Screen Rant

Screen Rant

After recent developments, Marvel Studios looks set to decide to recast Kang the Conqueror in the MCU ahead of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, replacing Jonathan Majors with a new actor for the remainder of the Multiverse Saga. After the Avengers defeated the Mad Titan Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, Kang the Conqueror was introduced as the new primary villain of the Multiverse Saga. Majors debuted as He Who Remains in Loki season 1, and has since appeared in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Loki season 2 as further Kang variants, setting him up to be a major threat to the MCU.

However, Jonathan Majors was found guilty on two misdemeanor counts of assault and harassment in December 2023 after his initial arrest in March, leading Marvel to drop the actor from the franchise upon the guilty verdict. Despite this, the MCU will reportedly move forward with Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, even after dropping the villain’s actor himself from the franchise. A November Variety report suggested that Marvel Studios executives had engaged in meetings prior to this in order to work out how to handle the tumultuous situation. The report notes that Marvel Studios executives had discussed plans to replace Kang the Conqueror with another villain, potentially Doctor Doom, yet there have been suggestions that an easier route may be to recast the character.

10 John Boyega Is A Perfect Kang Candidate (But Might Not Be Willing To Join The MCU)

Attack The Block (2011), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), The Woman King (2022)

John Boyega’s first feature film role was in Joe Cornish’s British science fiction comedy Attack the Block in 2011, in which Boyega portrayed a teenage gang leader, yet he is perhaps better known as FN-2187, a.k.a. Finn, in the Star Wars sequels, beginning in 2015’s The Force Awakens. Subsequent roles in Detroit, Small Axe, and The Woman King have proven that Boyega has the range to take on a role as demanding as Kang the Conqueror. Nevertheless, Boyega mentioned during a 2022 interview with Men’s Health that a role in the MCU is “not in the vision for [him] now,” as he wants to continue taking more nuanced roles.

That’s not in the vision for me now. I want to do nuanced things. I want to donate my services to original indie films that come with new, fresh ideas, because I know it’s real hard to top Iron Man in that universe.

9 Will Smith Has A Superhero Movie History That Could Benefit The MCU

Independence Day (1996), I Am Legend (2007), King Richard (2021)

Despite Will Smith being the focus of controversies following the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony, his status as one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation, and his $9.3 billion total box office gross makes him an incredibly desirable star. Marvel Studios has never shied away from hiring actors with questionable pasts, including Robert Downey Jr. himself, so an MCU role for Smith could be on the cards. He has demonstrated incredible versatility over his almost-four-decade-long career, which would make him a perfect candidate for Kang the Conqueror, particularly since he’s already dabbled in superhero roles in Hancock, Suicide Squad, and, to an extent, the Men in Black franchise.

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8 Chukwudi Iwuji Has Proved He Can Perfectly Play MCU Villains

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), Peacemaker (2022), Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

Nigerian and British actor Chukwudi Iwuji may have already assumed a powerful role in the MCU as the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but his impact in the role turned viewers’ heads. Following his MCU debut, theories arose suggesting the High Evolutionary may be a variant of Kang the Conqueror, which could lead to Iwuji replacing Majors as Kang in the MCU’s future. His experience in classical theater fits the character of Kang the Conqueror perfectly, and he has already demonstrated his ability to command sinister and nefarious personalities, as well as take on action-heavy roles, such as that in John Wick: Chapter 2.

7 John David Washington Is A Talented & Popular Kang Casting Choice

BlacKkKlansman (2018), Tenet (2020), The Creator (2023)

John David Washington followed in his parents’ footsteps with his shift to acting following a professional football career, with his first main role being Ricky Jerret in HBO’s Ballers in 2015. Since then, Washington has expanded his repertoire significantly, and become one of Hollywood’s most coveted stars, with roles in BlaKkKlansman, Tenet, and Malcolm & Marie shooting him to stardom. John David Washington is an incredibly popular name in modern-day cinema, so a role in the MCU could be around the corner for the actor, and he may be able to match the stoicism, strength, and mysticism of Kang the Conqueror should Majors be replaced.

