Jonathan Majors, who plays Kang the Conqueror in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), has been fired by Marvel Studios and removed from future MCU projects after being found guilty of assaulting his former girlfriend, Grace Jabbari.
Background on the Case
Majors and Jabbari dated for two years before breaking up in 2021. In December 2022, Jabbari reported to police that Majors had assaulted her in her East Village apartment in New York in February 2022, claiming he punched and kicked her during an argument.
Majors was arrested and charged with assault, harassment, and trespassing. He pleaded not guilty but stood trial in December 2023.
Guilty Verdict and Marvel’s Response
On December 18th, after three hours of deliberation, the jury found Majors guilty on two counts – third-degree assault and second-degree harassment. He was found not guilty on the trespassing charge.
Just hours after the verdict, Marvel Studios and parent company Disney released a joint statement announcing they were severing ties with Majors and he would no longer appear in the MCU going forward.
“We do not condone violence or abusive behavior of any kind. As such, we have made the decision to remove Jonathan Majors from future Marvel Studios projects,” the statement read.
This includes his planned appearances as iconic Marvel villain Kang the Conqueror in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania film and the fifth Avengers movie Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. Majors had filmed some scenes already for the next Ant-Man installment.
Impact and Reaction
The move came as a shock to Marvel fans and the entertainment industry at large. As the major villain Kang across Marvel’s Phase 5 and 6 films, Majors’ removal leaves significant holes in the overarching story of the next Avengers saga.
Many fans and analysts criticized Marvel’s swift action in firing Majors before sentencing, questioning whether redemption and personal growth should still be possible. Others lauded Marvel for taking a strong stance against domestic violence.
There is also now tremendous uncertainty around how Marvel will address Kang’s absence or potentially recast the role. Rumored replacements for Majors include John Boyega, Jonathan Groff, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, but Marvel has yet to comment.
Key Events Timeline
|Majors allegedly assaults ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari in her apartment
|Jabbari reports assault to police, Majors arrested and charged
|Majors stands trial, found guilty on two counts
|December 18, 2023
|Marvel/Disney fires Majors from MCU projects
What Comes Next
With Majors’ MCU future now erased, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige faces a daunting creative challenge. Significant rescripting and reshooting will be needed for the two upcoming Avengers movies Majors was set to star in. Recasting Kang also poses risks in terms of continuity and fan reception.
It remains to be seen whether the initial Ant-Man 3 footage featuring Majors will still be included or if it will also need to be reshot with a different actor. The film is currently slated for a July 2023 release.
For Jonathan Majors, the verdict puts his rising stardom in jeopardy. He faces up to a year in jail when formally sentenced in January 2024. While supporters argue he deserves a second chance post-incarceration, this controversy could seriously impede any major future roles.
The fallout from Marvel’s dramatic firing of Majors will likely continue in the weeks and months ahead. But one thing is clear – the ambitious future roadmap of the MCU has been thrown into disarray and Feige faces a Herculean challenge to keep his cinematic universe on track.
Here are some additional relevant articles from among the urls in the source material:
Kang Replacement Speculation
This article from Forbes discusses several of the top candidates like John Boyega who could potentially take over the role of Kang after Majors’ firing.
Impact on Marvel’s Plans
This analysis piece from Vulture digs into how integral Majors’ Kang was expected to be to Marvel’s next saga and the difficult position his absence leaves the studio in from a storytelling perspective.
Criticism of Marvel’s Decision
This Salon article is more critical of Marvel’s quick firing of Majors, arguing it robs him of any possibility of redemption and personal growth following what the author admits was a serious offense.
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