One of Marvel Studios’ most talked about upcoming projects is the 2024 theatrical release Thunderbolts. The team’s roster was revealed at D23 and while it certainly doesn’t resemble any particular iteration from the comics, its composition raised the collective eyebrows of fans. Serving as a quasi-sequel to Black Widow, Thunderbolts will see Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Olga Kurylenko reprise their respective roles as Yelena Belova, Red Guardian and Taskmaster. They are set to be joined by Hannah John-Kamen‘s Ghost, Wyatt Russell‘s U.S. Agent and the film’s MCU old-timer, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘s Valentina Allegra de Fontaine has been busy assembling the titular Thunderbolts throughout the first phase of the Multiverse Saga, collecting Yelena and John Walker along the way. While some of the other characters set to join the team don’t come as a surprise, Bucky’s arc in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier didn’t seem to leave him in a place to be a “joiner.” In an interview with EW, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige talked about the team of what he calls “barely heroes” and Bucky’s surprising inclusion.
That’s another one. We’ve got a lot of things that start shooting relatively soon. What’s fun about that, and I sort of said this at D23, is that they are barely heroes. 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.Kevin Feige
So what is Bucky doing on a team of non-heroes? It’s a great question and one that might have its answer in the character’s deep ties to Wakanda. He certainly isn’t in their good graces at the moment so perhaps some time as the White Wolf of Wakanda is in order.
Thunderbolts is scheduled to hit theaters in July 2024.