Following a two-week-long criminal trial, a New York jury reached a verdict on charges brought against Jonathan Majors following his arrest back in March.
In addition to starring in Creed 3, Marvel Studios had been setting up the actor as the MCU's next big bad, having already appeared in Loki Season 1 and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania at the time of his arrest.
Kang Actor Jonathan Majors Found Guilty
After three days of deliberation, a Manhattan jury found Jonathan Majors guilty of harassment and assault in the third degree, per The Hollywood Reporter.
The MCU star was also found not guilty of one of the counts of assault and not guilty of aggravated harassment in the second degree.
Majors faces up to a year in jail with a sentencing date set for February 6, 2024.
Jonathan Majors was first arrested on March 25 for allegedly assaulting his then-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, after police found injuries on Jabbari which included bruises, a fractured finger, and a laceration behind her ear.
Majors pled not guilty to four charges of assault, aggravated harassment, and harassment.
The first three charges were misdemeanor offenses stemming from an altercation between Majors and Jabbari in a private vehicle.
The fourth charge of harassment has to do with the claim that Majors threw Jabbari back into the car vehicle as she attempted to exit which was captured by surveillance footage.
It's important to note that this was a criminal trial requiring a higher burden of proof from the jury and that the charges brought against Majors were not brought by Jabbari but rather by the state of New York.
Will Marvel Recast Kang the Conqueror?
Now that Jonathan Majors has been found guilty, Marvel Studios had no choice but to either recast the role of Kang or completely change course, and it's likely that the studio already has a plan in place.
Coming shortly after the verdict, Marvel Studios revealed it was officially cutting ties with the actor. This comes as evidence continued to mount suggesting the studio had been considering all scenarios while also creating options.
For instance, Loki Season 2 ended in such a way that Kang's story could be considered done or to be continued, depending on what Marvel chooses.
Also, there have been various claims of Marvel Studios "moving away" from a Kang-centric Avengers 5 and considering Doctor Doom as the MCU's new lead villain.
It's also worth noting that Disney completely removed Majors' Magazine Dreams, an anticipated awards darling, from its upcoming slate.
Now listed as "unset," it remains to be seen if and when it will be released at all.
While fans don't know which direction Marvel Studios will pursue following the actor's dismissal, and likely won't for some time, the best and safest bet is likely Doctor Doom (or a new villain altogether) instead of a Kang recast.
Apart from Majors' legal issues, the Multiverse Saga and the MCU's handling of the villain had failed to succeed with fans and critics alike.
Embracing a new big bad would allow Marvel Studios to leave those issues in the past, along with any unavoidable comparisons between a new Kang and Majors' portrayal.