Yelena and Bucky are back!
and Florence Pugh are set to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Sebastian Stan Thunderbolts alongside a few familiar faces.
Marvel confirmed that the Oscar-nominated actress will lead the 2024 movie in September 2022 at D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Pugh will reprise her role as Yelena Belova, the little sister of
Scarlett Johansson‘s Natasha Romanoff and an assassin from Russia’s Black Widow program.
“I am unbelievably excited to be joining this cast,” Pugh told the audience at D23 in a pre-recorded video from
the set of . Dune 2
Thunderbolts‘ plot is largely unknown, but the Marvel Comics team was a Suicide Squad-like group of super villains who teamed up. The movie has fewer top-level bad guys and leans more into characters who waver between good and bad, like Winter Soldier (Stan) and Red Guardian ( ). David Harbour
Scroll down for everything we know so far about Marvel’s
Does Marvel’s ‘Thunderbolts’ Have a Release Date?
Though Thunderbolts was initially set to premiere on July 26, 2024, the film was delayed. In June 2023, Marvel announced that the film’s release date was pushed back to December 20, 2024.
Due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, filming paused until 2024. Thunderbolts will now hit theaters on July 25, 2025.
Why Is ‘Thunderbolts’ Filming Delayed?
Production on the action flick was set to begin in June 2023 but was delayed until further notice amid the Writers Guild of America strike. The Wrap confirmed filming was on hold in May 2023.
After both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes were resolved, Stan revealed in January 2024 that Thunderbolts was scheduled to start filming in late winter. “I’m excited. I’m going to go back basically in a month or so,” he told Variety. “I’ve missed it. It’s a great cast.”
Marion Curtis/StarPix for Apple Original Films/Shutterstock; Ash Knotek/Shutterstock
What Will Be the Tone of the ‘Thunderbolts’ Movie?
According to Harbour, Thunderbolts has at least one story arc that will have fans in their feelings. “That relationship with Yelena is, like, we get to go into that more. [It’s] funny and satisfying in a real emotional way,” Harbour teased during an August 2023 episode of the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast. He added, “They’re letting the Red Guardian do stuff that he’s never done before. … The script we have is really tight.”
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Which Marvel Stars Are Returning for ‘Thunderbolts’?
Pugh will have the company of her fellow Black Widow stars Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster (an assassin who can mirror anyone’s fighting skills), Harbor as Red Guardian (Russia’s Captain America knockoff) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as La Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (A.K.A. Val, a mysterious woman with lots of money). They aren’t isn’t the only familiar faces onboard for the flick.
Stan will return as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier. The Pam & Tommy actor is one of the most senior members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, joining in 2010’s Captain America: The First Avenger. After breaking free of his brainwashing, Bucky is now one of the good guys, helping out the new Captain America (Anthony Mackie) and redeeming himself after decades as a mindless assassin.
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Bucky butted heads with John Walker/U.S. Agents, played by Wyatt Russell, who is also set to join the Thunderbolts cast.
Walker made a deal to work for Val at the end of the 2021 Disney+ series, but it wasn’t clear what kind of jobs she’d ask him to complete.
With Winter Soldier, U.S. Agent and Red Guardian, the Thunderbolts have three men who were the subject of experiments attempting to replicate the super soldier serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America.
Finally, there’s Hannah John-Kamen, who returns as Ava Starr/Ghost after first entering the MCU in 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. The character was perceived as a villain while searching for a cure to her molecular instability but turned out to be one of the good guys.
Corey Nickols/Getty Images for IMDb
Who Is New to the MCU in ‘Thunderbolts’?
The Bear star Ayo Edebiri was set to join the MCU’s Thunderbolts in a currently unknown role, but after the actors and writers strikes delayed production, she had to drop out in January 2024. Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers) replaced her, according to Variety, indicating that it’s a comedic part.
Similarly, Steven Yeun joined the cast in March 2023, but he exited amid scheduling conflicts. His role was recast with Lewis Pullman (Lessons in Chemistry), Deadline reported in January 2024.
Meanwhile, Harrison Ford is expected to make his debut as General Thaddeus Ross (replacing the late William Hurt in the role).
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Who Is the Leader of the Thunderbolts?
“What’s fun about that, and I sort of said this at D23, is that they are barely heroes. None of them would consider themselves heroes. When your de facto leader is Bucky Barnes, that’s sort of all you need to know,” Feige told Entertainment Weekly in February 2023. “That’s the trickle down.”
Marion Curtis/StarPix for Apple Original Films/Shutterstock
What Has David Harbour Super Excited for ‘Thunderbolts’?
While speaking at the Marvel Studios panel at the D23 Expo in September 2022, John-Kamen and Harbour shared what they were looking forward to with regard to their roles — without revealing any spoilers, of course.
“It’s actually gonna be really nice to play the kind of painless strengths of Ghost and see where that takes her,” John-Kamen stated to Marvel Entertainment while discussing her character’s trajectory.
Harbour, however, hilariously explained how excited he was for Red Guardian’s possible wardrobe changes. “I was told I would get a new suit,” the Stranger Things actor said.
“I don’t wanna say the f-word, but I am really psyched about that! You watch Captain America and you see him in all these different movies and you see him with all these different [costumes] with a white star, a black star — just a full closet of suits — so I’m well on my way.”
Who Is the Creative Team Behind ‘Thunderbolts’?
Jake Schreier will direct Thunderbolts. Eric Pearson, who worked on both Thor: Ragnarok and Black Widow, is set to write the script.
Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios
Why Did Steven Yeun Drop Out of ‘Thunderbolts’?
After news broke in January 2024 that Yeun would not be in the Marvel movie, the actor shared that the delays in the project played a part in his exit.
“I think for me, time passing and things shifting kind of pulled me out of it,” Yeun said to Variety at the time. “But [director] Jake [Schreier], I know, is going to do an incredible job.”
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