Marvel Studios may soon be faced with some difficult decisions. If Jonathon Majors is found guilty of the aforementioned charges of assault and harassment, a recast would (most likely) become imminent.
The issue with that theoretical direction is that Loki’s second season featuring Majors as Kang/Victor Timely is already filmed. So what options would the studio have for its highly-anticipated Disney+ series?
Controversy is not new for Hollywood; in recent memory, actor Armie Hammer has been accused of abuse, sexual assault, as well as other misconduct. He has exited all upcoming projects since these reports began surfacing. Death on the Nile was Hammer’s latest film released in 2022 but was filmed three years both before hitting theaters and the accusations against him.
Other forms of controversy have gotten actors fired as well. In a galaxy far, far away, The Mandalorian star Gina Carano did not return for a third season after her online posts implied that being a Republican today is almost like being Jewish during the Holocaust.
Similarly, relating back to comic book projects, The CW fired Hartley Sawyer from The Flash TV series in 2020 over tweets from 2014 that were deemed racist and misogynistic.
Speaking of The Flash, its star Ezra Miller (playing Barry Allen) was arrested several times in 2022. The actor has been accused of disorderly conduct, harassment, burglary, and other concerning accusations related to a farm in Vermont. However, Warner Bros. and DC are excited to release The Flash this June and appear confident that it will be a critical and commercial success, despite Miller’s actions behind the scenes.
Will this be a similar strategy for Marvel? Loki is ready for launch and is too late for reshoots without a major delay that would cost the studio at least tens of millions of dollars.
If Majors is ultimately found guilty and becomes essentially canceled in the eyes of Hollywood, Marvel Studios could attempt to reduce his role in the upcoming series. Based on the overarching plot, Loki Season 2 could continue the imminent threat that Kang poses to the Avengers even if his on-screen role gets reduced.
The unfortunate truth is that this kind of decision would likely hurt the quality of the series because it’s being made to reduce backlash and distance itself from an actor, not for the greater good of the show being produced.
Disney and Marvel have been quiet about the Jonathan Majors situation, likely waiting for more concrete decisions to be made, starting when he appears in front of a judge on May 8.
Depending upon how his legal situation unfolds, Majors could be a prominent part of marketing and remain the future of Marvel villainy on the big screen or will be fired, appear in Loki, but quickly recast for future projects such as Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.