In a decision that will have massive consequences across multiple movies and television series, numerous outlets are reporting that Marvel has dropped Jonathan Majors from his role as Kang the Conqueror in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Earlier today, Majors was found guilty of reckless assault in the third degree and harassment over an incident that occurred last March. (Majors was found not guilty of intentional assault in the third degree and aggravated harassment in the second degree.)

Although Majors has yet to be sentenced, he could spend a year in jail.

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA
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For the most part, Marvel’s strategy of locking in actors for long-term contracts has only paid massive dividends for its cinematic universe, allowing them to plan years of movies and shows, and tell epic storylines across multiple mediums simultaneously. What occurred with Majors represents the flip side of that sort of planning. Marvel had pinned much of their plans for this current “saga” in the MCU around Majors, an up-and-coming actor from the indie movie The Last Black Man in San Francisco and the HBO series Lovecraft Country at the time of his casting.

To date, Majors had played Kang the Conqueror on two seasons of Loki and in 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. But he was supposed to be the villain who dominated the ongoing “The Multiverse Saga” moving forward. The next Avengers sequel, The Kang Dynasty, was named after his character.

Now all of that needs to change. Marvel will either have to recast Kang with another actor — which is plausible, as the character supposedly has an infinite number of “variants” from throughout the multiverse — or they need to pivot and throw out years of planning and replace Kang with another villain entirely. Either way, this is about as big a change from Marvel’s long-term storytelling as they’ve ever had to make while midstream, and they will need to do it right as the company is coming off one of its most tumultuous years in its history as a movie studio.

The next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Deadpool 3, premieres in theaters on July 26, 2024.

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