Jonathan Majors' agent has met with Marvel as the studio decides how to move forward following harassment charges.
Whether or not you’re a fan of the MCU, the arrest of Jonathan Majors was one of the most shocking events of the year. We first saw Jonathan Majors in Loki, and he appeared again in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, with Marvel building him up as the Big Bad for this phase. But the star was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting, harassing, and strangling his girlfriend, and now industry insider Jeff Sneider revealed on The Hot Mic “that Marvel hasn’t made any decisions regarding Jonathan Majors, but they’ve met with or spoken to his agent to discuss potential options going forward.”
If you were hoping to get some more definitive news about Jonathan Majors’ future as a Marvel star, then this news probably sounds more than a bit ambiguous. It seems obvious that Disney doesn’t want to rush into any casting changes, especially if there is a chance the star will be exonerated. And Majors’ lawyer has gone as far as saying they have evidence the controversial star is innocent, so the powers that be at Disney (from Kevin Feige all the way up to Michael Eisner) likely want to see how compelling that evidence really is.
Should the studio rush to replace Jonathan Majors with another actor for future Marvel movies, they might lose fans if the star is later found innocent of wrongdoing. The most recent example of this would likely be Johnny Depp getting removed from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise after being accused of abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard. Now that Depp won his day in court, many fans are begging Disney to bring him back to Pirates of the Caribbean for the next film, and the studio even lost fans who were disgusted about how Depp was treated.
Needless to say, Disney would like to avoid a repeat of that situation, but the drama with Jonathan Majors could become infinitely worse for Marvel fans than the Depp drama. The next several years of movies and shows have largely been built around his Kang character (basically setting him up as the next Thanos), so suddenly having to recast someone could slow down production and hurt the MCU’s reputation, all while making future Majors appearances (he already filmed scenes for Loki Season 2) that much more awkward.
Marvel’s reputation needs all the help it can get after they gave us stinkers like Eternals and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, so the sudden arrest of their breakout new star was the last thing studio executives wanted to happen.
And, crucially, it’s important to note that we don’t know what discussions Jonathan Majors had with those Marvel execs: they might have talked about reducing how often Kang appears in the near future, for example, rather than discuss entirely recasting the role. At this point, Disney likely wants all of this controversy to blow over sooner rather than later, so it will be interesting to see what evidence Majors’ lawyer presents and whether that evidence truly exonerates him. If not, then he might need a lawyer better than Matt Murdock to help him, like Depp before him, win his day in court.