Marvel executives ‘discussed backup plans’ after Jonathan Majors arrest

Actor’s Kang the Conqueror was positioned to be Marvel’s next franchise-spanning supervillain

Tom Murray
Thursday 02 November 2023 22:51 GMT
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Jonathan Majors To Stand Trial For Domestic Assault Case

Marvel is reportedly “in crisis” amid Kang star Jonathan Majors’s assault trial.

Majors, 33, was charged with assault and harassment in March this year after being accused of attacking his then-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, in New York. Majors has denied the claim and accused Jabbari of attacking him.

Last week, a New York judge rejected the defence’s motion to dismiss the case, setting a trial date for 29 November.

Majors was introduced as Marvel’s new “big bad”, Kang the Conqueror, in this year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which ushered in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s fifth phase.

“Post-Quantumania, though, it seems like it’d be far more helpful to label the next batch of Marvel films and TV shows as ‘the Jonathan Majors phase’. He’s just that good,” Clarisse Loughrey wrote in her February review for The Independent.

This next batch of Marvel projects has reportedly been thrown into disarray due to Majors’s legal troubles.

According to a new report in Variety, Marvel executives, including studio chief Kevin Feige, gathered in Palm Springs in September to discuss “backup plans, including pivoting to another comic book adversary, like Dr Doom”.

Jonathan Majors as Kang

Dr Doom first appeared in The Fantastic Four comic books and has been portrayed by Julian McMahon in the 2005 Fantastic Four film and its 2007 sequel; and by Toby Kebbell in the 2015 film.

Kang is also set to appear in the final episode of the Tom Hiddlestone-fronted Loki series, which airs 9 November.

“Marvel is truly f***ed with the whole Kang angle,” one dealmaker who has seen the final Loki episode told Variety. “And they haven’t had an opportunity to rewrite until very recently [because of the Writers Guild of America strike]. But I don’t see a path to how they move forward with him.”

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The Independent has contacted Marvel Studios for comment.

Earlier this week, Walt Disney Studios removed Magazine Dreams, a forthcoming drama starring Majors, from its release calendar.

After news of the allegations against him broke, Majors was dropped by his management team, while the US Army pulled a number of advertisements featuring the actor from circulation. He was also reportedly dropped from a forthcoming adaptation of the Walter Mosley novel The Man in My Basement.

The national domestic abuse helpline offers support for women on 0808 2000 247, or you can visit the Refuge website. There is a dedicated men’s advice line on 0808 8010 327. Those in the US can call the domestic violence hotline on 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Other international helplines can be found via www.befrienders.org

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