During San Diego Comic-Con’s Marvel Studios panel in July, the official MCU Phase 5 lineup was announced, with Thunderbolts set to cap things off in summer 2024. However, the initial news did not include the cast. Fans have been theorizing about the Thunderbolts roster for some time and, now, we have it! At Saturday’s Marvel Panel at the D23 Expo, the MCU’s lineup was named and Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier is among an exciting new team that includes more returning faces.
Leading the Thunderbolts cast is Florence Pugh of Black Widow, as she'll reprise her scene-stealing role as Yelena Belova. She will not only team up with Stan’s Winter Soldier, but she'll also be joined by David Harbour’s Red Guardian, Olga Kurylenko’s Taskmaster, also from BW, Wyatt Russell’s US Agent, and Hannah John Kamen’s Ghost from Ant-Man and the Wasp. And rounding out the group is Julia Louis Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Check out the concept art that Marvel Studios' Andy Park shared:
What an honor it was to have this THUNDERBOLTS concept illustration I did introduce the cast to the world up on stage at @DisneyD23 with the actors & our head honcho in Kevin Feige?? I’m deeply honored! 🙏🏻#Thunderbolts pic.twitter.com/k1sDoax6IpSeptember 10, 2022
At D23, the picture above was shown and features all six team members together with Florence Pugh’s Yelena in the middle, David Harbour’s Red Guardian to her immediate right and Stan’s Bucky to her left, with the rest of the team around them. While just about all the cast was up on stage, Pugh couldn’t join them, but she did make an appearance via a quick video message to Marvel fans sharing her excitement for her upcoming Marvel film.
As we learned a few months ago, Thunderbolts will be directed by Robot & Frank and Paper Town’s Jake Schreier from a script by Black Widow writer Eric Pearson. Many comic book fans have asserted that the team is Marvel’s equivalent to DC’s Suicide Squad as evidenced by some villains and antiheroes on the team.
This is a team that Marvel has been hinting at and setting up for a little while, especially through 2021’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Black Widow. The upcoming Marvel movie will come out on July 26, 2024, two months after Captain America: New World Order kicks off that year’s summer season. At the end of 2024, Marvel Phase 6 will begin with Fantastic Four before two Avengers films, The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars are released in 2025.
The Marvel Comics team was created by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley and debuted in 1997 in The Incredible Hulk #449. There have been numerous versions of the Thunderbolts, but they were originally formed by Baron Zemo, with Black Widow, Winter Soldier and other heroes, like Hawkeye leading the team over the years.
Before the film drops, there are six movies ahead of it, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever first in line and round out the year and Marvel’s Phase 4, which also had Dora Milaje-centric footage at D23. With that, there's little less than two years to go before Thunderbolts, so let the countdown to Winter Soldier and Yelena's returns begin!
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