Marvel Studios‘ surprising shift in policy may have derailed their plans for Phase 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if one company insider is correct. The company are said to have changed their long term intentions after seeing Jonathan Majors‘ appearance as He Who Remains in the season one finale of Loki.
Majors returned as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania with his performance universally acclaimed despite the lukewarm reception towards the film, and in the movie’s post-credits scene, it was teased that Kang and his many variants were set to dominate the MCU going forward, with even the next Avengers film based around the character – The Kang Dynasty.
However, those plans very quickly went up in smoke when Majors was arrested and charged with assault in an ongoing investigation. Due to this issue, the plans to revolve Phase 6 around Majors are suddenly in stormy waters, despite the public insistence that the studio has yet to make any decisions on the matter until the legal process is further down the road.
How Did Marvel Hang Their Hat on Jonathan Majors?
Speaking on The Ringer‘s The Big Picture podcast, writer and author of the upcoming book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios book Joanna Robinson has claimed that during her work, she was told it was never the intention to make Kang the centre of the MCU, but that Majors‘ performance changed everybody’s minds. Robinson, a senior writer for Vanity Fair with a long history of writing exclusive Marvel pieces for the magazine, spoke at length about how Majors gave them a creative change of approach – before scoring a massive own goal:
“I was told by someone who works for Marvel, it was not the plan to make Kang the center of everything until they saw the dailies from ‘Quantumania’ and after his performance in ‘Loki,’ which was so strong they were like, ‘This is it. This is our way forward. We’ve lost our varsity hero team, but let’s set up around this guy Kang and this performer that so many people are reacting to.’We know this is a huge problem for them that they are facing and grappling with right now. And what’s unprecedented in this for Marvel is, I would argue they have never hung so much of a franchise on one actor, as they tried to hang it on Jonathan Majors after his ‘Loki’’performance and his ‘Ant-Man: Quantumania’ performance.”I would argue more than Downey as Iron Man, more than Brolin as Thanos, that hanging everything on this guy is then going to pop up in all of their properties leading up to something called ‘The Kang Dynasty’ has put them in a very unusual position. They don’t usually hang this much on one person in the way that they did here. And that has put them in the bind. We do not know what they are going to do. I’ve hear conflicting stories about they are going to replace him, they’re not even considering replacing him etc etc. But it’s just one more thing.”
Majors has denied all charges levelled against him to date, but the latest trailer for the second season of Loki didn’t include him – despite the sting at the end of Quantumania focusing on the character. Loki Season 2 is scheduled for release in October.