The hits for the MCU keep coming and its becoming harder and harder to tell if Marvel Studios is the boxer or the bag at this point.
After losing almost a quarter of a billion dollars between the theatrical H-Bombs that were Ant-Man and Wasp: Quantumania and The Marvels, Kevin Feige and his hat were dealt another serious blow when phase five centerpiece and key player Jonathan Majors was found guilty this past week of harassment and assault of his girlfriend at the time, Grace Jabarri.
While the possibility of losing Majors as a key player in the MCU has been there for the better part of a year, Disney Studios has stuck with the talented actor and refrained from making any rash decisions.
In this era of hanging people out to dry after the slightest infraction, I commend Disney for letting this scenario play out as every man is entitled to his day in court, no matter how serious the charges may be.
The problem with this situation does not lie with Marvel’s loyalty to a talented actor that they went all in on. The problem lies with Marvel’s lack of a plan B for this situation. Majors faces either a year in prison, or a year of probation depending on what particular mood the judge is in on the day of sentencing.
Either way, his time with Marvel has come to an end. Now Marvel Studios needs to go back to square one with no contingency plan and figure out how to salvage a sinking ship that already has multiple holes yet to be plugged.
Fans are left wondering what solution if any, that Marvel Studios has for this unmitigated disaster.
The MCU Can’t Recast Kang
The easiest and most simple solution for Marvel moving forward would be to just write Majors off as an acceptable loss and recast Kang. It has been done before. Terrence Howard played James Rhodes/War Machine in the first Iron Man film and was famously replaced by Don Cheadle in subsequent installments to the franchise.
There is a huge difference in this scenario that needs to be pointed out. Howard was not forcibly removed for abusing his girlfriend. He left over a contract dispute. That is a much easier detail for the public relations department to include in their press junket.
The era of #MeToo has complicated situations such as this. While it is acceptable to point out that Kang is in fact a villain, so the blow is somewhat softened when the actor playing him commits a reprehensible act; Jonathan Majors was an integral part of the current MCU phase. This inadvertently makes the character he played synonymous with domestic abuse. Villain or not, this is not a path that Disney wants to explore.
Retiring Kang isn’t just an option for Marvel Studios. It is the ONLY option.
The MCU Replacing Kang With Dr. Doom Would Be Disastrous
Speculation has arisen that Marvel would remove Kang from future projects and his role would be filled by Dr. Doom. This would be a terrible decision should Marvel actually decide to go through with it.
Dr. Doom is a fantastic villain and a fan favorite, but the casting would be rushed and out of place. With the development of the new Fantastic Four movie still in its infancy, the film would immediately be turned into a rush job and Marvel would have another financial disaster on its hands.
We have already been introduced to the Kree, Skrulls, and yes… Even Kang. All of these are classic Fantastic Four villains. Their presence in the MCU is easily explained however, as Carol Danvers and Nick Fury were also involved in Kree and Skrull storylines. Kang is a time traveler. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for him to cross paths with Ant-Man.
Simply just doing a pallet swap and inserting Victor Von Doom in Kang’s place would be an insult to anybody who considers themselves to be a Marvel Comics fan.
This is one of the most important characters in the history of comic books. He is revered. If he shows up on screen without Reed Richards to confront him, the MCU loses what little credibility it has left.
This would be akin to debuting The Joker in a Wonder Woman movie.
The MCU had an unprecedented run, but even the best cars eventually run out of gas. Fans have enjoyed thousands upon thousands of hours of content, but the sun has finally set on the empire that is Marvel Studios. Projects as of late have been stale and creatively bankrupt. Now, the centerpiece of Marvel’s newest chapter has put them in an impossible position.
The only way out of this situation is to nuke phase five, wrap up the MCU as we know it and start fresh. Comic publishers have done this multiple times. James Gunn is doing it right now with the DCU.
There would be no shame in admitting that this era of the MCU has come to an end. This would allow Kevin Feige’s hat to give these much overused characters a break.
Writers can go back to the drawing board and start a new MCU era with the X-Men and The Fantastic Four and the fans wouldn’t have to shield their eyes from the withered husk that the MCU has become in recent years.
Jonathan Majors may have been convicted of reprehensible acts. That shouldn’t stop the people at Marvel Studios from trying to course correct and send the franchise into a new, positive direction.
What do you think, GNN Fans? Sound off in the comments below and let your voices be heard!
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