Marvel's Thunderbolts cast has been officially revealed! As part of Marvel Studios' big presentation at D23 Expo 2022, the ensemble of actors coming together to play the Thunderbolts was certainly a headlining event. Marvel Studios has made it a tradition of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise to shut down shows by displaying their all-star ensemble lineups in projects like The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, or Eternals; the Thunderbolts are a nice twisted little turn on that tradition, as this particular team will be made up not of heroes, but ne'er do wells from the darker corners of the MCU.
Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova/Black Widow II) wasn't there in person, but is confirmed for the film. A cast photo before the panel revealed that Wyatt Russell (John Walker/US Agent), Hannah John-Kamen (Ava/Ghost), Red Guardian (David Harbour) and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Valentina Allegra de Fontaine) are all part of Thunderbolts – and so is Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier! Concept art revealed Black Widow's Taskmaster is also on the team.
Jake Schreier (Paper Towns) is confirmed to be directing the film, while Eric Pearson (Black Widow) is confirmed to be the writer.
In Marvel Comics history, Thunderbolts was a series that started off selling fans on the idea of a new 1990s superhero squad – only to pull the surprise twist that it was actually a team of villains posing as heroes. Over the years, that concept evolved into everything from villains posing as heroes to villains trying to find redemption as heroes; a team of heroes, villains, and anti-heroes conscripted into government service; and even an expendable squad of low-rent villains forced on a suicide mission by Kingpin. Marvel just relaunched the comic series this year, with the latest premise being the Thunderbolts serving as the only government-sanctioned superhero team operating, with Hawkeye leading an eclectic team that is both an Avengers-style hero squad and public relations campaign.
The MCU Thunderbolts will mark the end of MCU Phase 5, before Phase 6 kicks off with Marvel's Fantastic Four Reboot. Given everything we've seen in Phase 5 leading up to it, Thunderbolts seems like it could mark the end of Phase 5 with a new world order (Captain America 4 pun) of villains at the forefront, and heroes on their backheels. In that sense, this Thunderbolts movie seems like it could be a nice blend of several iterations of the comics. One thing is for sure: seeing this cast together doing (bad?)(good?) things is going to be a ride, for sure.
Thunderbolts will be in theaters on July 26, 2024.4comments