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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Jonathan Majors: A Meteoric Ascent Followed by a Stunning Plunge

In the dynamic realm of Hollywood, where new stars are a rarity, Jonathan Majors was once hailed as the next big thing. Charismatic, cerebral, and possessing the physique of an action hero, the 34-year-old actor swiftly climbed the ranks from acclaimed indie films to major blockbusters. The anticipation for 2023 was palpable, with the release of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” “Creed III,” and the Oscar-contending prestige drama “Magazine Dreams.”

However, Majors’ trajectory took a sharp nosedive as he faced legal troubles. In March, he was charged with assaulting his then-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari. On Monday, he was convicted of reckless assault and harassment, with sentencing scheduled for Feb. 6. While acquitted on two counts involving intent, the verdict marked a significant blow to Majors’ career.

The aftermath of the conviction saw Marvel Studios swiftly severing ties with the actor. Majors, originally cast as the supervillain Kang, slated to appear in multiple projects, including the next two “Avengers” films, found himself ousted from the studio. This decision from Marvel solidified Majors’ fall from grace, transforming him from an up-and-coming Hollywood star to a persona non grata.

Adding to the turmoil, Searchlight Pictures removed “Magazine Dreams” from its year-end release calendar. The film, where Majors portrayed a steroid-addled bodybuilder, had generated Oscar buzz following its intense premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Jonathan Majors’ ascent and subsequent descent stand out as one of the swiftest in Hollywood history. Fresh out of the Yale School of Drama, Majors garnered attention for his breakout role in “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” (2019), where he portrayed a sensitive playwright grappling with artistic pursuits in a gentrifying city. The film earned him acclaim, quickly elevating Majors to the top of casting directors’ lists.

His star continued to rise with high-profile projects such as the HBO supernatural drama “Lovecraft Country,” which earned him an Emmy nomination, and Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods.” Marvel Studios, impressed by his talent, enlisted Majors in October 2020 to play Kang, a multiversal threat set to wreak havoc in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

With major roles in Hollywood blockbusters like “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Creed III,” Majors seemed poised for A-list stardom. His involvement in projects like the western “The Harder They Fall” (2021) and the war drama “Devotion” (2022) solidified his status as a versatile actor.

However, the legal troubles and subsequent conviction threw a wrench into Majors’ promising career. Marvel Studios, known for its zero-tolerance policy, swiftly cut ties with the actor, altering the trajectory of his Hollywood journey. Searchlight Pictures’ decision to pull “Magazine Dreams” further underscored the industry’s shift away from the actor.

While Majors may still find opportunities in independent films, his chances of reclaiming the major studio spotlight have significantly diminished. The Hollywood landscape, once eager to embrace him, now appears poised to seek new talents as Jonathan Majors grapples with the consequences of his actions.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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