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One insider claims that Jonathan Majors, who has a role in Loki, was the sole reason Marvel Studios altered its Phase 6 plan.
In the Multiversal streaming series, Majors makes his MCU debut as the evil Kang the Conqueror, who is tipped to be the next major villain of the franchise.
But now that the actor has been detained and accused of assault, the validity of everything is in doubt. Due to this, Marvel Studios’ intention to focus on Majors may be in flux, although it is still believed that the company “hasn’t made any decisions” regarding the star’s future at this time.
The Kang actor appears to have a lot on his plate, but it appears that things haven’t always been that way.
Marvel Changed MCU's Phase 6
A recent revelation claims that the MCU’s Phases 5 and 6 were not always as heavily centered on Kang as they appear to be now.
Joanna Robinson, a writer and the author of the upcoming book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, said on The Ringer’s The Big Picture podcast that she had heard “it was not the plan to make Kang the center of everything” in the later stages of the Multiverse Saga, but that Marvel Studios brass changed their minds after seeing “the dailies from [Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania] and after [Jonathan Majors’] performance in Loki”:
“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.'”
Robinson is a well-known senior writer for Vanity Fair who has published several articles, including a cover story about the history of Marvel Studios that inspired her to write the forthcoming MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios and showed her keen understanding of the business’s operations.
The author continued, arguing that given Jonathan Majors’ current legal issues, Marvel had “never hung so much of a franchise on one actor” as they have done with him:
“I don’t think you or I are very interested in saying what Marvel should or shouldn’t do going forward, but 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.”
Robinson said she thinks Marvel’s “unusual position” is largely because of “hang[ing] this much on one person in the way that they [have]:”
“I would argue more than Downey as Iron Man, more than Brolin as Thanos, that hanging everything on this guys 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.”
Given that Phase 6 is so Kang-centric, the big issue is whether Majors will be recast. Robinson said, “[she’s heard] conflicting stories:”
“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.”
Kang Was Not Always the Plan
With such a major focus having been put on Jonathan Majors and his Multiversal Marvel villain, this is the first indication that he was not initially going to have as much of the Phase 6 spotlight as it looks like he is supposed to (at least with plans as they currently stand).
What, however, may have been the format of the first Phase 6 plan?
Marvel Studios just did not have a plan, I suppose, is the most plausible explanation. The notion of Multiversal narrative seemed like a logical next step for the franchise, so it wouldn’t be fair to suggest they were utterly aimless when the Infinity Saga concluded.
Early on in the MCU’s post-Endgame development, the creative team at Marvel Studios had some breathing room before having to settle on a certain course of action. This allowed them to focus on smaller character tales.
It would make logical that they would want to spend as substantially as they did after watching Majors’ Loki performance and the early Quantumania video.
All of this, however, may be for naught if the studio is compelled to recast the actor on whose success they “hung” the franchise’s future due to his alleged off-screen activities.