“Thunderbolts,” a film that will bring some of Marvel’s shadier characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a sort of Dark Avengers, is one of the more intriguing projects on Marvel Studio’s slate. Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Fontaine, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes, David Harbour’s Red Guardian, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, and Wyatt Russell as Dollar General Captain America, aka John Walker, better known as US Agent, have already been revealed in concept art.
We also know that Steven Yeun and “The Bear” actor Ayo Edebiri are in the cast, though both will be new MCU characters, with Yeun rumored to play comic book fan-favorite Sentry, an insanely powerful hero with a very, very dark side. A supervillain literally lives within him and is an extension of his own powerful self.
As the June shoot date approaches, Variety reports that a new writer has joined the project and will likely make the final pass at the script before it is locked and shooting begins. That writer is none other than “Beef” creator Lee Sung Jin, which is appropriate given that Jin collaborated with both directors Jake Schreier and Steven Yeun on the film.
It’s fun being the bad guy
Jin will join the cast after “Black Widow” writer Eric Pearson finishes his draft. With pre-production underway and shooting set to begin soon, it’s not surprising that Jin was quoted in Variety as saying that this is only a rewrite and not a complete overhaul of the script.
“I’m rewriting it. It’s the whole squad again. Jake asked me if I would come on board. I probably should have taken a break, but there’s a lot of themes and exciting things about the movie that I couldn’t help but sign on.”
The MCU has plenty of room to let its hair down by indulging these gray characters. This isn’t the same as Marvel’s “The Suicide Squad,” but I imagine it’ll cover a similar area of comics where not everyone has to follow Boy Scout rules. All of the characters mentioned for the MCU version aren’t outright evil. Every single one of them has done bad things but has either shown a sliver of conscience (like Ghost and Taskmaster) or is already on the verge of becoming a hero (lookin’ at you, Yelena).
Jin appears to be called in to tighten things up and possibly inject some of his trademark dark humor into the mix. I’m looking forward to seeing all of these talented people thrown together in the same story. It’s going to be chaotic and a lot of fun.
“Thunderbolts” is on track for a July 26, 2024 release date, which is a very quick turnaround for a superhero film.