What is next for Marvel after Jonathan Majors is fired?

Actor was set to be the next supervillain in Marvel Cinematic Universe's phase five

Jonathan Majors has been dropped by Marvel Studios after being convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend. EPA
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Jonathan Majors has been dropped by Marvel Studios after being found guilty of assaulting and harassing Grace Jabbari, his then-girlfriend. His firing has raised questions about future films.

The Hollywood actor played the supervillain Kang the Conqueror, first appearing in the season one finale of the Disney+ show Loki.

Marvel was preparing for phase five of its Marvel Cinematic Universe series and had again cast the highly-acclaimed Majors as the antagonist Kang. The character was to span several films and series as the MCU's next-phase answer to Thanos, the villain of Avengers: Endgame.

Majors had already appeared in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and the first two seasons of Loki. He was also set to star in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, dated for release in May 2026.

The future of that film is now unclear but it has been reported that the title has now been changed to simply Avengers 5. Disney has declined to comment so far on whether it will recast the role of Kang or pivot in a new direction. The feature is still in the script phase and had not begun filming. No director is currently attached.

It is understood that the studio has been preparing for the possibility of Majors' exit from the franchise. But Marvel was limited in its ability to fashion rewrites due to the screenwriters strike that ran from May to late September. The studio recently hired screenwriter Michael Waldron to rework The Kang Dynasty.

In the past, Marvel has already recast numerous actors, with Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard as Rhodey/War Machine and Mark Ruffalo replacing Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk.

Since his arrest, Majors has been dropped by talent management company Entertainment 360 and his publicity firm the Lede Company. He is also no longer starring in the film The Man in My Basement, a feature adaptation of the Walter Mosley novel.

He's also been pulled from an advertisement campaign for the Texas Rangers baseball team. Several other projects involving Majors – including Spike Lee’s Da Understudy for Amazon and the Dennis Rodman film 48 Hours in Vegas for Lionsgate – remain in limbo.

– With additional reporting by Associated Press

Updated: December 19, 2023, 8:38 AM