Harrison Ford Confirmed For Captain America 4 and Marvel's Thunderbolts

10/17/2022 01:16 pm EDT

Harrison Ford is confirmed to be taking over the role of Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – a role formerly held by Oscar-winning actor William Hurt, who died earlier this year. Ford will reportedly make his debut as Thunderbolt Ross in Captain America: New World Order in May of 2024; he will then reportedly appear in Marvel's Thunderbolts movie, which is slated for release in July of 2024. That release schedule will presumably allow Ford to get his appearances done in one stint of production on both films. Ford will also be doing work for Disney when he returns for Indiana Jones 5 in late June of next year. 

Rumors have been circling for weeks now that Ford was Marvel Studios' top choice to play Thunderbolt Ross in the MCU, with journalist/scooper Jeff Snieder claiming that Ford was possibly hesitant to take on the role due to franchise commitments and/or stepping into the shoes of William Hurt, his old friend and colleague. Clearly, any wrinkles were ironed out, because Ford is now jumping into the MCU in what could be a rather big arc for Ross, long in the making. 

Why Is Thunderbolt Ross Being Recast? 

(Photo: Marvel Studios)

As stated, Thunderbolt Ross is a very pivotal Marvel character who has been helping turn the gears of the MCU since the beginning. With everything that MCU Phase 4 has set up, Ross is a government figure who will be key in the clearly chaning times of the post-Avengers and post-Blip era. He also has so many deep ties to Marvel Comics lore that it makes it hard to simply write the character off alongside the real-life death of William Hurt. 

Based on the projects he's already slated for, Ford's Thunderbolt Ross could be a key public figure in helping get a govenrment-backed team like the Thunderbolts launched. He could also be a key ally of shady cover-ops organizer Val, which would mean Ford sharing the screen with Julia Louis Dreyfus in Thunderbolts. That's a pairing that would help draw in an older demogracphic of movie fan to see Thunderbolts, for sure. 

Then, there's the big MCU theory about Harrison Ford's Thunderbolt Ross getting to Hulk out! 

The Red Hulk

General Thaddeus Ross has a long Marvel Comics history that just so happens to run into an eagerly-awaited storyline for the MCU: Red Hulk. A.I.M. and The Intelligencia all combined their efforts to give Ross the powers of a Hulk, resutling in a Red Hulk that has all of Ross' military cunning and prowess in a powerful Hulk body. Notable distinctions are Red Hulk's anger creating heat he can emmit and attack with – as well as energy absorption. 

Red Hulk already got name-dropped in Marvel's She-Hulk: Attorney at Law - a big signal flare that the anti-hero could indeed be on the way. Many fans were skeptical that Harrison Ford would sign-on to do motion-capture in a Hulk rigging like actor Mark Ruffalo and Tatiana Maslany – but could they have been wrong?

Captain America 4 will be in theaters on May 3, 2024. Thunderbolts will be in theaters on July 26, 2024. 

Source: THR

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