Somewhat on the heels of James Gunn’s Suicide Squad, we’ve received confirmation that Marvel Studios has begun development on the Thunderbolts film. This is something that the MCU fanbase has been theorizing for a while, and while the news is something to definitely get excited about, it’s something that has been slowly building for a minute.
The rumors around this project were rampant and hope of William Hurt’s reprisal of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (who would eventually become the Red Hulk) were crushed after his unfortunate passing earlier this year. The project is on the fast track with Jake Schreier (Robot & Frank) as director and Eric Pearson (Black Widow) returning to the MCU as its screenwriter.
The confirmation comes from Pearson’s own Instagram story, where he posted a screenshot of the article that spoke of the news. With the screenshot Pearson added, “Guess we can finally talk about it!” If you’re unclear about what the Thunderbolts are about, think Suicide Squad, but their unhinged behavior is slightly more tame (because they don’t have a wild card like Harley Quinn on their team). There hasn’t been any cast confirmations, but we have a pretty good pool to choose from so far.
We’ll most likely see the group being led by Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) or Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). The group will probably be populated by familiar faces such as Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), U.S. Agent (played by Wyatt Russell), Taskmaster (played by Olga Kurylenko), Abomination (Tom Roth), and (if they recast) General Thaddeus Ross.
Of course, it would be great to see other morally-gray characters in there as well, such as Deadpool and Punisher, but the crumbs for the Thunderbolts has slowly been left out for some time. Further, it wouldn’t make sense to shove Deadpool and/or the Punisher into such a large lineup.
Photo via Dominique Clare, Marvel