Lucasfilm president and Indiana Jones producer Kathleen Kennedy reportedly "put her foot down" to block Marvel Studios from announcing Harrison Ford's Thunderbolts casting at Disney's D23 Expo. Ford — rumored to be in talks to replace the late William Hurt as General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross in the ensemble — was on hand at the convention promoting Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones 5, which will be the 80-year-old actor's last time playing the archeologist adventurer. According to The Ankler insider Jeff Sneider, who reported Ford is Marvel's "top choice" for the role, Kennedy advised Disney against taking attention away from the fifth and final Indiana Jones film.
According to Sneider, "They actually wanted to announce him as a cast member in Thunderbolts at D23. But they didn't because Kathy Kennedy put her foot down and said, 'No, we're going to keep the focus on Indiana Jones 5.'"
Kennedy, who serves as a longtime producer on the iconic franchise created by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, presented the first footage from the film exclusively for convention goers. A sequel to 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, James Mangold (Logan, Ford v Ferrari) is directing the film from producers Kennedy, Spielberg, Simon Emanuel, and Frank Marshall.
The Indiana Jones 5 cast includes Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Toby Jones, John Rhys-Davies, and Antonio Banderas. Disney's Lucasfilm is slated to open the as-yet-untitled Indy 5 on June 30th, 2023.
It's unclear whether Ford has signed on to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thunderbolts, about a team of anti-heroes and reformed supervillains from director Jake Schreier (Lodge 49, Kidding).
At D23, Kevin Feige's Marvel Studios revealed its Thunderbolts team: Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova/Black Widow, David Harbour as Red Guardian, Wyatt Russell as US Agent, Hannah John Kamen as Ghost, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, and Julia Louis Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Marvel Studios' Thunderbolts opens in theaters on July 26th, 2024.