Marvel: 7 Characters We Expect To See In The Upcoming Thunderbolts Movie

Though little is known about the highly-anticipated fifth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we recently discovered that one of the studio’s upcoming top-secret projects will be Thunderbolts. The film is set to be directed by Jake Schreier, and Eric Pearson, best known for writing Black Widow, will pen the script.

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In the comics, the Thunderbolts are a team of super-villains assembled by Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross to do some good. No cast members have been announced yet, but there’s a wide roster of characters that could potentially line up in the team of anti-heroes.


Bucky Barnes – The Winter Soldier

Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) was at a crossroads in his life when we last saw him in the Disney+ series The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. Not only was Bucky trying to come to terms with a life without his best friend, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), but he was also trying to accept the pain he caused during his brainwashed states over the years.

Though the series finale saw Bucky come to terms with who he is, he never quite managed to find his place in the world. Perhaps he will finally discover that he belongs with the Thunderbolts. He’s experienced enough to establish himself as something of a leader within the group, and the work he does would further help him forgive himself for everything he did while under the control of Hydra. Hopefully, Bucky’s return will also continue the positive representation of ex-pats that was so apparent throughout the Disney+ series.

Yelena Belova – Black Widow 2.0

Natasha Romanoff’s younger sister (kind of), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), stole the show when she was first introduced to audiences in Black Widow. She was sharp, skilled, caring, and a hysterical character who reveled in poking fun at her sister and her superhero exploits. Her subsequent appearance in the Hawkeye Disney+ series further endeared her to fans, and many are excited about her next MCU appearance.

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Though Florence Pugh is an incredibly busy actress, with Dune: Part Two and Oppenheimer just two of the projects she’s currently working on, the Thunderbolts would be the perfect place for her character to reappear. Yelena is conflicted and, given how things turned out in the finale of Hawkeye, probably unsure of her partnership with Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. This could cause her to search for something better, and the Thunderbolts could give her a perfect chance to become a hero, just like Natasha.

Ava Starr – Ghost

Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) has only made one appearance in the MCU thus far, going toe-to-toe with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lily) in the bite-size sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp. Her whereabouts have since remained unknown, although we’re guessing she’s been trying to find a way to use her powers for good, which might just make her perfect for the Thunderbolts.

Ava gained the ability to generate extreme power and disappear entirely after being involved in a quantum accident. Ava’s powers were slowly killing her, however, and she fought against Ant-Man and The Wasp in an effort to gain access to the Quantum Tunnel to save her own life. Four years have passed since Ghost’s last appearance, marking enough time for her to recover from her injuries and return to the world as a hero, fighting alongside other reformed villains as an integral part of the Thunderbolts.

Emil Blonsky – Abomination

For many years, The Incredible Hulk has been the dirty secret of the MCU. The film doesn’t feature Mark Ruffalo in the leading role, and the plot was largely excluded from the Infinity Saga (the exception being the late William Hurt reprising his role as General Ross in several movies). Considering the film’s exclusion, it came as a shock to all us MCU fans when Tim Roth‘s Abomination went up against Wong (Benedict Wong) in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings.

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Last seen disappearing into a portal after his fight with Wong, we know that Abomination will next appear alongside Mark Ruffalo and Tatiana Maslany in the upcoming Disney+ series, She-Hulk: Attorney At Law. It’s unclear what role Blonsky will play in the series, although we’re betting his arc will see him wind up wanting to do some good with the powers he has. In fact, with She-Hulk landing on Disney+ this August, there’s a good chance the series might give us our first hint at the formation of the Thunderbolts and how the team comes to be. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait too long to find out.

John Walker – US Agent

Trying to uphold the power and respect that Captain America’s shield demands is no easy feat. John Walker (Wyatt Russell) found the Captain America mantle particularly challenging. After losing several fights, he injected himself with super-soldier serum and even used the shield to decapitate an enemy in front of a crowd of onlookers.

By the end of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier series, however, John Walker had made efforts to repair the damage he’d done. No longer Captain America, he made himself a knock-off shield, helped Sam and Bucky overcome Karli, and eventually donned the mantle ‘US Agent.’ Walker was last seen teaming up with Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Their partnership hints that perhaps both characters will be involved in the Thunderbolts. After all, John Walker is desperate to repair his tattered reputation, and, given that William Hurt tragically passed away earlier this year, Valentina may be the one responsible for assembling the Thunderbolts. Either way, the prospect of seeing Bucky forced to work with John Walker once again has us incredibly excited.

Zemo – Baron Zemo

Since watching The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, it’s hard to think of Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) without thinking of the sweet moves he busted in that nightclub in Madripoor. The man who tried to tear the Avengers apart in Captain America: Civil War returned to the MCU with swagger, relishing his newfound freedom and lavish wealth. It’s this version of Baron Zemo that we’d like to see in the Thunderbolts, and if there’s time for it, we’d like to see some more of his moves too.

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Zemo hadn’t precisely changed his ways when we last saw him. He was happy to work alongside Bucky and Sam, but he always had his best interests at heart. He would be an interesting addition to the Thunderbolts as he would no doubt spend the entire film thinking of a way to escape. Zemo would also create friction in the group, and, let’s be honest, we all love watching superheroes bicker.

Alexei – Red Guardian

Alexei (David Harbour) isn’t the most obvious character to be recruited into the Thunderbolts, but he would be an immensely entertaining addition guaranteed to bring levity and hilarity. David Harbour is far too good an actor to have a one-and-done role in the MCU, and the Red Guardian is too interesting a character to remain off-screen.

Now that he’s out of jail (thanks to Natasha and Yelena), the world is Alexei’s oyster. And given that he spent a good chunk of time squeezing back into his Red Guardian costume, we doubt he’s in any rush to take it off. Moreover, Alexei could act as a mentor to Yelena, encouraging her to learn from his past mistakes to be the best version of herself. It may be wishful thinking, but we have a feeling that if Alexei did return for the Thunderbolts film, he’d steal the show.

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