Marvel Reportedly Went All-In on Kang Because Jonathan Majors Was Hot

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Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania' (2023)

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios has one reason for making Jonathan Majors and Kang the new Big Bad of the MCU: he was hot at the time.

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror
Credit: Marvel Studios

According to a new comprehensive retrospective of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date, Disney decided that Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) would be the central villain of the ongoing Multiverse Saga after audiences reacted positively to his appearance in the Disney+ series Loki and his career seemed on an unstoppable rise. Presumably, this is all intended to culminate in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

The new book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards draws on dozens of interviews from actors, producers, writers, and basically everyone involved in the production of the MCU, and it seems that the sole reason Jonathan Majors became one of its most important figures is that the studio felt it could latch on to his ascendent star power in the wake of losing Iron Man and Thanos.

Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man with the Infinity Gauntlet
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Will Officially Kill off Two Avengers This Month

The book reveals, “According to one Marvel source, Kang was not originally intended to be the overarching villain of the Multiverse Saga; the decision to elevate him to a Thanos-level threat was based on the positive buzz actor Jonathan Majors generated in the role.”

While this has not been confirmed by Marvel Studios directly, it makes a lot of contextual sense. Prior to being cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jonathan Majors had given critically acclaimed performances in the HBO series Lovecraft Country, as well as movies like The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) and Da 5 Bloods (2020).

Jonathan Majors in Lovecraft Country
Credit: HBO

At the time, Majors was considered a star in the making, and, reportedly, his MCU role cemented that. The book says, “Disney flexed its marketing muscles for Kang’s cinematic debut, hoping to get as many eyes as possible on Majors’s performance and to hype two post-credits sequences promoting his central role in both TV (Loki) and film (everything else?). In the closing moments [of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania], thousands of versions of Kang crowded an arena: all of them wore the face of Jonathan Majors. Not since Robert Downey Jr had the studio placed so many chips on one actor.”

In need of a replacement for Josh Brolin’s iconic performance as Thanos, it seems like Marvel Studios went all-in on Jonathan Majors based on the gut feeling that his career was hot and would never die down.

Statue of Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Loki
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Jonathan Majors’ Accuser Flees Country After New Charges

However, Marvel Studios’ plans for Jonathan Majors have been thrown into question after his March arrest on charges of assault, strangulation, and harassment, which led to him being dropped by his representation, losing endorsements from the U.S. Army, and a currently pending trial.

Marvel seems to be sticking by Jonathan Majors. He is returning to the MCU in Loki season 2, reportedly both as He Who Remains and a new Kang Variant named Victor Timely. He will also be reprising his role in the upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and (most likely) Secret Wars.

Hopefully, Marvel remains certain that it had a good reason for picking Jonathan Majors.

Will Jonathan Majors make it to the Kang Dynasty, or will the studio try to change its plan? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!

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