MOVIES

Disney Scrapping Kang-MCU Storyline After Firing Avengers 5 Writer

Once hyped up by Kevin Feige and others at Marvel Studios as the ultimate threat to the multiverse, Kang debuted in the “Loki” Season 1 finale in 2021 before showing up as the villain of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” Another version of him, the bumbling Victor Timely, was central to “Loki” Season 2, and in the upcoming “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” and “Avengers: Secret Wars,” he would have been a villain on par with Josh Brolin’s Thanos.

However, multiple factors have stymied the studio’s plans. The COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020 threw a massive wrench in the well-oiled MCU machine. Then wrench number two came in the form of historic Hollywood labor strikes, with writers and actors — respectively represented by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA — taking to picket lines and putting Hollywood on hold. Finally, Kang himself became a liability, as Jonathan Majors was arrested on assault charges.

For the better part of a decade, MCU movies ruled the box office. But in 2023, its Hulk-strength grip over the industry has waned. Recent films have struggled to make the same impact and have been the subject of critical disdain. This week, the franchise saw its most dismal opening weekend yet, as “The Marvels” bombed at the box office with a paltry $47 million. Robinson’s claim that Marvel is scrapping the Kang storyline, if true, signals that the studio understands the extent of the damage to its brand and is now focused on making the necessary repairs.

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