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SYFY WIRE Marvel Cinematic Universe

Supervillains at your service! ‘Thunderbolts’ MCU film moves forward with director and screenwriter

No news yet, however, on which supervillains will make up the Thunderbolts team in the upcoming film. 

By Vanessa Armstrong

The MCU's long-rumored Thunderbolts movie, a film that would center around a group of supervillains who get together and go on missions for the U.S. Government, is apparently moving forward.

According to Deadline, director Jake Schreier (Robot & Frank, Paper Towns) is now attached to helm the project, with Black Widow writer Eric Pearson on board to pen the script. Kevin Feige, Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, is producing the film, just like he does every other MCU property. 

Additional details on the Marvel project are top secret. We don’t even know what supervillains (or former supervillains) will be part of the group, though Deadline mentions Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), Abomination (Tim Roth), US Agent (Wyatt Russell), and Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) as possibilities. 

Just throwing this out there, but Iron-Man 2’s Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) would also be a welcome possibility, given that some say he’s the most underrated villain in the MCU.

This is all speculation, of course — we don’t even know if General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross will be in the film. If he is, the General-turned-Secretary of State would have to be recast, as William Hurt sadly passed away earlier this year. No deal for any actor to take on that role, however, has been confirmed. Deadline did say that Marvel has reached out to actors who play certain existing characters and told them to keep their calendar free for when the film starts shooting next summer.


The Thunderbolts were first introduced in Marvel comics in 1997's The Incredible Hulk #449 by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley. In that comic, a group of superpowered people led by Baron Helmut Zemo ostensibly help protect Earth after the Avengers are presumed dead. The end of that run reveals that the group is actually the Masters of Evil. Later on in the comics, however, the Thunderbolts oust Zemo as their leader and actually try to be good. 

What the MCU takes from the comics, however, remains unknown. We’ll likely have to wait a bit longer to get more details, perhaps until the Marvel panel during the D23 convention in September? Or maybe even longer than that given this movie might happen beyond Phase 4.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for more sci-fi and fantasy, head over to Peacock for films like Firestarter, Constantine, Twilight, Creepshow, Resident Evil, and Independence Day.