on the variant of Kang the Avengers are dealing with. The field is impervious to most conventional attacks, and can even absorb the energy of a nuclear blast.

Like Kang's armor, Iron Lad also derives super-strength from the suit. Iron Lad will likely appear in the MCU at some point given that the Young Avengers are a team that the MCU seems to be building towards with the introduction of Kid Loki and other characters.

One example is a neutrino-ray warhead missile launcher, a weapon of mass destruction that Kang miniaturized into a handgun. Another is the Growing Man, an android Kang acquired from one of his conquered worlds in the future and routinely leveraged in the past.

Despite the fact that he was on a team that included one of the best Loki variants, Kid Loki, this made Iron Lad one of the most powerful Young Avengers. The armor also could change shape and function according to Iron Lad's thoughts, and even operate independently of him, like some versions of the Iron Man armor.

He used this weapon against the Fantastic Four in his first appearance in issue #19 of the series in 1963. Ironically, the issue appeared in September of 1963, the same month as Avengers #8, Kang's debut. It would be many years before the two were connected in continuity.

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