Jonathan Majors: His Marvel Future (If There Is One) Is a Long Way Off

When Jonathan Majors secured the villain role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in September 2020, he was signing on to much more than a single movie. As the timeline-traveling comic book warlord Kang the Conqueror, the Lovecraft Country actor would be the cornerstone of the entire next phase of movies and TV shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was an immense commitment, with multiple appearances planned across a wide variety of projects, culminating in a movie planned for May 2025, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Now Majors’s future as a lead character in the series of big-budget tentpoles is in question as the 33-year-old star faces charges of assault and harassment over a March 25 incident that police have characterized as a domestic dispute. While he has already filmed scenes for the upcoming second season of the Disney+ series Loki, a source close to the situation notes that no future projects with the actor are scheduled to shoot for more than a year. A Marvel Studios rep declined to comment on the matter to Vanity Fair, but with no principal photography on the immediate horizon, the company has time to evaluate the situation as the investigation continues and evidence is eventually presented.

Attorneys for Majors have denied wrongdoing and released texts purportedly written by the accuser, a 30-year-old woman, that appear to recant the claims. However, Deadline recently reported that the actor has been dropped by his management and public relations firms, and Variety has cited anonymous sources saying the Manhattan district attorney’s office has been approached by others alleging mistreatment.

In response to these reports, Majors’s attorney, Priya Chaudhry, issued this statement to Vanity Fair: “Jonathan Majors is innocent and has not abused anyone. We have provided irrefutable evidence to the district attorney that the charges are false. We are confident that he will be fully exonerated.”

On social media, judgment from the court of public opinion has already been delivered, with widespread calls for Marvel to #RecastKang and break ties with the actor immediately. Some are declaring that his career is already over. The posts range in tone from sorrowful to mocking.

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The previous slate of movies from Marvel culminated in 2019’s Endgame and was built around the genocidal tyrant Thanos acquiring Infinity Stones that granted him the power to erase half the life in the universe. Similarly, the new slate of movies would focus on Kang’s quest, which expands beyond the known universe to rule over countless other dimensions in the multiverse.

Fans calling for a wait-and-see approach in the Majors case have noted that Josh Brolin, who portrayed Thanos throughout most of the earlier Marvel movies, also had a domestic violence arrest in his past, stemming from a 2004 dispute with then wife Diane Lane in which she called police to report he had struck her. At the time, Brolin was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor battery, but the case was dropped. (Brolin and Lane reconciled and remained married for nine more years before divorcing in 2013. She has publicly stated, through a publicist, that the police arrested him unnecessarily.) 

Others have drawn comparisons between Majors and The Flash actor Ezra Miller, who has blamed a mental health crisis for a series of arrests and other erratic and allegedly violent behavior. Warner Bros. had already finished shooting his role in the DC superhero film, which will debut this June.

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