Marvel Returns to Its Roots, Causes Urgent Change to Kang the Conqueror

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Tom Hiddleston as Loki Laufeyson in 'Loki'

Credit: Marvel Studios

The Loki TV show is back, and audiences have been reminded that it was here where they were first introduced to the Multiverse and Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror.

However, amid the turmoil of Majors’ domestic assault charges, it has been revealed that one character was urgently changed in order to save the franchise.

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror
Credit: Marvel Studios

Tom Hiddleston’s Loki first arrived on the scene in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor (2011). The God of Mischief became a staple part of Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, having recurring appearances in the franchise and starring in films like The Avengers (2012) and Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Loki would meet his demise in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) at the hands of the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin).

That was until Marvel resurrected the hero in the 2021 Loki TV show. Following on from the changes of events in Avengers: Endgame (2019), where Loki vanished using the tesseract during the Battle of New York, the series saw Hiddleston’s character face the Time Variance Authority (TVA).

Tom Hiddleston as Loki wearing muzzle in The Avengers
Credit: Marvel Studios

Locked in a hunt to help TVA agent Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) seek out Variants of himself. Loki eventually partnered up with Sylvie, played by Sophia Di Martino. Sylvie, based on the Marvel Comics character Lady Loki, disrupted the entire Multiverse when she killed He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) at the End of Time in the finale episode.

And so, Loki Season 2 was born. This time, instead of Kate Herron and Michael Waldron serving as director and head writer, respectively, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are leading the directing team, with Eric Martin as the head writer for the TV series.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) shirtless in the TVA 'Loki' Season 1
Credit: Marvel Studios

Most of the first season cast returns for the sophomore outing of the Loki TV show, including Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer, and Tara Strong as Miss Minutes. Academy Award winner Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once) joins the cast as Ouborous, or “O.B.”

Prior to the series commencing, Marvel fans wondered whether Jonathan Majors would return to the Loki TV show following his arrest in New York City earlier this year. The MCU and Creed star was arrested by the New York City Police Department over a domestic dispute, and despite denying the claims and his lawyer Priya Chaudhry presenting evidence to contend the claims, Majors faced exile from many of his associated projects.

He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) in 'Loki' Season 1
Credit: Marvel Studios

Majors was dropped by Entertainment 360 and PR firm the Lede Company, with his United States Army recruitment commercials also being taken off the air after the victim “sustained minor injuries to her head and neck and was removed to an area hospital in stable condition” (per Associated Press)

Majors’ 2023 Met Gala invite was rescinded, and Texas Rangers removed him from their ad campaign. Another movie, The Man in My Basement, will recast Majors’ role.

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror leaning on a table
Credit: Marvel Studios

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When asked about whether Majors’ arrest would impact the Loki TV show, and, by extension, the greater Multiverse Saga, Loki executive producer Kevin Wright said that the situation was “complicated” but that the series was always intended to be a two-part story, and that he hopes viewers will focus on the actors’ performances vs. outside events.

Now, new information has come to light about what may have been in regard to the first live-action iteration of Kang the Conqueror before Marvel Studios urgently changed course and brought in Jonathan Majors.

Jonathan Majors as Victor Timely in Loki Season 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

As revealed by Kevin Wright, in conversation with Den of Geek, Marvel Studios had initially intended to return to their roots and give fans a Big Bad they had become all too familiar with.

When Loki and Sylvie find He Who Remains at the End of Time, former plans had Loki himself appearing as the character. Wright said:

Loki, OB, Mobius, and Hunter B-15 in 'Loki'
Credit: Marvel Studios

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“We just thought [He Who Remains] would be a great title for the last man standing in the multiversal war. In the writers’ room, all ideas are on the table, and there were conversations about what if Loki was He Who Remains,” Wright explained.

“Those conversations didn’t get very far; I don’t think it even got to Tom [Hiddleston] because while there is something fun about that, and there are compelling aspects to it, it makes the universe feel small,” the executive producer added. “So, it was always going to be He Who Remains, always a version of Kang.”

Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Credit: Marvel Studios

Having Tom Hiddleston take on He Who Remains, that is, as a Variant of Loki, would have been an interesting circle of events for the anti-hero character but could have caused this never-ending Multiverse to feel small, as Wright said. In the end, though, Jonathan Majors’ version of He Who Remains as a Kang Variant eventually paved the way for him to become a main feature of the franchise moving forward. He is expected to appear as Victor Timely in the second season.

After appearing in the widely-panned Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) from director Peyton Reed, Majors was expected to appear in more installments of Phase Five and Phase Six, including the upcoming Avengers movies, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2026) and Avengers: Secret Wars (2027). However, due to the actor’s current legal battles, his future in the franchise remains to be seen.

Would you have liked to see Tom Hiddleston as He Who Remains in the Loki TV show? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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