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iFeature | MARVEL STUDIOS’ KANG DYNASTY HITS "MAJORS" SNAG

A Developing News Feature


The verdict is in and it’s not good for actor Jonathan Majors who was found guilty of assault charges and has been dropped by Marvel Studios leaving “The Kang Dynasty” arc in flux and lost in the multiverse! What’s next?


Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. © 2022 MARVEL.

If they could only turn back time! For several months now actor Jonathan Majors has been embroiled in litigation on assault charges brought upon him by his ex-girlfriend, Grace Jabberi after an altercation in the late night hours in Manhattan. The actor was arrested in March, and the verdict came this week. On Dec 18 (as reported in variety.com), Majors was found guilty of two misdemeanor counts of harassment and assault, with one count of intentional assault in the third degree and one count of aggravated harassment in the second degree.


Although Majors and his defense team denied assaulting Jabbari, and have alleged that she was the more aggressive one in the incident in question, the actor may now face some jail time, while the appeals process proceeds. Hours after the court’s decision, it was formally announced that Marvel Studios had formally released Majors from continuing in his role as Kang, The Conqueror, considered to have been the major antagonist in the current major arc connecting the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now leaving the “Multiverse Saga” twisting in a conundrum not of its own making.


Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. © 2022 MARVEL.
Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror in Marvel Studios' ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

Jonathon Majors had come into the role in the first season of the Disney+ Original Series Loki starring Tom Hiddleston. Majors makes a significant impression introduced as a “variant” (an alternate version) of a time-traveling character who finds himself trapped at the end of time and is unceremoniously executed by one of Loki’s variants. When the character turned up again in the theatrical release Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania his true identity is revealed as Kang — one of the Marvel Universe's most complex and notorious adversaries of the mighty Avengers.


Hardly making a dent with critics, the film wasn’t big at the box office, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige immediately went to work with his creative team to retool the trajectory of the cinematic universe. Still, as for Majors, he continued to prove a significant talent with high-profile roles in Creed III and returned to the second season of Loki as another variant of the character he established the first time around. Further solidifying their confidence in Majors and his on-screen presence, the MCU appeared poised to take on the villain in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty pushed for a release in 2026.


Rewriting History


Unfortunately for Majors, support for him in the industry almost immediately took a turn when the assault charges were filed against him in March. After his arrest, the actor’s management, Entertainment 360 immediately dropped him as a client, with the publicity firm, the Lede Company also following suit. Other film projects that Majors was set to participate in, including a film with Spike Lee have been put on hold, and now Marvel Studios is faced with how to proceed with their MCU plans. The easiest solution is to consider a recast of the role of Kang and remain on track.


Several names have already been batted around as to who might be able to replace Majors, who has before these allegations proven himself a talent heavyweight and critics’ favorite. Among those stars who would be lead contenders, Will Smith has been considered the actor with the most gravitas to step in, but Smith may still feel somewhat radioactive after the slap heard around the world at the Oscars — the same year the actor won his Best Actor award for his role in King Richard. This candidate might seem somewhat short-sighted on the studio's part, and some might say Will Smith is less likely to land the role.


Other possibilities to move in and keep the Marvel Cinematic “Multiverse” arc on track could include Denzel Washington, although this Hollywood legend may be less inclined to assume a role that has so well been established by Majors across multiple features. It’s unlikely that Washington will want to move into a role like this in the MCU when the actor has the presence to flesh out another character all of his own. Some have even suggested that Gugu Mbatha-Raw who portrays Ravonna on Loki is the best actor to inherit the reign, especially given her character’s connection to Kang.


Yet still, other actors that have been tossed into the mix include Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who plays the role of Black Manta in the DC Studios franchise film Aquaman, and Aldis Hodge, who brought Hawkman to the big screen in Black Adam. Both actors are more than capable of flexing the necessary muscle and are far more contemporaries to Majors, so they're assuming the mantle of Kang, or one of the villain’s variants would be justified. Aldis Hodge would be the best candidate and would certainly feel the most able to fill the boots. He has demonstrated a star presence to rival that of Majors for certain.


Get your “FansEyeView of a previously unseen Alternate Post-Credit Scene from Iron Man presented by Kevin Feige:



In this previously unreleased alternate version that was meant for the stinger after the first Iron Man feature film, when Nice Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) visits Tony Stark, the super-spy is determined to recruit him to take on some threats to the world that suggests the existence of a certain friendly neighborhood web-slinger and some children of the atom loose on the world.


A Secret War is Coming…


With Hollywood still gathering its senses following the recent writers and SAG union strikes, a pause in production wouldn’t be the worst thing and provide the creative buffer that Marvel Studios needs after some serious box office setbacks. The under-performing The Marvels starring Brie Larson may be the rallying call necessary for the studio to take a tighter look at the quality versus the quantity of the product that has been released; audiences are perhaps feeling exhausted keeping pace with the MCU, or are suffering from genre-fatigue in general.


Among the options that Marvel Studios is discussing is reverse engineering much of the direction of the “Multiverse Saga” entirely and pulling out of the bag another villain altogether who may be poised to make its MCU debut. With the Fantastic Four franchise ready for a reboot into the MCU (the film is slated for a release in 2025), many are speculating that the FF’s greatest adversary, Doctor Doom might steer the franchise into a new course and much deadlier territory. With the as-yet cryptic “Secret Wars” that are also on the horizon. This would completely give the MCU some room to breathe and open the window for some serious story reexamining that might reignite the imagination.


It’s all we can hope for from the fabled House of Ideas!


#StayTuned This is an ongoing story with developments in constant motion that we will be staying on top of.


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