According to DEADLINE’s Justin Kroll on a recent episode of Matthew Belloni’s Podcast, he revealed that Florence Pugh is set to lead the Thunderbolts project.
Kroll: “[Pugh] has got the Marvel superhero that’s already got a spin-off. Upcoming for her, actually, on that character is this Thunderbolts film, which is basically Marvel’s Suicide Squad. Hopefully, it has better results. But the concept is it’d be her leading the team of like Wyatt Russell’s [John Walker], Daniel Bruhl’s [Zemo], those anti-heroes that aren’t exactly good but aren’t exactly bad. So there’s that. And people seem to like the Yelena character.”
While no other details were confirmed about the project, it was revealed that the film will end act as the conclusion of the studio’s upcoming fifth Phase. The Phase kicks off in February with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
While not listed, it’s worth noting that Olga Kurylenko’s Taskmaster, Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost, and even Jameela Jamil’s Titania are also eligible antiheroes that could appear. And we cannot wait for Marvel to announce an official roster for what many are saying could be the Studio’s very own version of The Suicide Squad (notice the “The” in front).
Thunderbolts has been quietly in the development process for quite some time. Director Jake Schreier reportedly blew away execs and ultimately landed him the job. Not much is known about the plot of the film other than it revolves around a group of supervillains (or at least characters who have played bad guys at one point in MCU). Marvel has been in touch with certain individuals who are already part of the MCU to make sure to keep an opening in their schedules for next summer when it shoots.
For those unfamiliar with the Thunderbolts, it would be fair to say that they are Marvel’s equivalent to the Suicide Squad; however, they don’t have bombs in their necks forcing them to save the world against their will. Instead, they are recruited by General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross.
Sadly, William Hurt, who played Marvel Cinematic Universe, passed away in May. So, a recast may be coming. The character was last seen in Black Widow in frail condition, leading people to believe he could become Red Hulk by subjecting himself to a variant of the Super Soldier Program.
In the comics, the Thunderbolts have consisted of Baron Zemo, U.S. Agent, the Winter Soldier, Yelena Belova, Ghost, Taskmaster, and Abomination, all of which currently exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Additionally, Deadpool, Luke Cage, and even Ghost Rider have served on the team at some point.