- Kang the Conqueror is still planned to be the main villain in the MCU despite Jonathan Majors’ assault case, as there has been no official confirmation of his replacement or dismissal.
- There are ongoing discussions about Majors’ future in the MCU, with reports suggesting that Marvel Studios has considered replacing Kang with another character due to the disappointing reception of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”
- The possibility of recasting the role of Kang is also being considered, although the presence of Majors’ multiple versions of the character in the end-credit scene of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” complicates this decision. Marvel is likely waiting for the verdict of Majors’ court case before making a final decision.
Loki season 2, episode 6 has led many to wonder what the future of the MCU will look like concerning Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. Majors was officially announced as the MCU’s next major antagonist at Disney’s Investor Day in December 2020. Since then, the MCU has debuted several versions of Kang be it He Who Remains in Loki seasons 1 and 2, Victor Timely in the latter season of the Disney+ show, or Kang the Conqueror himself in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
While audiences may still wonder who Marvel’s next villain Kang the Conqueror truly is, these answers were expected to be delivered in Phase 6’s Avengers: The Kany Dynasty after suitable teases were left for his future in Loki season 2’s ending. However, Majors’ future in the MCU was thrown into doubt in March 2023 when the actor was arrested on assault charges in a trial against his former partner. Amid this controversy, Majors’ continued MCU appearances teasing the Multiverse Saga’s main antagonist, and the impending date of the actors’ trial, the question of what the future holds for Majors in the MCU is more prevalent than ever.
Kang Is Still The MCU’s Planned Villain Despite Jonathan Majors’ Assault Case
While the future of Majors’ MCU inclusion is still up in the air, it remains the case that Kang the Conqueror is still the MCU’s planned villain. No official confirmation has come from Marvel Studios, Disney, or anyone associated with the companies on Kang’s replacement or Majors’ dismissal from the franchise. That said, several reports and insights into Marvel Studios from outside agencies have hinted this may not be the case. Until Marvel Studios confirms otherwise though, Kang the Conqueror will continue to be the Multiverse Saga’s main villain despite Majors’ upcoming court case.
What’s Going On With Jonathan Majors’ Case?
With such a situation, discourse will naturally turn to what is going on with Majors’ court case given his arrest in early 2023. After pleading not guilty shortly after his arrest, much of 2023 has surrounded both sides of Majors’ case gathering evidence for a court date that was only recently confirmed. In late October 2023, it was revealed that Majors’ representation had motioned to dismiss the case, something the judge overseeing the trial denied. After this update, Jonathan Majors’ trial date was confirmed as November 29, 2023.
Marvel Reportedly Discussed Replacing Kang
A trial date finally being set for Majors’ case means that the actor’s future will be confirmed one way or another. As such, many reports have been released in the run-up to the trial that provided supposed insight into Marvel Studios’ internal discussions surrounding Majors’ future. In November 2023, a damning report on all things Marvel Studios was released by Variety in which several updates were given on Majors’ situation. This report apparently spawned from a retreat in September 2023 that saw Marvel Studios’ top creatives get together to discuss what lies ahead for the now-tumultuous MCU.
Reportedly, what to do with Jonathan Majors was at the top of the list of priorities for Marvel Studios. This supposedly led to discussions about replacing Kang the Conqueror as the Multiverse Saga’s primary villain, with Marvel Comics characters like Doctor Doom being raised as his substitution. That said, this report has not been confirmed by anyone associated with Marvel Studios and would naturally be a jarring move given the set-up for Kang’s future in Phases 4 and 5 and the already-announced Avengers: The Kang Dynasty for Phase 6 which has an evident need for Kang to appear.
Marvel Considered Replacing Kang After Quantumania Failed To Impress
An interesting footnote of Marvel’s supposed discussions in this report concerned Majors’ second appearance in the MCU: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. More than even Loki season 1, Ant-Man 3 positioned Kang the Conqueror as a villain to be reckoned with while laying the foundations for his subsequent appearances in two end-credit scenes. However, Variety reports that Marvel Studios considered replacing Kang after the disappointing release of the film.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania currently holds the unwanted record of being the lowest-rated MCU movie on Rotten Tomatoes by critics and only earned $476 million worldwide against a $200 million budget. Given the outside costs of marketing and distribution atop the film’s $200 million production budget, Ant-Man 3 became one of the few MCU movies that failed to break even. Apparently, this gave the higher-ups at Marvel pause concerning moving ahead with their overall plan for the Multiverse Saga that had Majors’ Kang at its center.
Will Marvel Recast Jonathan Majors As Kang?
In light of reported conversations about replacing Kang with another character or allowing Majors to continue in the role, another option can be found: recasting the character. Replacing Kang with another Marvel Comics villain is one thing, but recasting another actor in the role would allow Marvel Studios’ initial plan to go ahead with only the minor caveat of a different face acting as the Conqueror. The concept of the multiverse would have allowed for this, though the end-credit scene of Ant-Man 3 featuring the Council of Kangs who were all portrayed by Majors admittedly makes this situation more tricky than a usual recasting.
All that said, Marvel Studios is a company that is no stranger to recasting if need be. Two of the most beloved characters of the Infinity Saga are Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes/War Machine and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk who were initially played by Terrence Howard in Iron Man and Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk respectively. Despite Marvel’s willingness to recast in the past, the company is yet to confirm whether this will be the case with Majors. It seems increasingly likely that Disney and Marvel are waiting to see the verdict of Majors’ November 2023 court case before making a concrete decision on the actor’s future.
How The Loki Season 2 Finale Set Up Kang’s MCU Future
However, while Marvel Studios awaits the outcome of Majors’ trial, ongoing MCU projects have continued to set up Kang’s developing story. The latest of these was Loki season 2, with the ending of the show providing a clear path forward for the character of Kang the Conqueror. At the end of Loki season 2, the titular character became the God of Stories who now sits alone at the End of Time physically holding the multiverse together. In light of this, the TVA now acts as a peacekeeping organization across the multiverse, helping to keep the ever-expanding branches of the multiverse safe.
One way in which the TVA is doing this is by keeping tabs on variants of Majors’ He Who Remains. One of the moral dilemmas across Loki‘s two seasons was that allowing the multiverse to exist would herald in He Who Remains’ variants who are infinitely more dangerous than he was, those being Kang the Conqueror’s differing versions. Through the TVA prepping for the arrival of Kang’s variants, the MCU has set the precedent for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and the foretold multiversal war. That said, there is one way Marvel could reposition this plot point should the studio decide to move ahead without Majors after his trial.
It could be easily written that the new TVA is simply pruning variants of He Who Remains before they become dangerous, allowing another villain to enter the fray going forward. Although, it is clear that this mention of He Who Remains’ variants in Loki season 2 was included to actively tease more Kang going forward than the opposite. With that in mind, Loki season 2’s ending only goes to make the questions of Majors’ future more frequent than ever, with the answers likely coming after the actor’s trial in November 2023.