Variety reports that Marvel Studios is in trouble, and we may very well be witnessing the MCU’s fall from grace for a number of reasons. We all know by now that Jonathan Majors is in the middle of an ongoing legal battle stemming from his March 25 2023 arrest, and the controversies that have surrounded his domestic violence case.
Dr. Doom Coming?
While Marvel was willing to give the actor behind Kang the benefit of the doubt, they may have shot themselves in the foot because there have been talks of replacing the villain’s storyline with Dr. Doom to save face in light of the recent controversies.
The real issue is the upcoming release slate for phase 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how heavily Jonathan Majors’ Kang would have been featured before his altercation and subsequent arrest.
Jonathan Majors As Part Of MCU
Not only was Jonathan Majors poised to be the primary antagonist in the upcoming fifth Avengers movie, The Kang Dynasty, he will be prominently featured in the November 9 season 2 finale of Loki, which will set up the narrative for the film.
In other words, the controversies surrounding Majors’ legal issues might force the studio’s hand to rethink how they’re going to shift their focus.
Jonathan Majors Praised For Quantumania
But Marvel has other issues to consider aside from the public’s perception of Jonathan Majors. Though fans and critics alike have praised Majors’ performance in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the film did not fare well at the box office.
Despite the film’s worldwide box office earnings of $476.1 million against its reported budget of $200 million, the film failed to break even once you consider the marketing costs involved in promoting such a high-budget film.
Quantumania Panned By Critics
Despite the fact that Quantumania earned nearly half a billion dollars globally, we’re talking about chump change compared to films like Avengers: Endgame, which pulled in an unthinkable $2.7 billion when it was making its rounds upon its theatrical release.
Even though Jonathan Majors stole the show in Quantumania with his portrayal of Kang, critics have panned the film for its careless use of VFX, pointing out over 10 scenes in which the effects seemed rushed, and in some cases out of focus.
Though we don’t yet have a clear idea of how Marvel will handle the issues surrounding Jonathan Majors, there are a couple of options to consider.
The first option would be to move away from the Kang narrative, and work in a new antagonist. But given how much of the MCU was building up for its next phase, this would require a massive overhaul which would have to somehow gracefully explain the yet-to-be-released finale of Loki.
Replacing Jonathan Majors?
If Marvel were to replace Kang with a villain like Dr. Doom, there’s no saying if the storytelling would make sense given the prologue that has been established up to this point.
A more suitable approach would involve Marvel continuing the Kang story arc, and pushing forward with The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars with another actor replacing Jonathan Majors.
Don Cheadle did an excellent job replacing Terrence Howard with his portrayal of James Rhodes, so recasting Kang could be just as seamless if the right talent is put in place.
Though Marvel is currently wading through murky waters, all hope is not lost, and the show must go on.