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A “Majors” Problem: The MCU, Jonathan Majors, and the Future of Kang

The face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is (quite literally) set to change before our eyes, as Jonathan Majors is out of the world’s highest-grossing franchise. Once pitched as the “new’” Thanos, the man behind Kang the Conqueror is leaving the MCU behind.

Or vice versa.

Majors hit the headlines when he was arrested over charges of assault, strangulation and harassment in March 2023. There were questions about the potential MCU mainstay’s future with the franchise, and less than an hour after he was convicted of misdemeanor assault and harassment on December 18, Majors was dropped from the MCU.

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A bit of a predicament when the next Avengers movie was supposed to be titled Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

Kang’s short stint in the MCU

First appearing in Loki season 1 as He Who Remains, Majors was placed at the centre of the franchise’s Multiverse Saga. With He Who Remains kicking the bucket in a shocking finale twist, we could’ve had an exit here. Instead, the meddling madman warned there were “others” out there — how very Lost. For those up on their comics, they’ll know the many iterations of the time traveling Kang meant Majors was never going to be gone for long.

We got plenty more Kang for our buck in the divisive Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, where Paul Rudd’s pint-sized hero fought against the villain. There’s a pattern here, and with this variant also bested, the MCU had another chance to park Kang. But the MCU opted for the franchise-shattering post-credit that introduced the Council of Kangs. Featuring everyone from the mythological Rama-Tut, who was teased in Moon Knight, to the all-powerful future Kang known as Immortus, Majors was set to pull a lot more than just double duty.

The Multiversal Council of Kangs. Marvel Entertainment

Following Majors’ arrest, it was unclear how prominently he’d be featured in Loki season 2. After all, another Quantumania post-credit featured Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) scoping out Kang’s Victor Timely variant in 1893. Given that this would be Kang’s first MCU inclusion since Majors’ arrest, there were rumors that his role would be dramatically reduced. Early promos suggested this would be the case, but as the timey-wimey adventure kicked off, it became clear it was business as usual with Majors.

A “Majors” problem

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This brings us up to date with MCU, and as we head into 2024, there’s a Disney-lite slate that sees the release of Sony movies like Kraven the Hunter, Fox’s post-acquisition Deadpool 3, and series including Echo and Agatha: Darkhold Diaries. This gives the powers-that-be time to assess what to do with the Kang situation. Similarly, Majors wasn’t officially on the docket for 2025 outings like Captain America: Brave New World or Matt Shakman’s Fantastic Four reboot.

Still, with the clue being in the name, 2026’s The Kang Dynasty undoubtedly had a major role for Majors. Given how the MCU likes to sprinkle teases ahead of time, it’s easy to imagine Majors was pencilled in for a return before then. As with Brie Larson and Mark Ruffalo popping up in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, we’ve learned to expect unexpected cameos. There are no more cameos for Majors, and with The Hollywood Reporter claiming Marvel Studios is now internally referring to The Kang Dynasty as Avengers 5, change is already happening.

Majors’ departure comes shortly after Shang-Chi’s Destin Daniel Cretton stepped away from directorial duties on Avengers 5, and Loki’s Michael Waldron replaced Jeff Loveness on the screenplay. Filming was due to kick off in early 2024, but following Majors’ firing, delays abound. The SAG-AFTRA strikes already saw Avengers 5 slip from its May 2025 release, and now that May 2026 release is looking a lot less likely.

Norton, Howard…Majors

The question remains, will the MCU retool Kang with a new star in purple and green, or will we wave farewell to the character and his (many) variants to bring another big bad into the fold? The MCU is no stranger to recasting, with Don Cheadle taking over from Terrence Howard as James “Rhodey” Rhodes between Iron Man and Iron Man 2. There was the altogether more dramatic departure of Edward Norton, who Ruffalo replaced for The Avengers. If you can replace the Hulk, then nothing is impossible — especially with the Multiverse at your fingertips. 

One brilliant pitch is that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s Chukwudi Iwuji could take over from Majors. Iwuji’s turn as the unhinged High Evolutionary is up there with some of the MCU’s best villain performances, while Gunn confirming he survived in a deleted scene makes bringing him back fairly easy. Others have called for Loki standout Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer to be reworked into a female Kang Variant. We’ve already seen similar with Loki and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), but if not, the fact that a vengeful Renslayer is marooned in The Void at the end of time gives her more than enough of an M.O. to take over from Kang without being a variant. 

