The MCU shouldn't recast Jonathan Major's Kang but use variants instead

The MCU has a dilemma on their hands. Should Kang the Conqueror be recast after Jonathan Majors' departure or creatively embraced through the concept of variants?

2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals
2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals / Amy Sussman/GettyImages

It's a wild time for the MCU. The GOAT, Kevin Feige finds his greatness put to the test, with a critical decision regarding the portrayal of Kang the Conqueror. Disney dropped Jonathan Majors' as soon as the gavel slammed, creating a massive gap in future plans for the MCU. Kang the Conqueror was expected to be the face of the MCU going into the next phase. So much so, that the next Avengers film was titled, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

Jonathan Majors, aged 34, became one of Hollywood's brightest stars in 2023. With standout performances in Creed III and Magazine Dreams, his talent shone brightly, capturing both critical acclaim and audience admiration. Fans got their first glimpse of Majors' Kang in season one of Loki. It was only for a brief moment, yet he left an impression that fans everywhere waiting to see him become the face of the MCU.

Despite the lackluster reception of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Majors' portrayal of Kang saved the film. His dedication brought a unique depth and charisma to the character, making the idea of a straightforward recast with another talented Black actor dang near impossible. Fans who saw Majors as Kang understand that he wasn't just a character; it was a performance that became synonymous with the actor's distinctive style.

One of the things the MCU is known for is its innovative storytelling. So, for those saying they should drop Kang altogether are wrong. The best move is to continue going forward with the character. As a matter of fact, firing Majors gives them an opportunity to embrace this challenge creatively. The concept of 'variants'—alternate versions of the same character from different timelines or universes—introduced in the Loki series, provides a perfect solution. It's an option that allows for the exploration of Kang's character in diverse and interesting ways.

Replacing Majors by not recasting Kang

Rather than looking for an actor to mimic Majors' performance, the focus could shift to multiple actors bringing their unique interpretations to different Kang variants. This not only honors Majors' original portrayal but also enhances the character's narrative arc.

Rumors have already begun about who should take on the role. One rumor suggests plugging away winning actors Denzel Washington or Will Smith in the role. There's also the rumor of Caleb McLaughlin (22) taking on the role as a young variant. Does that mean we'll see him grow and be replaced by an older actor? John Boyega is another name that surfaced as a replacement, which isn't the worst idea, but he and Disney aren't on good terms.

If the decision is to continue with a single Kang, the chosen actor should be encouraged to forge a new path. This actor shouldn't attempt to replicate Majors' mannerisms or style. Instead, they should bring their own interpretation, creating a distinct 'variant' of Kang. This respects the original portrayal while allowing the character to evolve in the ever-expanding MCU.

Of course, there's a chance the MCU could go with an up-and-coming actor like Trai Byers who could embody the emotional depth we've come to expect from Kang while making it his own. Djimon Gaston Hounsou and Peter Mensah would be fantastic in the role as well.

The situation with Jonathan Majors is undoubtedly regrettable, and the challenge it poses to the MCU is major (pun intended). However, it also presents an opportunity for creative storytelling that respects the past while boldly forging a new path. By leveraging the concept of variants, the MCU can continue to tell captivating stories, ensuring that Kang remains a dynamic and compelling character.

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