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Disney, Marvel left scrambling after actor Jonathan Majors is convicted of assault: 'A horrible man. Not capable of love.'​
Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Disney, Marvel left scrambling after actor Jonathan Majors is convicted of assault: 'A horrible man. Not capable of love.'​

An actor who was once described as "one of Hollywood's fastest rising stars" has been convicted in connection with a domestic violence case, leaving Marvel Studios and its parent company, Disney, scrambling to rethink plans about the future direction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

On Monday, a jury in New York City convicted Jonathan Majors, 34, of assault in the third degree and harassment in the second degree, both misdemeanors, for his behavior during an allegedly violent argument with 30-year-old ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari. Majors was acquitted of the two most serious charges against him: intentional assault in the third degree and aggravated harassment in the second degree.

The crimes relate to an incident last spring. On March 25, the couple got into an argument while riding down the streets of NYC in a chauffeured vehicle. While in the car, Jabbari, a British dancer who met Majors on the set of Marvel's "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," reportedly grabbed Majors' phone because she spotted a text message from another woman. To get his phone back, Majors hit Jabbari in the head with an open hand, twisted her arm behind her back, and pulled on her finger until it fractured, prosecutors claimed.

At one point, Jabbari attempted to exit the vehicle, but Majors picked her up and forced her back inside, footage from area surveillance cameras showed. Majors then took off running down the street, and Jabbari followed in pursuit. The two then went their separate ways for a bit.

Some hours later, Majors returned to his apartment and called 911, claiming that he had found Jabbari unconscious. He also expressed concern that she had attempted suicide.

Prosecutors shared with the court text messages the couple had exchanged during the course of their tumultuous, 19-month relationship. In one of them, Majors threatened suicide and wrote, "I'm a monster. A horrible man. Not capable of love." On another occasion, Majors warned Jabbari not to seek medical treatment at a hospital because "it could lead to an investigation even if you do lie and they suspect something."

In his defense, Majors' lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, told the jury that Jabbari was the aggressor in the incident and even suggested that the charges against Majors were motivated by racism. "He called 911 out of concern for her, and his fear of what happens when a black man in America came true," Chaudhry said, implying that police presumed Majors was guilty because he is black and Jabbari is white.

During the trial, Jabbari took the stand to give her version of events. Majors did not.

After the verdict, Majors exited the court holding hands with his current girlfriend, actress Meagan Good. He did not issue a comment directly, but Chaudhry made a statement on his behalf, claiming he is "disappointed" about the convictions but "grateful" for the acquittals. Majors "still has faith in the process and looks forward to fully clearing his name," the statement added.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in February. He faces up to a year in jail but could be given a non-jail sentence, such as probation, instead.

In the meantime, Disney and Marvel have both already fired Majors. While removing Majors from the Marvel name spares the companies some bad press in the short term, doing so creates significant complications for Marvel going forward since Majors had already received high praise for his work in the "Ant-Man" sequel.

One review called Majors' performance as villain Kang the Conqueror the "baffling, illogical" film's "saving grace." Another was even more generous: "You're on edge every moment he's onscreen."

"There's a lot more Majors to come in future Marvel films and he's really the only thing here that makes a continued story look even vaguely enticing," said yet a third.

Because of the hype around Majors and his potential, Marvel had already slated him to appear in two upcoming "Avengers" films, including one that was originally titled "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty" after Majors' character. The Hollywood Reporter recently reported that the film "is now being referred to as Avengers 5, according to sources."

With Majors, um, out of the picture, Marvel has two choices: Recast the character or create a new villain, and both options come with considerable drawbacks. Recasting is difficult because, as THR noted, "it is not clear how many actors would be attracted to a role from which one actor was so publicly fired."

However, developing a new villain out of whole cloth and then pitching him or her to audiences is risky too. Not to mention, that process also takes "a lot of time," said Alvin Addo-Quaye, a popular TikTok film critic.

At this time, it is unclear which direction Marvel and Disney intend to go, but they will have to decide sometime in the near future. The two "Avengers" films that will no longer star Majors are scheduled for release in 2026 and 2027.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →