Not so long ago, we expected Avengers: The Kang Dynasty to be Marvel Studios’ next sure bet for success, but that prediction changed once Jonathan Majors was dropped from the franchise and the fifth Avengers movie had to go back to the drawing board.
As things stand, we’re just currently calling the film Avengers 5 as we await updated info on what new screenwriter Michael Waldron (Loki season 1, Doctor Strange 2) will offer up. Originally, Kang Dynasty had a director and a different writer locked in, with Shang-Chi‘s Destin Daniel Cretton set to helm and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s Jeff Loveness on call to provide the script. However, Cretton clearly saw the warning signs and exited the project last Fall.
Loveness’ original vision for the film obviously wouldn’t work without Majors’ Kang involved, so naturally Waldron was brought on to revamp it once things changed. Still, rumored intel alleging some intriguing plot details about Loveness’ script might still tease what we can expect from Avengers 5. According to the scuttlebutt, it may indicate one fan-favorite Avenger will shockingly be sitting this one out.
According to rumored intel sourced from insider Daniel Richtman, Loveness’ script for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty was “relatively grounded and not involved many multiversal elements,” outside of the inclusion of Kang, natch. Waldron’s new screenplay, meanwhile, is said to be “similar” but “involves the multiverse more” and has stronger ties to Secret Wars, including featuring some “multiverse heroes,” which appears to tie into those rumors of Tobey Maguire and co. returning.
What’s most eye-grabbing about these rumors, though, is the claim that The Kang Dynasty 1.0 would’ve “had all the Multiverse Saga leads except Thor fighting Kang variants on Earth.” Assuming this refers to just the movie leads, this may just give us a taste at the lineup of the Avengers when they finally reassemble: Sam Wilson’s Captain America, Captain Marvel, Shang-Chi, Doctor Strange, Shuri’s Black Panther, Spider-Man, and perhaps even Deadpool. But not, it seems, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.
There are lots of caveats here, of course, as this is just rumored info of an old script, but Waldron’s version is supposed to be similar to Loveness’ story so a matching lineup of heroes seems plausible. Likewise, Hemsworth has been open about how it would take some convincing to get him to play Thor again and he would particularly have to be won over with something he hasn’t done before. Well, the guy’s been in four Avengers flicks already, so he can’t be blamed if he would rather sit this one out. Especially if none of the other OG Avengers are returning either.
Then again, keeping Thor out of the picture could be a deliberate bit of delayed gratification, with Hemsworth perhaps due for a big role in Secret Wars instead. Nevertheless, without any of the original six heroes around, would Avengers 5 be able to capture that Infinity Saga magic in the same way? Not to sound like Vision, but what if the Avengers are like the Ship of Theseus? Are they still the Avengers even if all their members are different?
Thor: Love and Thunder might not have been the Ragnarok follow-up we were all hoping for, but Chris Hemsworth remains one of the most popular MCU heroes. His absence from Avengers 5 could be an even bigger deal than Jonathan Majors’. We’ll gain a clearer picture of what’s to come as we head ever closer to its release date on May 1, 2026.