Marvel Studios may have its next big team-up movie. A film based on the Thunderbolts — a team of supervillains in the Marvel comics — is in early development, with director Jake Schreier on board, Variety has confirmed.
“Black Widow” writer Eric Pearson will write the film, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will produce. Previously, Schreier directed 2012’s “Robot and Frank” and 2015’s “Paper Towns,” and he’s made several music videos for artists like Kanye West, Selena Gomez, Chance the Rapper, Baby Keem, Benny Blanco, Francis and the Lights, Cashmere Cat and more. He’s also directed episodes of HBO Max’s “Minx,” FX’s “The Premise,” and Showtime’s “Kidding.”
Like most upcoming Marvel projects, plot details are under lock and key, and no casting information has been revealed. In the Marvel comics, the Thunderbolts are made up of villains, anti-heroes and reformed baddies — some of whom have already appeared within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Those villains include Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova from “Black Widow” and “Hawkeye”; Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost from “Ant-Man and the Wasp”; Tim Roth’s Abomination from “The Incredible Hulk” and this August’s “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law”; Wyatt Russell’s John Walker (aka U.S. Agent) from “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”; or “Black Widow” villain Taskmaster, played by Olga Kurylenko. Even some Avengers members, like Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton or Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes, could make the list of Thunderbolts characters.
As for the leader of the Thunderbolts, there are at least two possibilities in the MCU. The first: Baron Zemo, played by Daniel Brühl in “Captain America: Civil War” and most recently in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” Within the MCU, Zemo is a former military officer from the decimated nation of Sokovia — as well as a well-connected nobleman. He was last seen being taken to the ocean-based prison the Raft by Wakanda’s Dora Milaje.
The second: Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She’s introduced in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” when she pops up to recruit John Walker to work for her, and she appears in a post-credits sequence in “Black Widow” to give Yelena the assignment to assassinate Clint. It remains unclear who Valentina is working for, but in the comics she’s also known as Madame Hydra.