It’s been a year and a half since Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced the film at San Diego Comic-Con, with plans to release it in theaters in July 2024. Since then, however, the film’s production has been pushed back due to the Hollywood writers’ and actors’ strikes last year, and Thunderbolts is now scheduled to hit theaters July 25, 2025.
Most of the original cast is still on board, and the movie will feature Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, David Harbour as the Red Guardian, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, Wyatt Russell as John Walker, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Harrison Ford is also expected to make an appearance as U.S. President Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, taking over the role from the late William Hurt.
But due to the scheduling shifts, a number of key roles have been recast. Steven Yeun was originally attached to star in Thunderbolts, reportedly playing the comic book hero Sentry, but he’s since left due to scheduling conflicts. Instead, Top Gun: Maverick star Lewis Pullman will play the role.
Thunderbolts isn’t the only high-profile project to get pushed back due to the strikes, but it does mean that Marvel’s 2024 film slate will be a bit lighter than expected. Right now, the MCU has only one film scheduled to hit theaters in 2024: Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool 3, which recently wrapped filming and is slated for July 26.
Paper Towns‘ Jake Schreier is directing Thunderbolts, and although plot details are scarce, the movie is set to focus on a group of Marvel antiheroes and (semi)reformed villains, who are recruited by the government for a dangerous mission. Last year, Feige teased the group’s chemistry in an interview with EW.
“What’s fun about that, and I sort of said this at D23, is that they are barely heroes,” Feige said. “None of them would consider themselves heroes. When your de facto leader is Bucky Barnes, that’s sort of all you need to know. That’s the trickle-down. But again, it goes to the amazing work that [casting director] Sarah Finn has done across the whole MCU. You’ve got David Harbour and Florence Pugh and these people who are at the top of their game and popping in everything they’re doing. They’re already here and established in the MCU, and we get to build the movie around them.”