WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR LOKI
Throughout the first season of Loki (yes, the first season – Season 2 is officially on the way) the driving force of the narrative was one key question: who’s behind the TVA, the mysterious organisation steering and clipping and pruning the flow of time? As the final episode revealed, it’s a mysterious figure known as He Who Remains, a (relatively benevolent) variant of upcoming mega-villain Kang The Conqueror – played by the brilliant Jonathan Majors in an entertainingly eccentric performance. If Majors’ casting as Kang has long been rumoured and reported for the upcoming Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, his involvement in Loki was kept quiet until the episode aired – and now, the actor has spoken for the first time not just about playing He Who Remains, but about playing Kang going forward.
As ever, Marvel marked the end of its latest Disney+ series with an episode of its making-of documentary series Assembled – and in its closing minutes, Majors popped up to discuss his involvement in the finale. If you felt his turn as He Who Remains was part Willy Wonka, part the Great And Powerful Oz, that’s exactly what he was aiming for. “Some cultural pop references were, of course, The Wizard Of Oz, Sunset Boulevard, Citizen Kane, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” he explains of the character. “The archetype of the wizard and what happens to him when he gets bored, you know? And he becomes a trickster. I think when we meet He Who Remains, he’s on the borderline of those two things. You don’t really know where he’s at. And I think the ambiguity of that is one of the wicked things about it.”
If the Loki finale makes it clear that Majors will be back as a far more villainous incarnation of the character in the future, the Loki finale never actually mentioned intergalactic despot Kang by name – but on Assembled, the actor himself did. “I think with He Who Remains, the objective for me was to give me the largest canvas possible,” he said of his introduction into the MCU. “And then from that, as Kang begins to rear his head and do his deeds, in so many ways he has no choice but to be in opposition or to be different from He Who Remains.” In short, Majors seems to be saying that each variant of his MCU character (and there will potentially be many) will have its own distinct personality and allow him to play different shades – with He Who Remains being just the beginning. “That was the thing that grabbed me and pulled me into the role – the fact that Kang lives in so many iterations,” he explains. “As He Who Remains said, ‘Reincarnation, baby.’”
Watch the full hour-long Assembled: The Making Of Loki documentary now on Disney+, where you’ll also find all six episodes of Loki streaming now. And if you want more explorations into the entire series, check out the Empire Spoiler Special Podcast – with deep-dives into every instalment of the show, and an upcoming interview special with a very mischievous guest that you won’t want to miss.
READ MORE: How Loki Set The Stage For The MCU’s Future