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This Avengers 5 leak makes me think Kang is still the main villain

Published Apr 18th, 2024 8:22PM EDT
Comic-Con 2022: MCU Phase 6 titles and release dates.
Image: YouTube

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After Marvel fired Jonathan Majors, I said that the main villain of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars should still be Kang. I think the character is amazing and should be the driving force behind the Avengers teaming back up in the Multiverse Saga.

Sure, Majors can’t play the character anymore, as any association with the actor would be toxic following the events in his personal life. But Marvel can recast him.

At the same time, I said more than once that I expected Avengers 5 and Avengers 6 not to make their original release dates. The films are slated to premiere on May 1st, 2026, and May 7th, 2027. This has nothing to do with the Kang problem, though Majors could always be a factor for another round of delays.

I thought the writers’ and actors’ strikes last year would push back multiple MCU projects to the point where delays for the next Avengers movies would be inevitable. Marvel did postpone most of its 2024 movies to next year in the end.

Fast-forward to mid-April, and a well-known insider claims that Marvel will shoot Avengers 5 in the UK in 2025. Apparently, the May 1st release date is unchanged. If true, this roadmap is exciting to this Marvel fan. I think Kang has to be the movie’s main villain, or at least one of the big villains showing up in Avengers 5. Mind you, some spoilers might follow.

Daniel Richtman is the Marvel insider dropping news about Marvel’s upcoming projects. He said on Patreon that Marvel wants to shoot Avengers 5 in the UK next year.

Marvel should keep the 2026 release window for the movie in place if the production schedule is correct.

Richtman did not mention the film’s title, but I still expect it to be The Kang Dynasty. The MCU hasn’t been that great in recent years, yes. And Marvel is looking to improve its movies and TV shows, starting with Deadpool 3, which premieres this July.

But the path is clear. We’re heading to Secret Wars, and Kang has been painted as the main villain. A pivot to a different bad guy is still possible, but it seems unlikely at this point. It would be a disservice to the character. Kang needs a prime placement in the Multiverse Saga after all the not-so-great setup so far.

I think that Marvel had a better plan for the main villain of the Multiverse Saga compared to Thanos (Josh Brolin). The Infinity Saga only teased the big villain via credits scenes until Infinity War gave us more Thanos action. And that was an amazing movie, where the central character was the villain.

Only then did we realize that Marvel wasted the opportunity to give Thanos more screen time in the films that preceded Avengers 3 and Avengers 4.

Marvel decided to flash out the Kang character better than it did with Thanos. That’s why we had the antihero appear in Loki and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. We might have seen Kang again if it weren’t for the Majors scandal and the strikes.

Also, since we’re exploring the multiverse, not all Kang variants will be villains. One variant could always join the Avengers against his other variants.

Thanos in Avengers: Endgame final battle
Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Endgame final battle. Image source: Marvel Studios

That said, Marvel has time to focus on a different main villain for Avengers 5 and Avengers 6 and keep Kang in the picture as a somewhat secondary bad guy. But will only two years suffice? Let’s remember that Marvel paused most of the releases planned for 2024 to 2025 because of the strikes. These movies would have to set up some sort of common threat that would then become the main Avengers 5 villain.

As a reminder, Marvel will have at least four movies in theaters in 2025, including Captain America: Brave New World, Thunderbolts, Fantastic Four, and Blade.

More recent rumors say Sony and Marvel might give Spider-Man 4 the November 7th release slot currently assigned to Blade. On that note, Richtman also said Blade will start filming this year. Spider-Man 4 should also hit production this fall.

With all that in mind, I still think recasting Kang seems like the easier option. There’s time for the dust to settle and fans to forget about Majors. Plenty of talented actors could pick up the role and make it their own.

Whatever happens, I just hope we’re in for two years of amazing MCU movies that will make the wait for Avengers 5 and Secret Wars worth it. And if Marvel decides to postpone the upcoming Avengers movies, then so be it.

Whether Richtman is accurate or not, the good news is there are no strikes in the industry this year. Marvel will likely return to Comic-Con this summer, where we’ll probably get more MCU announcements. That might include release date confirmations for Avengers 5 and Avengers 6.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.