New: Disney Resolves Its Latest “Johnny Depp” Problem, Star Breaks Silence

in Marvel, Movies & TV

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in 'Pirates of the Caribbean'

Credit: Disney

After months of uncertainty, The Walt Disney Company has seemingly remedied its latest “Johnny Depp” problem.

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

In April 2023, shortly after his big screen debut as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, rising star Jonathan Majors was arrested in New York City on domestic assault charges. Months later, in December, the actor was found guilty, and Marvel Studios subsequently fired him from the franchise.

Majors first appeared as He Who Remains, a Variant of Kang the Conqueror, in Michael Waldron’s Loki series, directed by Kate Herron.

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Credit: Marvel Studios

Here, alongside the likes of Tom Hiddleston, Sophia Di Martino, and Owen Wilson–who played Loki, Sylvie, and Mobius M. Mobius, respectively–Majors’ He Who Remains existed in the Citadel at the End of Time and left a powerful warning before being slain by Sylvie.

Majors returned as Kang the Conqueror in Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), which was poorly received by critics and audiences alike. One thing they could agree on, though, was Majors’ performance as the sinister Kang.

Jonathan Majors looking stern as Kang the Conqueror
Credit: Marvel Studios

His latest and seemingly last turn as Kang, albeit as Variant Victor Timely, came in Loki Season 2. The featuring of Majors in the show proved contentious as the actor was still awaiting trial for the domestic assault allegations made by his former partner, Grace Jabbari.

Kang was being set up to be the next Thanos-level threat for the Marvel Cinematic Universe–even the penultimate movie in the Multiverse Saga was named Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2026). But, with Majors’ arrest and guilty verdict, it seems Kang will be reduced to just a bump in the road for some of the MCU’s heroes.

Jonathan Majors as Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Credit: Marvel Studios

The outcome of the Majors trial and Disney’s response to the verdict is very much akin to Johnny Depp’s removal from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise following his own guilty verdict in 2020.

After losing his libel case against The Sun and News Group Newspapers LTD at a trial presided over by Justice Andrew Nicol at the London High Court, Depp was asked to resign from his role as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts franchise as well as becoming exiled from his role of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

Two years later, in 2022, Depp faced his ex-wife Amber Heard in the courtroom, this time challenging the actress’ opinion essay penned for The Washington Post. At the trial, Depp was asked if he would return to Disney for $300 million, to which the actor responded, “No.”

The Jonathan Majors ousting shares parallels with Depp’s case. However, one could argue that Majors does not have the public support Depp had and continues to have as he navigates the Hollywood industry post-trial.

Jonathan Majors wearing an orange polo in an office in Devotion
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Related: Disney Pays Johnny Depp $68 Million for Seven-Minute Performance Following ‘Pirates’ Success

The problem Majors’s arrest posed now seems to have been rectified. As many MCU fans complain of the seeming lack of direction in the current Phases, what with the masses of content coming to both the big and small screen, the knowledge that Kang would be a constant at least through 2026 was a positive one.

Now, a new announcement has confirmed who the next big villain will be in Kevin Feige’s blockbuster franchise. In an exclusive with The Hollywood Reporter, Ralph Ineson has been cast as Galactus in Matt Shakman’s upcoming MCU movie, The Fantastic Four (2025).

Marvel Studios Fantastic Four logo
Credit: Marvel Studios

The Fantastic Four will be the official opener of Phase Six and finds Marvel’s First Family in the 1960s. Ineson will be joining Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm/Thing.

Julia Garner is also cast as the female Silver Surfer, Shalla-Bal, with Paul Walter Hauser and John Malkovich appearing in undisclosed roles.

Ineson has since broken his silence regarding the casting, writing to X (formerly Twitter):

World devouring cosmic villain is it? I’ll see what I can do

Interestingly, Ineson actually sued The Walt Disney Company last December following an onset accident while working on Lucasfilm’s Willow series. The actor allegedly suffered permanent damage after dislocating his shoulder while filming the show.

Galactus using his abilities
Credit: Marvel Comics

Related: Disney Officially Imposes Restrictions on the MCU, Upcoming Release Likely To Be Scrapped Under New Measures

Galactus is a historic part of the Marvel Comics canon and a major Big Bad. While it is not confirmed that Galactus will be the main villain the new Avengers team will face, it is the biggest sign fans have got regarding a Kang the Conqueror replacement.

With Majors removed, the future Avengers: The Kang Dynasty has been renamed Avengers 5 and will continue to precede Avengers: Secret Wars, which is slated for release in 2027.

Do you think Galactus will be the official main villain for the rest of the Multiverse Saga? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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