Why the MCU may be forced to axe Kang instead of recast

Jonathan Majors headerMarvel

A crew member on Korean War drama Devotion has provided some reported details on Jonathan Majors’ unique Kang the Conqueror contract, which may explain why he’s not been recast. 

With the wrap of Loki Season 2, many fans expected a casting changeover for the MCU’s upcoming big bad. 

Kang the Conqueror was acknowledged in something of a handwave final moment, and the variant He Who Remains was seemingly removed from play. 

Reports are trickling out that Marvel is pivoting away from the Kang storyline rather than recast, which may be surprising, but the answer could have been found. 

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Jonathan Majors may be contractually bound as the only Kang

On the latest installment of The Weekly Planet, a pop culture podcast, the hosts revealed a fan claiming to have worked with Jonathan Majors on the Korean War drama Devotion had some insider information about Majors’ Kang deal – and the unique stipulation that included. 

“While working on the movie Devotion, I was friends with one of Jonathan Majors’ people,” the listener said, “During our filming, JM closed the Kang deal. I remember asking said friend about it, and they shared some details. X number of movies, X number of dollars, and more interestingly, due to the nature of the character and potential multiple versions, JM had a contract clause stating that only he could play any and all versions of Kang.”

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If the report of Majors’ contract is true, then it would explain the decision not just to recast Kang. While it is possible a good faith clause could exist to allow Marvel to exit the agreement, that would be contingent upon the criminal case reaching a verdict, which could be years off. 

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Majors, who debuted as Kang in Ant-Man & the Wasp in Quantumania, was expected to be the MCU’s next Thanos-level threat. His role in both seasons of Loki tied his presence to the current MCU timeline and the threat of a multiversal war. 

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However, Majors’ future in the MCU has been in doubt since a 2023 arrest where he is alleged to have harassed and assaulted a former partner. 

Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains in Loki, who appears in the Ant-Man 3 post-credits scenesDisney/Marvel
Jonathan Majors was poised to play multiple roles in the MCU.

While Marvel has made no official announcement about the future of Kang or Kang-focused spinoffs, such as the planned 2026 film Avengers: Kang Dynasty, reports have been trickling through that the MCU would be dropping Kang entirely. Writer Jeff Loveness is reportedly off of Kang Dynasty, while director Daniel Destin Cretton has also left the project, confirming he’s now shifting his focus to other projects like Shang-Chi 2. 

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The rest of the MCU is in flux, with TV shows being rearranged and films being pushed back. Other projects, like Fantastic Four, are firming up, as Pedro Pascal is rumored to join the film as Reed Richards, with other castings presumably not far behind. 

The next Marvel film, Deadpool 3, is the only MCU film to hit theaters for the entirety of 2024 – the first time since 2012 that only one MCU project hit cinemas. For more news on the MCU, be sure to follow all of Dexerto’s coverage

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