Marvel Cinematic Universe fans believe they’ve found the ideal replacement for Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror, tapping Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s High Evolutionary for the role.
Per Twitter, many Vol. 3 viewers praised Chukwudi Iwuji’s performance as the High Evolutionary, insisting the Nigerian actor’s display as the film’s menacing villain makes him the right man to succeed Majors as Kang. Some fans claimed Iwuji’s transition into Kang could easily be explained, with one saying, “I’m ok with the MCU just saying, ‘The High Evolutionary was a Kang variant, and Chukwudi Iwuji will be Kang going forward,’ I wouldn’t mind one bit.” Other fans also pushed the idea of Marvel revealing the High Evolutionary to be a Kang variant, with some posting split-screen images of Iwuji’s character and Kang to boost the narrative.
Calls for Iwuji to replace Majors as Kang come after Majors was hit with assault and harassment charges following an alleged incident involving his girlfriend in New York City on March 25. While Majors has been dropped from several major projects, including an upcoming Otis Redding biopic and a film adaptation of Walter Mosley’s thriller novel The Man in My Basement, Marvel has denied engaging in talks about recasting Kang the Conqueror. Majors, who featured as Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, is due to star as the intimidating supervillain in the next two Avengers films, The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars. However, there are rumors Marvel has a contingency plan for Majors despite its public denials regarding recasting, with names like Snowfall‘s Damson Idris having been mentioned as possible replacements.
Who Is the High Evolutionary?
Iwuji was cast as the High Evolutionary last July, playing the live-action version of the Marvel Comics character that first appeared in 1966’s The Mighty Thor #133. Initially, the casting of Iwuji drew racist criticisms from fans who accused Guardians of the Galaxy 3 director James Gunn of race-swapping, criticisms Gunn strongly hit back at as he backed Iwuji’s credentials to play the part. Before playing the sociopathic scientist and Rocket’s creator, Iwuji starred as Project Butterfly leader Clemson Murn/Ik Nobe Lok in the DC Universe series, Peacemaker, alongside John Cena and Jennifer Holland. He also featured as Akoni in John Wick: Chapter 2.
The performance of Iwuji as the High Evolutionary was widely lauded by critics and audience members, with some calling him one of the MCU’s most convincing big bads. His character was a central figure in Guardians 3, posing a serious threat to Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and his fellow Guardians throughout the film. Vol. 3 is the final installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, also starring Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer) and Vin Diesel (Groot).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has so far been a critical and box-office success, with the film generating $289.3 million in worldwide ticket sales since its release on May 5, while the threequel has also earned an 82% critical rating and 95% audience score via Rotten Tomatoes. The future of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise’s characters also remains a talking point for Gunn and Marvel following the trilogy as they hash out whether they will reappear in the MCU.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is now showing in theaters.
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