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The upcoming Avengers film is set to undergo a “rebranding” following the conviction of lead star Jonathan Majors for assault.

On Monday (18 December), The Independent reported that Majors, 34, was dismissed by Marvel Studios immediately after the verdict, where a jury found him guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

The presence of Majors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) became uncertain after several charges were brought against the actor, slated to play the main villain in the new Avengers film. The 34-year-old was found guilty of one count of third-degree assault and one count of harassment, but was acquitted of another count of assault and one count of aggravated harassment. Sentencing is scheduled for 6 February, with a potential one-year prison term.

Majors previously portrayed Kang the Conqueror in the TV series Loki and the 2023 film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Both projects positioned him as the next major Avengers villain, succeeding Josh Brolin’s Thanos. The fifth Avengers film was initially titled Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, this title has been discarded, and the project will be officially referred to as Avengers 5 until a new title is chosen. The decision to alter the title suggests that Kang will be written out of the franchise rather than recast.

In September, reports indicated that Marvel executives, including studio boss Kevin Feige, convened to discuss “backup plans, including pivoting to another comic book adversary,” such as the Fantastic Four character Dr. Doom.

Following the revelation of the allegations, Majors was released by his management team, and the US Army removed several advertisements featuring the actor from circulation. He was also reportedly removed from an upcoming adaptation of the Walter Mosley novel The Man in My Basement. Another Majors project, Magazine Dreams, has been removed from Walt Disney Studios’ release calendar.

After the verdict on Monday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg issued a statement, saying: “At the Manhattan DA’s Office, we are committed to centering survivors in all of our work.

“The evidence presented throughout this trial illustrated a cycle of psychological and emotional abuse, and escalating patterns of coercion far too common across the many intimate partner violence cases we see each and every day. “Today, a jury determined that pattern of abuse and coercion culminated with Mr. Majors assaulting and harassing his girlfriend. We thank the jury for its service and the survivor for bravely telling her story despite having to relive her trauma on the stand.”

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