Florence Pugh’s Yelena to lead MCU Thunderbolts movie

Florence Pugh's MCU character Yelena Balova will be leading the upcoming Thunderbolts movie, along with other returning MCU faces.

Florence Pugh as Yelena Balova holding a gun in Black Widow

Florence Pugh’s Yelena Balova will headline the upcoming Phase 5 MCU movie Thunderbolts. The Thunderbolts are a team of the MCU’s biggest and baddest anti-heroes. Basically, imagine an MCU version of the DCEU movie Suicide Squad (either one of them, you can decide).

It was revealed that the adoptive sister to Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff would be leading the team when Deadline’s Justin Kroll spoke to The Town podcast. The reporter said that the character, who has made waves with her appearance in superhero spy movie Black Widow as well as the MCU series Hawkeye, would be leading the team of anti-heroes. He went on to reveal that two other familiar faces would return for the film as well.

He said “the concept is it’d be [Florence Pugh’s Yelana Balova] leading the [Thunderbolts] team of like Wyatt Russell’s [John Walker], Daniel Bruhl’s [Zemo], those anti-heroes that aren’t exactly good but aren’t exactly bad.”


So there we go. Three names that look set to be in the Thunderbolts movie, as well as confirmation of who will lead the team.

MCU fans will undoubtedly welcome the news with great enthusiasm. Pugh’s Yelena Balova became hugely popular, and plenty of fans also agree that Baron Zemo and U.S. Agent John Walker deserves more screen time, and a better shot at character development.

Florence Pugh as Yelena Balova in Hawkeye

Then, of course, fans will turn to speculating on which other characters could be in the 2024 superhero movie. If the MCU wanted to introduce the Wolverine before their own X-Men movies, the Thunderbolts could be the perfect way to do it. The character does, after all, have a pretty nasty side. Similarly, other X-Men names like Gambit, Nightcrawler, or Rogue could all be the perfect fit for the upcoming action movie.

Whoever is in the final line-up, fans will be hoping that the team behind the Thunderbolts learnt lessons from the DCEU’s Sucicide Squad, and its more successful sequel, in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Does the idea of teaming up with a bunch of friends to fight baddies get your heart racing? Check out our guide to the best adventure movies for more excitement and fun.