Jonathan Majors Dropped by Marvel Studios After Guilty Verdict



Marvel Studios has parted ways with Jonathan Majors — the actor cast to play Kang, the central antagonist in the Multiverse Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — after he was convicted on Dec. 18 of two misdemeanor counts of harassment and assault of Grace Jabbari, his ex-girlfriend. A source close to the studio confirmed the decision to Variety.

In the verdict, Majors was also found not guilty of one count of intentional assault in the third degree and one count of aggravated harassment in the second degree.

The actor was arrested on March 25 on assault and harassment charges, after Jabbari accused Majors of assaulting her in the backseat of a private car after she took his phone to read a text message he’d received from another woman. Jabbari alleged that Majors forcefully retrieved his phone from her, causing an “excruciating” injury to her right middle finger, and when she exited the car, Majors hit her on the back of her head and then tried to force her back into the car, causing a cut behind her right ear.

The 34-year-old actor denied that he assaulted Jabbari. His defense team has alleged that she was the aggressor when she took his phone.

During the nearly two-week trial, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office released a series of disturbing texts between Majors and Jabbari and an audio recording that been used as evidence, including messages in which Majors seemingly attempted to persuade Jabbari against going to the hospital following a head injury and a message in which Majors threatened suicide. In the audio recording, Majors tells Jabbari that she needs to act like Corretta Scott King and Michelle Obama, because he’s “a great man” who is “doing great things, not just for me, but for my culture and the world.”

Since his arrest, Majors has been dropped by his talent manager, Entertainment 360, and his publicity firm, the Lede Company. He’s no longer involved with the Protagonist Pictures film “The Man in My Basement.” The U.S. Army also pulled a major ad campaign featuring Majors, as did the Texas Rangers baseball team. Several other projects involving Majors — including Spike Lee’s “Da Understudy” for Amazon and the Dennis Rodman film “48 Hours in Vegas” for Lionsgate — remain in limbo.

But Marvel’s decision to sever ties with the actor registers as the most high-profile professional consequence of Majors’ arrest to date. He first played a version of the multiverse-hopping villain Kang in the season finale of the 2021 Disney+ series “Loki,” an episode that established the primary storytelling engine for the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward and Majors’ character as the pivotal figure at the heart of it.

Marvel established boundless versions of Kang across the multiverse. Majors was meant to embody all of them — a premise that was first explored in Marvel’s February feature release, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” The actor subsequently played a variant of Kang named Victor Timely in Season 2 of “Loki,” which streamed on Disney+ in the fall. (Production on the series concluded months before his arrest.) Majors was next set to headline the first part of the climactic conclusion to the Multiverse Saga, 2025’s “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty,” which was expected to start shooting in early 2024.

Variety has reported that Marvel executives, led by studio chief Kevin Feige, discussed the possibility of having to pivot away from Kang to focus on another major villain. Now, with Majors’ departure official, Feige and his team have some formidable creative decisions ahead, including whether to recast a new actor as Kang or cancel “The Kang Dynasty” outright and reconfigure the remainder of the Multiverse Saga. The interconnected nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe means that whatever Marvel decides to do could have some pricey repercussions, at a time when its parent company, Disney, has entered a far more cost-conscious era.

The career fallout for Majors could be even more severe. He began 2023 as one of the most in-demand actors in the industry, co-headlining “Creed III” with Michael B. Jordan and earning wide acclaim out of the Sundance Film Festival for his performance in the bodybuilding drama “Magazine Dreams.” Searchlight Pictures — another Disney subsidiary — picked up the latter film as a prospective awards contender for release in December, but the company quietly pulled the film from its calendar in October. It does not yet have a new release date.


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