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Heading back into the MCU’s own “what if”, MCU overlord Kevin Feige could revisit his Kang casting list. Then again, Majors told Total Film he didn’t have to audition — suggesting he might’ve always been the top choice for the part. One person we know isn’t interested in John Boyega. The Star Wars actor has become a popular fan choice to replace Majors, but when someone asked him on Twitter/X, Boyega nixed the idea. Reintroducing any existing MCU actors or newcomers as a Kang variant becomes a little harder without Majors to ease the transition. Having someone other than Majors step onto the screen and say, “Hey, I’m Kang,” will feel a little clunky, but we’re sure the writers can work it out. 

New Blood

Might Marvel Comics’ Dr. Doom replace Kang as the MCU’s arch-villain? @ Marvel Entertainment

Kang was once central to the franchise’s future, and in a February 2023 exclusive, Feige told EW, “We’ve always had the inkling that Kang would be an amazing follow-up to Thanos.” Although he hyped Kang’s importance post-Quantumania, plans change.

The Loki season 2 finale puts us in an interesting place, and with the reformed God of Mischief becoming a live-action adaptation of the comic book God of Stories, he now has the power to rewrite the Multiverse. Although not confirmed, Loki could likely retcon Kang and the entire council out of the Multiverse — allowing a new big bad to step out of the shadows. Thankfully, there’s a groaning rogues gallery ready to step up to the plate.

We’re likely a way out from the planet-munching Galactus (who Feige has name-dropped as a personal favorite of his), while having Keanu Reeves play the Silver Surfer feels like a dream casting we should save for the next saga. Looking slightly closer to home, the role of the Beyonder in 1984’s “Secret War” comic makes him a prime candidate. Introducing the Beyonder before Avengers 5 presents more of a challenge because we don’t imagine he’d be a recruit for Jake Schreier’s Thunderbolts.

There have been whispers that the Beyonder would be the main villain of Secret Wars, but as he’s again rumored to be a Kang variant, it brings us back to the same headache. Hey, why not screw with all those WandaVision theorists and make Mephisto Kang’s replacement?

The sensible choice would be Victor Von Doom. Given his prominence in 2015’s “Secret Wars” comic, Doctor Doom is that perfect Thanos-level villain fans are dying to see.

It would be a little cliché to repeat the history of Tim Story’s Fantastic Four and Josh Trank’s Fant4stic by having Doom as the villain of Shakman’s upcoming franchise reboot, but with him being the quartet’s most iconic foe, it makes sense. Introducing Doctor Doom here would echo what Quantumania was clearly doing with Kang. Imagine having Vic bested at the end of Fantastic Four, setting him up as an even bigger problem for the next two Avengers movies. Variety claimed execs discussed swapping in Doom when Majors was arrested, so it’s not like the idea hasn’t already been floated. 

With complaints that the MCU is growing stale, a shakeup of this magnitude could have a silver lining. It’s a shame that all eyes were on Avengers 5 and Secret Wars as a return to form on the scale of Infinity War and Endgame, and if even half the wild rumors about potential returns for Tobey Maguire, Hugh Jackman, and more are true, it’ll be a wild ride. It’s arguably better that Majors is out now instead of later, allowing Shakman to take his place as a real-life God of Stories to rewrite the Multiverse in his own image.

Either way, we’re on the cusp of a new dawn while Kang, as we knew him, has been banished to his own Citadel at the End of Time. Now that’s done, so someone get Javier Bardem on the phone to offer him the part of Doctor Doom.



Based in Manchester, UK, Tom Chapman has over seven years’ experience covering everything from dragons to Demogorgons. Starting out with a stint at Movie Pilot in Berlin, Tom has since branched out to indulge his love of all things Star Wars and the MCU at Digital Spy, Den of Geek, IGN, Yahoo! and more. These days, you’ll find Tom channelling his inner Gale Weathers and ranting about how HBO did us dirty with Game of Thrones Season Eight.



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