Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer in Thunder Force

Recently, it was seemingly indirectly confirmed that Melissa McCarthy will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a role in Thor: Love and Thunder opposite her Ghostbusters co-star Chris Hemsworth. However, Taika Waititi’s highly anticipated fourth installment of the Asgardian Avenger’s solo franchise will not be her first superhero movie. In fact, the upcoming film Thunder Force will see the actress and her co-star, Octavia Spencer, making their debuts as costumed crimefighters together.

It actually seems like it was only a matter of time before the Bridesmaids star would land a superhero flick, having already played cops, criminals, a spy, a Ghostbuster, and even a White House press secretary on Saturday Night Live. Not to mention, it is even more surprising to learn how long it took Octavia Spencer to board that train after two YA novel movie franchises, a handful of horror flicks, and winning an Oscar in 2012. Yet, this upcoming action comedy, which will be available to stream exclusively on Netflix, seems like the perfect comic book-esque vehicle for both.

On that note, who else is appearing in this flick, who is the artist behind its creation, and what exactly is the plot? We will answer each of those questions and more in this fast, convenient guide of the most essential things to know about Thunder Force, starting with the most important fact, which anyone looking forward to this movie should know.

Thunder Force is coming to Netflix

Thunder Force Premieres On Netflix In April 2021

Netflix has been dipping its feet into the enduring superhero genre trend for a while now. It started with the short-lived, but much loved, shared universe of gritty Marvel TV shows, a hit series adaptation of Image’s The Umbrella Academy, and recent films like We Can Be Heroes - Robert Rodriguez’s official sequel to his 3-D family film, The Adventure of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, from 2005.

Thunder Force will be the latest addition to the Netflix’s slate of comic book adjacent content when it exclusively premieres on the streaming platform on Friday, April 9, 2021. Speaking of Netflix’s own superhero content, the movie actually has a few things in common with its original summer release Project Power, but with a humorous twist.

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Melissa McCarthy in Thunder Force

Thunder Force Follows Two Middle-Aged Women Who Become Superheroes

As revealed its its first official trailer, which came out on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, Thunder Force stars Melissa McCarthy as an average, middle-aged woman named Lydia. She pays a visit to her childhood friend, Emily (Octavia Spencer), who reveals she has been developing a serum that can give ordinary people extraordinary abilities.

After accidentally injecting herself with the treatment, Lydia gains superhuman strength, inspiring Emily to give herself the power of invisibility and team-up to form the titular duo. Together, they become a force for good against the (literally) powerful criminals that have been terrorizing the world, running into a few comical mishaps along the way.

Real-life friends Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer in Thunder Force

Melissa McCarthy And Octavia Spencer Were Friends Before Co-Starring In Thunder Force

Their Thunder Force characters rekindle their friendship after years apart by becoming superheroes. However, in reality, Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer have been close for more than two decades.

In a March interview for People, the actresses (both 50) dish on how they first met in line for The Price is Right when Bob Barker was still hosting and how much fun they had collaborating on a fun, action-packed project such as the Netflix film. However, the friendly leading ladies technically had their first co-starring experience in 2020 with the HBO Max sci-fi comedy Superintelligence, with Spencer voicing herself and McCarthy sharing a romance with Bobby Cannavale, who would soon play her enemy.

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Bobby Cannavale in Thunder Force

Thunder Force’s Cast Includes Oscar Darlings, Comedians, And Marvel Movie Actors

In addition to Academy Award nominee Melissa McCarthy (for Bridesmaids) and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (for The Help) as the leads, the cast of Thunder Force incorporates a number of versatile and familiar talents. Since the film is a comedy, we can be thankful to see Netflix regular Jason Bateman as a man with crab-like attributes and, also being a superhero flick, it is cool to see Ant-Man’s Bobby Cannavale and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s Pom Klementieff abandon their more heroic MCU reputations to play villains this time.

Fellow Oscar winner Melissa Leo is no stranger to comedy or Netflix (having killed both birds with a Bojack Horseman guest spot), but is making her superhero movie debut with Thunder Force. Also appearing in supporting roles are Chicago Fire star Melissa Ponzio, Sarah Baker (best known as Zach Galifianakis’ wife in The Campaign), and 23-year-old Tyrel Jackson Williams, who earned his superhero actor certification on the Disney XD show Lab Rats.

Ben Falcone in Thunder Force

Thunder Force Is Written And Directed By Ben Falcone

Clearly, working on Thunder Force has been a wonderfully friendly affair between Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer. However, it is also a family affair for McCarthy and her husband - writer and director Ben Falcone.

While this is certainly the first superhero movie the couple has worked on together, the Netflix original marks the fifth time the 47-year-old actor and comedian has directed his wife in a feature film. Their first collaboration as such was in Falcone’s 2014 directorial debut Tammy, followed by The Boss two years later, the collegiate comedy Life of the Party in 2018, and the aforementioned Superintelligence, most recently. Audiences may recognize Falcone best from Bridesmaids as the man McCarthy mistakes for an Air Marshall.

I have always found it amusing when married couples get to jump in on a Hollywood trend like the superhero genre together. For instance, Vision (and former JARVIS) actor Paul Bettany’s wife, Jennifer Connelly, is the voice of “Karen,” the AI in Peter Parker’s Spider-Man suit, and Ryan Reynolds’ romance with Blake Lively began on the set of the Green Lantern - which many might agree is the most positive thing to come out of that film. Here's hoping that audiences have as much fun watching Thunder Force as we can imagine Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone had making it together once it debuts on Netflix.

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