Marvel Studios’ recent change in approach appears to have disrupted their Phase 6 plans for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to an insider within the company. The shift in strategy reportedly occurred after Jonathan Majors’ captivating portrayal of He Who Remains in the season one finale of Loki.
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Jonathan Majors returned as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, earning widespread acclaim for his performance, even though the film itself received mixed reviews. In the post-credits scene of the movie, it was strongly hinted that Kang and his various iterations would play a prominent role in the future of the MCU. The next Avengers film, titled “The Kang Dynasty,” was expected to center around this character.
However, these ambitious plans took an unexpected turn when Jonathan Majors faced legal troubles, being arrested and charged with assault amid an ongoing investigation. As a result, the MCU’s Phase 6 strategy, which heavily relied on Majors’ involvement, has encountered significant uncertainty. It’s important to note that Marvel Studios has not officially confirmed any decisions on this matter and is expected to wait for the legal proceedings to progress further before making any definitive choices.
How Did Marvel Hang Their Hat on Jonathan Majors?
During a recent episode of The Ringer’s The Big Picture podcast, Joanna Robinson, a writer and author of the upcoming book “MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios,” shared some intriguing insights. Robinson, who is known for her extensive work as a senior writer for Vanity Fair, particularly in covering exclusive Marvel stories, revealed that her research had unveiled an unexpected twist in Marvel Studios’ plans.
According to Robinson, she learned from a Marvel insider that it wasn’t initially Marvel’s intention to make Kang the central figure in the MCU. However, Jonathan Majors’ exceptional performance as Kang in “Loki” and “Ant-Man: Quantumania” dramatically altered their creative direction. She stated:
“I was informed by a Marvel source that the original plan was not to make Kang the linchpin of the MCU. But when they saw the exceptional dailies from ‘Quantumania’ and witnessed his outstanding performance in ‘Loki,’ it all changed. They realized that this was their path forward. With the departure of their established hero team, they decided to pivot around Kang and Jonathan Majors, given the strong reaction from audiences.
Marvel now faces a unique challenge, one that they haven’t encountered before. They’ve placed an unprecedented amount of their franchise’s future on a single actor—Jonathan Majors. This pivot, which involves integrating Kang into various properties leading up to ‘The Kang Dynasty,’ has placed them in an unusual position. Unlike previous instances, where they didn’t rely so heavily on one actor, this decision has presented them with a conundrum. The outcome remains uncertain, with conflicting reports about whether they might consider replacing him or not. It’s an intriguing development.”
It’s worth noting that Jonathan Majors has denied all charges against him. However, despite the character’s tease at the end of “Quantumania,” Kang was notably absent from the latest trailer for the second season of “Loki,” which is slated for release in October.