Rumor Has It Harrison Ford Was Approached To Join The MCU, But Could It Really Happen?

Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

At 80 years old, Harrison Ford continues to be a Hollywood heavyweight, and he’s certainly not lacking in blockbuster experience, ranging from his time on five Star Wars movies and the Indiana Jones movies, to more conventional action flicks like The Fugitive and Air Force One. However, Ford has yet to dive into the superhero genre, but there have been a couple rumors that he’s been approached to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Could this actually happen? Before we discuss that, let’s go over the two upcoming Marvel movies Ford is supposedly being eyed for, and remember that this information should be taken with a grain of salt.

Fantastic Four logo

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Harrison Ford Is Rumored For Fantastic Four

In early September, Giant Freakin’ Robot reported that Harrison Ford is being courted to appear in Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four reboot, which is now being directed by WandaVision’s Matt Shakman and has Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer attached as the scriptwriters. The outlet guessed that Ford would be playing Franklin Storm, the father of Susan and Johnny Storm (a.k.a. The Invisible Woman and The Human Torch), who was previously played by Reg E. Cathey in 2015’s Fantastic Four

It was further speculated that the MCU’s incarnation of Franklin Storm would be modeled after the one from the Ultimate universe, and while the next Fantastic Four movie is confirmed not to be an origin story, he could still act as a mentor to the heroic quartet. Ford filled a similar role in 2013’s Ender’s Game as Colonel Hyrum Graff, although obviously Franklin’s children, as well as Reed Richards and Ben Grimm, wouldn’t be adolescents like in the film adaptation of the Orson Scott Card novel. 

Thunderbolts logo

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Harrison Ford Is Rumored For Thunderbolts

More recently, The Ankler’s Jeff Sneider shared that “multiple sources” indicated to him that Harrison Ford either is or was Marvel Studios’ top choice to take over playing Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross from the late William Hurt in Thunderbolts, though it’s unclear if he’s already passed on the role. Hurt played Ross in five Marvel movies, and while his first appearance, The Incredible Hulk, saw him following in his comic book counterpart’s footsteps by trying to take down Bruce Banner, in Captain America: Civil War, Black Widow, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, he was the U.S. Secretary of State and operated as an antagonist for the superheroes who didn’t sign the Sokovia Accords.

The Thunderbolts movie was first reported to be in development in June, and after that was confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con, it was revealed at D23 that the MCU’s version of the team will consist of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Ava Starr/Ghost, John Walker/U.S. Agent, Yelena Belova, Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian and Antonia Dreykov/Taskmaster. It’s been theorized that the MCU’s Thunderbolts will be named after Thunderbolt Ross, and the character was part of a later incarnation of the team in the comics while he was Red Hulk. Nevertheless, there’s no official word on him appearing in the movie, let alone that Marvel is looking to recast the role. Furthermore, Sneider also mentioned that the studio denied that Ford is in Thunderbolts.

Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Could We Actually See Harrison Ford In The MCU?

Once again, both these pieces of Harrison Ford news should in no way be considered solid MCU leads. They’re rumors at best, so it’s important to remain skeptical for now. However, the idea of Marvel Studios wanting to hire Harrison Ford is not farfetched. Like I said earlier, the man is still in high demand for major movies, and since he came back for two Star Wars movies under the Disney reign, maybe he’d willing to lend his talents to the MCU.

However, because Harrison Ford is 80 and might want to step back from action-heavy work, I can’t imagine he would do more than one Marvel movie, meaning whoever his character is would either need to be killed off or handled in a way where it was clear we’d never see them again. Between Franklin Storm and Thunderbolt Ross, the former would be more likely since the character usually ends up being killed off. Assuming Marvel does indeed want to recast Ross, it’s hard to imagine it would be for just one final appearance, especially if the character ends up transforming into Red Hulk. Speaking of which, I can’t see Ford having the patience to do motion capture work for Ross in his monstrous form.

For now, I recommend not putting too much stock in Harrison Ford appearing in the MCU, although we’ll obviously let you know if it’s officially announced that he’s joining the franchise, whether it’s as Franklin Storm, Thunderbolt Ross or a character who hasn’t been revealed yet. Until then, get your fill of nearly every MCU offering by subscribing to Disney+.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.