Summary

  • The upcoming Avengers film is now being referred to as Avengers 5, potentially indicating a change in the role of Kang as a villain.
  • The title change is currently internal and wasn’t intended to be made public, so it’s uncertain what it means for the movie’s plot.
  • It may be easier for Marvel Studios to recast Kang rather than introduce a new villain, as other projects in Phase 5 and 6 may have already been written with Kang’s storyline in mind.


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The MCU’s upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is reportedly being referred to by a new name, a move that may imply the franchise is planning to shift away from Kang entirely. Kang actor Jonathan Major’s accusations of assault and harassment came to light when he was arrested in March 2023. In the weeks and months after, several organizations and projects cut ties with Majors, though his tenure with Disney and Marvel Studios remained intact pending the actual verdict. However, Majors was found guilty on December 18 and almost immediately dropped by Disney. Now, it’s unclear what will be done with Kang and his planned franchise future.

Marvel Studios is reportedly still moving forward with Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, though it’s unclear what exactly that means. While there was never much doubt that the movie would still happen, it’s less clear if it will pivot to a new villain or simply recast Majors’ Kang and move on as planned. However, a new report indicates that Kang’s name has been dropped from Avengers 5 in internal communication at Marvel Studios.

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Avengers 5 New Title Isn’t Official & Doesn’t Mean Anything Yet

Kang in the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

According to a report from THR, the latest draft of the project formerly known as Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is now simply being referred to as Avengers 5. This coincides with the movie getting a new writer in Michael Waldron, known in the MCU for his work co-creating Loki and writing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Of course, this could very well mean that the play is to either entirely write Kang out of the project or significantly diminish his role. However, it’s simply too early to tell.

Right now, the Avengers 5 title change is strictly internal and has only been made public due to “sources” of THR. That isn’t to diminish the likelihood of it being accurate, but it’s clear that neither Disney nor Marvel Studios planned for the change in parlance to be public. At this point, it’s premature to make sweeping claims about what the tweak means, and it’s entirely possible that the movie will regain the same subtitle or something similar once the script is rewritten.

Title Changes Aren’t New For The MCU

If the idea of Marvel Studios changing the name of one of its projects after its announcement seems problematic or a sign of trouble, it shouldn’t. A few MCU movies and shows have had their names publicly changed well after being revealed, not to mention the countless iterations of names every movie and show goes through behind the scenes. Sometimes, title changes are due to a shift in focus as a script evolves; other times, it’s done with the goal of improving marketing, or a new title might just sound better.

Recently, two MCU projects have undergone title changes well after the project’s announcement, and neither seems to be a result of their projects changing focus or content in a major way. The WandaVision spin-off featuring Agatha Harkness has undergone so many title changes it’s become a meme. First announced as Agatha: House of Harkness, the Disney+ TV show was then rebranded as Agatha: Coven of Chaos. Most recently, the series has been retitled Agatha: Darkhold Diaries. Similarly, Captain America: New World Order was renamed Captain America: Brave New World, likely to avoid associations with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories referred to by the first subtitle.

Recasting & Continuing On With Kang Seems Easier For Marvel Studios Right Now

Kang the Conqueror fighting Scott Lang at the end of Ant-Man 3

Of Marvel’s two options – recasting Kang or pivoting away from the villain entirely – the former certainly seems easier to implement smoothly. Kang may only have appeared in one feature film so far (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania), but he’s also starred in two seasons one Loki, though neither has many dangling plot threads outside the introduction of the Council of Kangs. However, it’s likely that each other upcoming MCU Phase 5 and 6 movies have been written with Avengers 5 in mind to some degree. While some of those projects likely have little to do with the MCU’s larger narrative, others will presumably further Kang’s overarching story.

The other problem is that changing focus to a new villain now risks rushing the new antagonist’s story. Doctor Doom is a popular Kang replacement choice after a report indicated Marvel Studios already considered swapping him in, but a character like Doom is immensely popular and nuanced in his own right. Using him as a filler may mean Doom – or whoever else is used – doesn’t get the fully developed narrative they deserve. Recasting Kang may be challenging with the role’s new baggage, but right now, it seems easier to continue with that character than close his story prematurely and altogether.

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