At this time last year, Jonathan Majors was on the precipice of becoming one of the biggest actors in Hollywood – having earned widespread critical acclaim and joined a few major franchises. Since being convicted of reckless assault and harassment this past December, however, Majors’ career has spiraled. Immediately after the verdict, Marvel Studios cut ties with him, and he will no longer play Kang the Conqueror in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following that up, it was reported a few days ago that the actor has apparently been dropped from the Dennis Rodman biopic that is in the works. Today, word has arrived that Majors’ big title from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, Magazine Dreams, has lost its distributor.
Following its festival premiere last January, Magazine Dreams was picked up for distribution by Searchlight Pictures, and there was a plan in place to have the film be released in early December (setting the title up as a contender during awards season). The movie was taken off the release calendar in October amid Majors’ legal issues, and The Hollywood Reporter is now saying that the indie arm of Walt Disney Studios has “quietly returned rights of the movie to the filmmakers.” The trade says that the plan isn’t to shelve the movie, but instead to shop it to other potential buyers.
Magazine Dreams is the second feature film from writer/director Elijah Bynum, and it provides a dark look into the world of bodybuilding. Jonathan Majors plays Killian Maddox, an aspiring bodybuilder who is wholly obsessed with his goals and has emotional issues that are exacerbated by regular steroid usage. The movie’s supporting cast includes Haley Bennett, Taylour Paige, Mike O’Hearn, Harrison Page and Harriet Sansom Harris.
I had the chance to personally see the movie virtually covering the Sundance Film Festival last year, and I wrote in my festival review that the movie presented Jonathan Majors with his “Travis Bickle moment” akin to Tom Hardy in Bronson, Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler, and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker. It’s a grim film that features a disturbing turn from its lead actor, and it’s a movie that would likely have been discussed in this year’s Best Actor Oscar race if not for Major’s actions and the fallout.
Magazine Dreams is the only work that Jonathan Majors has completed that has not yet been released. Following the movie’s Sundance premiere in 2023, Majors made his big screen debut as Kang The Conqueror in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, and a few weeks later he starred opposite Michael B. Jordan as the antagonist in Creed III. Audiences last got to see him in episodes of Loki Season 2, which premiered on Disney+ this past fall. His future in Hollywood is unclear.