Marvel Studios’ Thunderbolts has already overcome a litany of obstacles on its way to production. In November, star Wyatt Russell, who will reprise the role of John Walker in the film, somewhat jokingly said that the project had “almost started shooting that about 14 times“, referring to multiple delays caused by the studio bringing in multiple different writers and the 2023’s mid-year WGA and SAG strikes. Now a new report indicates that the film is facing another major challenge ahead of its scheduled April start of production: replacing its leading man. According to THR’s Aaron Couch, Steven Yeun as dropped out of Marvel Studios Thunderbolts, leaving the studio searching for an all-new, all-different actor to fill the role of Sentry.
In November 2022, a rumor emerged that Marvel Studios was searching for an actor to fill the role of an “evil Superman” in Thunderbolts. By March 2023, that rumor turned into buzz that The Walking Dead star Steven Yeun had been cast in the film as Sentry, one of Marvel Comics most powerful heroes. While he never confirmed the role, Yeun did confirm he had joined the project, citing his relationship with director Jake Schreier as the primary reason.
Later, in an interview with Collider, Yeun shared his excitement about joining the MCU-set project. “I feel good. I feel excited. I feel like a new challenge. I feel blessed to be able to play in a place that reaches so many people,” said Yeun. “I got to touch that on Walking Dead. It feels exciting to get another chance to connect with people in another way.” And while Yeun tried his best to keep his role under wraps, his cover was blown in November when Robert Kirman–who created the comic book on which the Amazon Prime streaming series of the same name is based–revealed that Yeun had indicated he’d worked with Marvel Studios on a costume fitting for the character.
With cameras set to roll in April, it could prove tough for Marvel Studios to find a suitable replacement for Yeun, whose Sentry was rumored to have a role beyond Thunderbolts. Yeun was set to join the long list of actors who portrayed characters that populated both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Walking Dead Television Universe. We will continue to follow and update this story.