Marvel Is Making A Thunderbolts Movie, And It Already Has Some Key Talent Lined Up

There’s no shortage of upcoming Marvel movies that have been officially confirmed, from the Blade reboot starring Mahershala Ali to Captain America 4 starring Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson. But look around long enough online, and you’ll find plenty of Marvel movies that have just been rumored, including one centered on the antihero team called the Thunderbolts. Well, it looks like the Thunderbolts movie is indeed happening, and it’s already lined up some key talent.

As shared by Deadline, the “top secret” Thunderbolts movie has recruited Jake Schreier to direct, and Eric Pearson to write the script. In addition to helming numerous music videos, Schreier made his film debut with 2012’s Robot & Frank, and followed up with Paper Towns three years later. He reportedly landed the directing job after impressing executives with his Thunderbolts presentation in recent weeks. Pearson has been in the MCU sphere for years now, having written Black Widow and co-written Thor: Ragnarok with Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost. 

Marvel Comics artwork of '90s Thunderbolts team

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Writer Justin Kroll added in a follow-up tweet that Marvel sees Thunderbolts as “their version of Suicide Squad,” which makes sense because both these teams feature villains and antiheroes who go out on missions to protect the world. Although with the Thunderbolts, it varies whether they’re carrying out directives from the U.S. government or stand as an independent entity. In any case, Kroll also mentioned that there are a handful of characters we’ve met in the MCU who could make up this franchise’s Thunderbolts lineup, including Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova/Black Widow, Olga Kurylenko’s Antonia Dreykov/Taskmaster, Daniel Brühl’s Helmut Zero and Wyatt Russell’s John Walker/U.S. Agent.

Although today marks the biggest indication yet that Thunderbolts is coming down the MCU pipeline, Marvel fans caught potential groundwork being laid for the team last year in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Black Widow, specifically through Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. In the former miniseries, she recruited John Walker in the former miniseries after he was stripped of the Captain America title and gave him the U.S. Agent identity, and in the latter movie’s post-credits scene, she assigned Yelena Belova to hunt down Clint Barton, thus setting up her involvement in Hawkeye. Much like how Nick Fury put the pieces in place for the Avengers to come together, it appears that Valentina is taking steps to form the Thunderbolts.

In addition to the previously-mentioned characters, some other possible candidates for the MCU’s Thunderbolts team could be Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky/Abomination (who’s returning in a few months for Disney+’s She-Hulk series) and Hannah John-Kamen’s Ava Starr/Ghost (who we met in Ant-Man and the Wasp). Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross also formed a version of the Thunderbolts in the comics during his Red Hulk days. However, William Hurt passed away back in March, so obviously the MCU would need to recast the role of Ross to bring him back into play for Thunderbolts or any other kind of project. To summarize, think of any surviving antihero or major villain on a path to redemption in the MCU, and they ideally are at least on the proverbial table for the Thunderbolts roster.

Since Thunderbolts is still early into the development process, it may be a while until we get another major update on its progress. Once that happens though, CinemaBlend will pass it along. Until then, there are plenty of Marvel movies and TV shows to watch with your Disney+ subscription.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.