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Is Marvel Finally Calling It Quits on ‘Kang Dynasty’?

Is Marvel Finally Calling It Quits on ‘Kang Dynasty’?

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In a rather unsurprising turn of events, Disney has officially put a pin into the development of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty following actor Jonathan Major’s departure from the project and his subsequent arrest in March 2023. Marvel Studios is reportedly now reworking the script to either reduce Jonathan Major’s character’s role in the previously announced movie or even remove him entirely. Are Marvel and Disney finally calling it quits on The Kang Dynasty as the title for their fifth Avengers movie?

As it turns out, Disney and Marvel have officially abandoned The Kang Dynasty title following Major’s departure from the project. While the movie hasn’t been officially canceled, it’s probably the most up in the air of all of Marvel’s upcoming projects. Furthermore, the fifth Avengers movie is now referred to simply as Avengers 5 as a placeholder until Marvel comes up with the idea about what to do with the previously established narratives and timelines.

The Kang Dynasty was first announced during San Diego Comic-Con in July 2022, when Kevin Feige (head of Marvel Studios) revealed the plans for MCU Phases 5 and 6, which were dubbed the Multiversal Saga. Following in the footsteps of the Infinity Saga, the announced Multiversal Saga, which began with Phase 4, was supposed to end with two major Avengers movies, the previously mentioned Avengers 5 and Avengers: Secret Wars, with Majors’ Kang as the saga’s Big Bad.

Kang was introduced in Disney+’s Loki series as He Who Remains, and the upcoming movie was supposed to revolve around an alternate-timeline variant of Kang the Conqueror, portrayed by Majors. However, following Majors’ legal issues and his subsequent sentencing for assault and harassment, Marvel dropped the actor, who also portrayed Kang in 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and was set to reprise the role in other previously announced projects. Not only has Marvel dropped him, but they have also changed the title of the movie. 

According to sources, Marvel is now reworking the script to lift the focus from Kang, though some speculate that the shift away from the character was in the works before Majors was convicted. The reason behind such a decision, however, seems to stem from less altruistic reasons. Namely, it would seem that the studio was shifting away from the villainous character following the abysmal performance of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which managed to garner a mere $476.1 million at the box office.

Interestingly enough, the Lovecraft Country star’s performance of Kang the Conqueror was praised by the critics, with many saying that his thrilling portrayal was poised to alter the course of the MCU. So, while it’s not hard to believe that Disney and Marvel now seek to distance themselves from Kang due to the character’s association with Majors, it’s really hard to believe that they would waste Kang’s potential as a Big Bad. Especially when we take into consideration that the character has had significant impact on the Avengers’ storylines in the comics.

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It’s possible that the shift stems only partially from the Majors’ legal issues and Disney and Marvel’s refusal to work with actors embroiled in massive controversies. Another reason might be the internal restructuring at Disney due to cost-cutting measures. Among the cancellations and indefinite shelving of near-complete titles, Disney also announced that it’s committing to prioritizing quality over quantity of its releases by reducing the number of films on the slate.

While these cost-cutting measures didn’t previously concern Marvel, the underwhelming box office performance of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania might’ve prompted Disney to order a restructuring of the narrative. This change puts distance between the upcoming Avengers 5 and the aforementioned Ant-Man movie. Majors’ legal issues might’ve been the straw Disney needed to help break the camel’s back, and so Kang bit the dust.

The new title for Avengers 5, as well as the upcoming film’s narrative, remain undisclosed. Considering the current state of the MCU, fans are left to speculate on the direction of the largest cinematic universe ever, especially after all the recent releases have been panned by critics. With Kang previously being the center of upcoming movies, the fandom at least knew what to expect, but now, all we’re left with is speculation.

With that said, here’s an interesting theory: with Kang no longer being the Big Bad, that title is now given to Doctor Doom. The Secret Wars storylines (yes, both of them) feature the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four, with the latter two teams set to make their appearances in the MCU in the coming releases. Furthermore, Doctor Doom is one of the major villains in both Secret Wars storylines and one of those even introduces the New Avengers — something that the MCU has been working toward for quite some time.

Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure: the upcoming Avengers 5 movie won’t be called The Kang Dynasty. It’s currently scheduled to release in 2026, and Marvel is likely to reveal more information about the project as the development continues. In the meantime, this year’s treat is the newly titled Deadpool & Wolverine movie, which will be released as part of Phase 5 of the MCU and introduces us to yet another villain — Cassandra Nova — hinting at a possible appearance of X-Men in the MCU.  

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