Marvel Studios executives are reportedly working on a backup plan after Jonathan Majors, who stars as villain Kang the Conqueror, was arrested in March on assault charges.
According to a new report in Variety, Marvel brass are beginning to “reconsider” the actor’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as his domestic violence trial nears.
The actor has maintained his innocence, but Marvel is reportedly still weighing its options — both due to the damage to his reputation, and the possibility that he could be found guilty.
Majors made his first appearance in the MCU in 2021 as “He Who Remains,” a variant of his Kang the Conqueror character on the Disney+ series, Loki. He starred in the first and second season of the series, which is currently airing.
The actor also appeared in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, where his character Kang was already being set up to become Marvel’s main supervillain in the franchise’s next phase of films and television series.
Now, Marvel is reportedly toying with the idea of replacing Kang with another villain.
Variety reports Marvel villain Doctor Doom has come up in conversations as a potential option, but making this pivot has already proven difficult given the many storylines surrounding Majors’ character in the MCU.
“Marvel is truly f—ked with the whole Kang angle,” one top dealmaker told Variety. “And they haven’t had an opportunity to rewrite until very recently [because of the WGA strike]. But I don’t see a path to how they move forward with him.”
If Majors’ were to face more legal issues, the outlet also notes that recasting his role is another option on the table.
It wouldn’t be the first time the MCU swapped stars. In 2010, Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard in Iron Man 2, following studio disagreements with Howard.
Majors was arrested on March 25 after a domestic dispute involving a 30-year-old woman, who was reportedly his girlfriend at the time of the incident.
According to the police report, Majors allegedly struck her “about the face with an open hand, causing substantial pain and a laceration behind her ear.” Additionally, he allegedly grabbed her hand and neck, “causing bruising and substantial pain.”
Police officers noted the woman was taken to a hospital in stable condition.
In the aftermath of his arrest, Majors was dropped from his talent agency Entertainment 360 and PR firm The Lede Company in April.
The actor faces three counts of third-degree assault, second-degree aggravated harassment, three counts of third-degree attempted assault, and second-degree harassment, all misdemeanors.
Last month, a New York judge denied a motion to dismiss the actor’s assault case and set a trial date for Nov. 29.
In June, Majors filed a counter-complaint alleging that he was assaulted by his then-girlfriend during their March confrontation. The complaint said she scratched, slapped, and grabbed at his face, causing pain and bleeding.
Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, was arrested last week on suspicion of assault in the March incident, although prosecutors have said they won’t charge her.