Jonathan Majors’ Favorite Superhero Movie Isn’t From Marvel

In spite of being one of Marvel's next big villains, Jonathan Majors believes The Dark Knight is one of the greatest films ever made.

By Michileen Martin | Published


Jonathan Majors may be playing Marvel’s next big supervillain, but when invited by Variety to submit an essay to its 100 Greatest Movies of All Time series, he didn’t write about Iron Man or Logan. Instead, Jonathan Majors shared the experience of seeing The Dark Knight when he was 18 years old. Painting a wonderful picture of his first viewing of the middle chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Majors says the film showed him “a beauty and complexity of humanity hitherto unwitnessed in cinema and dare I say in my own existence.”

According to the essay, it was with his girlfriend at the time and her “very, very cool father” that Jonathan Majors caught his first viewing of The Dark Knight at a midnight showing in Dallas, Texas. He writes that he was “gobsmacked” by what he saw on the big screen and that he “sat in the cinema long after the credits rolled” considering what he’d just taken in.

The Dark Knight is one of those rare films that 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.”

-Jonathan Majors on The Dark Knight

Jonathan Majors implies that the hero and villain of Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight are two sides of the proverbial coin. He notes that “the eyes of both Christian Bale’s Batman and Ledger’s Joker are painted similarly… as if these two men… have seen the same things and perhaps see them the same way?” He argues the film delivers the “impregnable truth” that “[l]ife and people are beautifully complicated and evolving.”

heath ledger christian bale
Heath Ledger and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight (2008)

Throughout his essay, it’s clear Jonathan Majors was profoundly impacted by The Dark Knight, and it’s difficult to imagine any colleagues from Marvel’s or DC’s films objecting. At least in terms of the movies, the so-called rivalry between the two superhero narratives has always been more present in the fans than it has when it comes to the filmmakers or the actors. It isn’t as if stars like J.K. Simmons, Michael Keaton, Willem Dafoe, Zachary Levi, Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Christian Bale, and more haven’t appeared in adaptations of comics from both of the iconic companies.

Next year’s Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania is not expected to be the same caliber of film as The Dark Knight, but that hasn’t stopped fans from being excited for Jonathan Majors’s big screen debut as Marvel’s Kang the Conqueror. He kind-of-sort-of-not-really played the villain — or a version of him — in Season 1 of Disney+’s Loki, referred to as He Who Remains. According to what he says in the Season 1 finale, the villain he plays in Ant-Man & The Wasp is one of many Multiversal variants of the Loki character.