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Marvel’s Thunderbolts Movie Details Unveiled

by John Paul
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After years of speculation, Marvel’s Thunderbolts is finally in production. Here’s everything we know so far, including the release date, cast, and story. Director Jake Schreier will direct the Thunderbolts film, continuing Marvel Studios’ long tradition of scouting indie filmmakers. In addition, the long-awaited theory project is now official, thanks to announcements from the SDCC in 2022 and the D23 Expo.

The Thunderbolts MCU film will most likely be very different from its Marvel Comics counterpart, which is typical of Marvel’s live-action movies and TV shows. Still, much has been secretly assembled in the MCU for a Thunderbolts film, and many of its main players have been confirmed. Here’s everything we know about Marvel’s Thunderbolts film.

The Thunderbolts are a gang of reformed villains in the comics. Baron Zemo formed the original Thunderbolts team after the Avengers were killed. Still, the new Thunderbolts team was actually Zemo’s Masters of Evil in disguise. However, as time passes, the Thunderbolts begin to enjoy being seen as heroes and doing good and eventually depose Zemo as their leader. In the comics, the Thunderbolts’ lineup and leadership have changed significantly over the years, as with all comic book super-teams, with various members leaving and joining the team. But, on the other hand, the Thunderbolts have always been far more morally grey than the Avengers.

Cast: Over the years, the Thunderbolts comic book team has had a revolving door of members. However, a few characters are already (or were previously) in the MCU. They have been associated with the team in the comics. Bucky Barnes or Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl), Clint Barton or Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Wilson Fisk or Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofri0), Luke Cage (Mike Colter),  and even Norman Osborn/Green Goblin are among those who have led the Thunderbolts (Willem Dafoe). The official cast of the movie was announced at the D23 Expo in 2022, so most of these are unlikely to appear. Contessa Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who could very well replace Bucky Barnes as Thunderbolts leader, Red Guardian (David Harbour), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), Ava/Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), John Walker/U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell) and Other comic-book characters may make cameo appearances or be added later. Still, this is the core MCU Thunderbolts team lineup for the time being.

Plot: Thunderbolts’ plot details are currently being kept under wraps, and it’s unclear whether or not there is even a script. However, there are numerous paths the MCU could take with this. Zemo’s end in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier clearly sets up more of him in the future. So, the MCU may adopt a version of the comics’ origin story in which Zemo recruits a team of villains disguised as heroes. However, with Contessa Val in the mix and Zemo seemingly playing both sides (but missing from announcements thus far), it’s more likely that Marvel will skip the villain origins and instead make them a team of antiheroes and other fallen heroes. What they might face is unknown, but the story of the Thunderbolts film could be set up in a Disney+ show or two.

Release date: The Thunderbolts film will be directed by Jake Schreier and written by Black Widow’s Eric Pearson in 2022, so the project is coming together. The film’s production is set to begin in the summer of 2023, with a tentative release date of July 26, 2024. Marvel’s current project slate and release schedule is extremely full, which means that all upcoming projects may change but will hopefully stay on track. Thunderbolts takes a unique place at the tail end of Phase 5, featuring characters who have already been thoroughly introduced while also forming an entirely new team. As such, it will be a watershed moment in the MCU’s history.

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