Marvel, Disney drop actor Jonathan Majors after he’s convicted of assault

Jonathan Majors arrives at court on 5 December 2023. Photograph: Bebeto Matthews/AP
Actor who played Kang the Conquerer in the Loki series was slated to continue the character in an Avengers movie set for 2026

Marvel Studios and the Walt Disney corporation have ended their relationships with the actor Jonathan Majors shortly after he was convicted of assaulting and harassing Grace Jabbari, his then girlfriend, the Associated Press reports.

Majors’s promising career has been on a rapid descent since the 34-year-old was arrested on 26 March after getting into a heated conflict with Jabbari in a chauffeured SUV on their way to Majors’s apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. He was convicted on Monday on two of the four offenses that New York prosecutors charged him with: third degree assault and second degree aggravated assault.

During the two-week trial, a Manhattan jury heard four days’ worth of testimony from Jabbari, who said that things between her and Major turned physical after she noticed romantic texts on Majors’s phone. When Jabbari grabbed the device from his hands, Majors twisted her arm in a position that caused her “excruciating pain” and struck her in the head, Jabbari told jurors.

Jonathan Majors arrives at court in New York on 4 December 2023. Photograph: Yuki Iwamura/AP

Majors then took the phone back, got out of the vehicle and took off running through the streets of lower Manhattan as Jabbari chased behind him, street surveillance footage presented during the trial showed.

The former couple met in 2021 on the set of Marvel’s Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which was released a month before Major’s arrest. Jabbari was working as a movement coach and Majors was playing the time-travelling villain He Who Remains, AKA Kang the Conqueror.

The film was meant to be the jump-off point for a new cinematic era for the studio and lead to more projects between the actor and Marvel, including both seasons of the Loki series and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty set to come out in May 2026, according to Deadline. The feature is still in the script phase and had not begun filming, said a report from the Hollywood Reporter. No director is currently attached.

It remains unclear whether the character of Kang will be recast (a la Terrence Howard and Don Cheadle in the Captain America series) and remain in future films or if the studio will scrap future projects based around the character altogether and steer the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a new direction.

Marvel did not respond to the Guardian’s request for comment on its relationship with Majors by the time of publication. Majors was once considered a rising star in Hollywood, rising to prominence in The Last Black Man in San Francisco and going on to blockbusters such as Devotion, Lovecraft Country, The Harder They Fall, Da 5 Bloods and Creed III.

Magazine Dreams, in which Majors starred as a troubled amateur bodybuilder, made a successful debut at the Sundance film festival in January and was slated to open in theaters this month. Ahead of the trial, Searchlight Pictures, a Disney-owned distributor, had pulled the film from its release calendar, according to the Associated Press.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Majors’s public relations firm, the Lede Company, has dropped the actor. He has also been dropped by his managers at Entertainment 360.

Majors is set to be sentenced in February and faces up to a year in prison for the third degree assault charge.