Where Could the Franchise Go Without Jonathan Majors?
Jonathan Majors’ quick rise to fame has been unmatched – but what will happen to the MCU if the allegations against him turn out to be true?
What goes up, must come down – it just usually doesn’t happen this quickly. Jonathan Majors has become one of the most recognizable names and faces of Hollywood over the last several years, appearing in projects such as Devotion, The Harder They Fall, Creed III, and of course his villainous role of Kang the Conqueror in the MCU. Add the fact that Majors was an Emmy nominee for his role in the HBO series Lovecraft County in 2020, and it isn’t hard to see how the young actor has taken over the industry in such a short amount of time. Unfortunately, as quickly as Majors has risen to fame, it seems his fall may be just as fast.
Last month, the world was shocked to learn that Majors was involved in an incident in New York City that included a domestic violence claim and ended with his arrest. Majors was released the following morning and has maintained his innocence throughout the legal process, but his court date won’t occur until May 8. While nothing has been proven or disproven, Majors has been dropped by several of his representatives and upcoming projects and his future in Hollywood remains in the balance. However, one franchise that has yet to make any decisions on what to do about Majors and the situation is the MCU as they wait out the due legal process. That said, if things go south and Majors ends up not being able to continue with the role of Kang the Conqueror, what exactly are Marvel’s options for the future?
Allegations Against Majors
First of all, let’s clear up the situation for those who might not have all of the details.
On March 25, a 911 call was made (by Majors) over concern about a woman in emotional distress. Upon arrival, the 30-year old woman told the police officers that she had been assaulted by Majors and the she had “sustained minor injuries to her head and neck” whereupon Majors was arrested and the woman was taken to an area hospital in stable condition. Majors was formally charged with several counts of assault in the third degree, a single count of aggravated harassment in the second degree, three counts of attempted assaults in the third degree, and one count harassment in the second degree.
The next morning, Majors was released by a judge with a limited order of protection, followed by a statement from his lawyer and his crisis publicist claiming that they had written proof (in the form of text messages from the alleged victim) that Majors is innocent of all claims. His lawyer also claimed to have visual evidence (in the form of video from the previous night) disputing the claims that Majors assaulted the woman.
Now, as stated, Majors was released and his team has maintained his innocence, but his court date isn’t set until May 8 so the world won’t be able to find out the truth for at least a few more weeks. Unfortunately, things haven’t been going great for Majors and his team despite their maintained stance as the actor was recently dropped by both his management team at Entertainment 360 as well as his PR firm. Two films, The Main in My Basement and Otis and Zelma, have also decided to drop Majors from their productions. Majors has also chosen to step down from the board of Gotham Film and Media Institute, he’ll be stepping away from his work with the Sidney Poitier Initiative, and the Texas Rangers and The Army have both pulled promotional campaigns that were set to feature the actor. To make matters worse, there have been reports that multiple other victims have stepped forward with alleged accusations against Majors.
So what does all of this mean for the MCU and its future? As one could guess, none of the answers are great, but that’s to be expected with a situation as delicate as this. The first thing to note is that Marvel hasn’t made any statement or decision on Majors for the time being – they haven’t fired Majors, nor have they released a message of support. Like the rest of the world, it seems as though Marvel is just waiting to see what will happen after the May 8 court date.
Keeping that in mind, the first thing that Marvel could do is steer into the skid. The situation with Majors as Kang is a little bit different than say the situation where Marvel chose to replace Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle as Kang is set to become the next big-bad of the entire MCU. Majors has already made multiple appearances as multiple different versions of Kang with teases for plenty more to come, along with the fact that the next Avengers movie is literally called “The Kang Dynasty”. Because of this, it may be better for the MCU in the long run to just cut their short-term losses and stick with whatever they’ve already shot/filmed with Majors as Kang. This would include the upcoming Loki season 2 as well as any potential cameo appearances that Kang variants will be making in future projects, and would still allow the MCU to not have to backtrack at all. (This solution is very similar to what DC has chosen to do with the Ezra Miller/The Flash situation where the studio is using the movie as a ‘reset’ button for the franchise).
Unfortunately, if the allegations against Majors hold up, then the only real path that the MCU could take would be to fire Majors and recast the role of Kang – however, due to the time-traveling nature of his character along with the various assortment of variants, recasting the role wouldn’t cause too much of a continuity error in the franchise and would still allow them to use any footage they already have of Majors without having to reshoot and projects that they’ve already finished.
Who Could Replace Majors as Kang?
If the allegations against Majors prove to be true, then it undoubtedly means that he’ll be fired from the MCU and a replacement Kang will have to be found. After all, Kang is set to be a pivotal piece for several years to come in the Marvel Universe and killing off the character is simply not an option. So, which actors could replace Majors if that decision were necessary to make?
A name that has already been thrown around the Internet is Damson Idris, the star of the series’ Snowfall. Many have claimed that Idris is on a similar career path as Majors and that his stardom is about to take off – perhaps a role as a major MCU villain would be exactly what the actor needed to send his bankability through the roof.
Some other names that might be in the pool for contention are actors Lakeith Stanfield and John David Washington. Stanfield is known as one of the stars of the hit dark-comedy series Atlanta and his ability to act as slightly eccentric characters would make him a perfect fit for the role of Kang. Combine that with the fact that his two other Atlanta co-stars (Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry) have already made the jump to the MCU and the decision becomes a no-brainer. The other option of John David Washington would also be well-received, as Washington is the son of acclaimed actor Denzel Washington and has already made a splash in Hollywood thanks to starring roles in movies like Tenet. Washington absolutely has the range to pull off Kang, has the fitness/physique of a super-villain, and already knows how to handle the pressure of big-budget movies produced by A-list studios.
All of this being said, we hope that the truth about Majors’ situation comes out one war or another, and we as fans not only hope that Majors is innocent of these allegations and actions, but hope that we continue to see him reprise the role of Kang in the MCU for years to come.