6 Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Could Move From The DCEU’s Final Villain To The MCU’s Biggest Villain

The Get Down (2016), Aquaman (2018), The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

After making his professional acting debut in 2016’s The Get Down as Clarence “Cadillac” Caldwell, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has taken on many strenuous roles in a variety of projects. Perhaps best known as David Kane, a.k.a. Manta, in 2018’s Aquaman and its upcoming sequel, and as Morpheus in 2022’s The Matrix Resurrections, Abdul-Mateen already has experience in huge film franchises, and he is set to join the MCU as Simon Williams, a.k.a. Wonder Man, in Marvel Studios’ Wonder Man series. However, with the recent speculation concerning Kang the Conqueror, Marvel Studios may decide to shift Abdul-Mateen into the larger villain role, and subsequently recast Simon Williams.

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5 Lakeith Stanfield Could Make Kang More Sympathetic

Straight Outta Compton (2015), Get Out (2017), Judas & The Black Messiah (2021)

Lakeith Stanfield’s first acting role was in Destin Daniel Cretton’s short film Short Term 12 in 2008, which was transformed into a feature film in 2013, while Cretton later went on to direct the MCU’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Since then, Stanfield has become an actor that viewers associate with high-quality stories, particularly with his Academy Award-nominated role in Judas and the Black Messiah, and a starring spot in FX smash-hit series Atlanta. He has a huge amount of experience playing very human roles, which could inject extra relatability and sympathy into Kang the Conqueror. This may be a great way to smooth the recasting transition.

4 Jeffrey Wright Deserves A Live-Action MCU Appearance

Casino Royale (2006), Westworld (2016), The Batman (2022)

Star of stage and screen, Jeffrey Wright already has a role in the MCU as the voice of What If…?’s Watcher, though since this role is voice only, it’s possible he could portray a live-action MCU character as well. Wright’s memorable voice, experience playing the sinister but lovable Bernard in Westworld, and previous roles in action-heavy projects such as the James Bond and Hunger Games franchises make him perfect for the powerful role of Kang the Conqueror. Jeffrey Wright is a highly acclaimed actor who would fit the villain role to a tee, especially if that villain needs to have a likable quality and seem utterly human.

3 Caleb McLaughlin Could Play A Younger Kang

Stranger Things (2016), Concrete Cowboy (2020), Shooting Stars (2023)

While Caleb McLaughlin has had several roles in a variety of projects, he is known best as Lucas Sinclair in Netflix’s Stranger Things. McLaughlin has had a fantastic screen presence since debuting in Stranger Things at only 15-years-old, and viewers have watched him grow into an actor capable of taking on the role of a younger Kang the Conqueror. Since Kang’s MCU debut, there have been suspicions that his young variant, who becomes the superhero Iron Lad, will be introduced, and McLaughlin could be the perfect candidate to portray this younger version, who could then grow into the primary version of Kang the Conqueror over several years.

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2 Regé-Jean Page Could Continue His Rise In The MCU

Bridgerton (2020), The Gray Man (2022), Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)

Regé-Jean Page made his acting debut in 2001’s Gimme 6, before making a series of guest appearances in projects including Waterloo Road, Fresh Meat, Roots, and Mortal Engines. In 2019, his main role in Netflix’s Bridgerton saw him rise to fame, and subsequent roles in The Gray Man and Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves have proven that he has the versatility and presence to take on a role as huge as Kang the Conqueror. Marvel Studios has regularly taken on rising stars and skyrocketed them to immense fame, so Page may see this treatment should he be brought on board as a new version of Kang the Conqueror.

1 Gugu Mbatha-Raw Could Build On Loki Season 2’s Best Theory

The Cloverfield Paradox (2016), The Morning Show (2019), Loki (2021)

British actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw has achieved a huge level of acclaim over her two-decade-long career, which has seen her take on a wide variety of roles across many genres. This range makes her perfect to assume the role of Kang the Conqueror, and this would add weight to theories explaining details revealed in Phase 5’s Loki season 2. Mbatha-Raw debuted as TVA Judge Ravonna Renslayer in Loki season 1, and her connection to He Who Remains was established further in season 2. Many have theorized that she may be revealed as a Kang the Conqueror variant, which, if true, may see Mbatha-Raw assume the role in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.