The never-ending Marvel Cinematic Universe rolls on, and it’s finally the villains’ (or antiheroes, at least) time to shine. The good guys have had it their own way for too long, but the Thunderbolts release date will give the spotlight to some of more morally murky characters from the Marvel movies.
The MCU‘s Thunderbolts team will draw from Marvel characters who dabble in the darker side of the franchise’s timeline (so if you’ve not sat down and watched the Marvel movies in order for a while, we recommend doing so now). That means a number of your favorite Marvel villains will be the leads in one of the more unusual upcoming Marvel movies. In the world of Thunderbolts, it’s good to be bad.
When is the Thunderbolts release date?
Thunderbolts’ new release date is July 25, 2025, following on from the latest Marvel Studios reshuffle.
Remember when we all thought that Marvel had a clear and immovable plan for the future? Those days are history now. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Marvel has become more flexible in how it delivers its new movies, and that allowed it to shuffle the pack as a result of the Hollywood strikes in 2023.
Thunderbolts had originally been scheduled as part of Marvel’s Phase 5, but it has now been catapulted into Marvel Phase 6. We expect filming to start in 2024 now that the 2023 Actors Strike has come to an end, with that summer 2025 release date in mind.
Of course, things could change and following the Marvel schedule has become like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands. So don’t go writing that date down in ink just yet. Stick to the pencil for now.
Who’s in the Thunderbolts cast?
Sebastian Stan will lead the Thunderbolts cast as the Winter Soldier, while Florence Pugh and David Harbour are set to reprise their Black Widow roles for the film. Steven Yeun is a new addition as Sentry.
They’ll be joined by Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Val, and Wyatt Russell as the US Agent John Walker. Oh, and of course, we only have Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford, playing the titular Thunderbolt Ross.
The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri has been added to the cast in an undisclosed role. Steven Yeun was initially added to the cast in an unknown role too, although Robert Kirkman accidentally let the cat out of the bag in an interview with David Finch, revealing that his Invincible cast leading man had called him during a character fitting.
“My good friend Steven Yeun is playing The Sentry in a movie. Yeah, he called me, he went in for a costume fitting,” Kirkman said. “…He called me and he said, ‘I just came back from a costume fitting for the Sentry. I guess I only do superheroes that are yellow and blue.'”
Anyone who knows Sentry will know that this is a major deal. Sentry is essentially Marvel’s version of Superman, who possesses the “power of one million exploding suns.” Cool. With this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw Yeun pop up across more Marvel movies to come.
Generally, the Thunderbolts characters are mostly from the Black Widow movie and the Captain America cast, with Ford set to make his debut as Thunderbolt Ross on the Captain America 4 release date. Of course, it’ll be a lot of fun seeing how they interact onscreen and whether they can be a successful anti-hero team.
Jake Schreier, who recently directed one of the best Netflix series of recent years, Beef, will direct Thunderbolts. Beef showed he can get a great performance from Yeun, so we’re sure Schreier will be able to help him through the complex hero-villain balance when it comes to Sentry. We’re sure Marvel won’t resist the chance to introduce Sentry’s dark side: The Void.
Here’s the full Thunderbolt cast list:
- Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes
- Hannah John-Kamen as Ava Starr
- Wyatt Russell as John Walker
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine
- Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova
- David Harbour as Red Guardian
- Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster
- Ayo Edebiri as TBC
- Steven Yeun as Sentry
- Harrison Ford as President Thunderbolt Ross
What will Thunderbolts be about?
So far, we only know the basic setup for Thunderbolts, in which a group of Marvel villains is recruited to go on missions for the government.
The Thunderbolts team is similar to the Suicide Squad of the DCU. This is essentially a group of incredibly powerful, morally questionable beings who are given a chance to (kinda) do some good for once. Whether their mission will actually serve the interests of the world for better or worse remains to be seen.
That all depends on who is orchestrating the mission, of course. It looks like the one pulling the strings will be Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who we have already seen interacting with the likes of John Walker and Yelena Belova in the MCU. Historically speaking, the Thunderbolts have risen up at a time when the world was lacking a certain Avengers-shaped superhero team.
Now we know that The Sentry will be involved, that allows us to speculate even further about the potential storyline. Sentry has “the power of a million exploding suns”, but he’s also very dangerous because of his evil alter ego: The Void. In the comics, The Void attacked New York City and killed more than a million people.
Given The Void’s power, we’d suggest you don’t get too emotionally close to any of the members of the Thunderbolts team. We’d be willing to bet that at least one of them won’t survive a clash with The Sentry, but we’d also place an equally hefty stake on Sentry joining the Thunderbolts as their powerful leader by the time the dust settles.
Is there a Thunderbolts trailer?
We won’t see a Thunderbolts trailer until 2025, though there’s a chance they sneak a preview into 2024 if production moves quickly.
Realistically, we’ll probably get our first glimpse of the supervillain squad at the beginning of 2025. That’s just a few months before the July release date.
But if you want to learn a little more about one of the key members of the team, delve into this clip about Yelena’s return in the Marvel series Hawkeye. Any excuse to watch Florence Pugh being a bona fide movie star.
Where can I watch the Thunderbolts movie?
When it’s released, Thunderbolts will be a theatrical exclusive for at least a few months, if it has a good box office run.
If Thunderbolts follows the current MCU pattern, it’ll arrive brand new on Disney Plus before the end of 2025. But if you can’t wait for that, every Marvel movie and TV series is available to watch now, including the most recent adventure: Loki season 2.
That’s all we know about Thunderbolts for now, but time flies when you’re waiting for information on Marvel projects, so we’re sure to get more details for you soon. In the meantime, check out our guides fon everything that’s happening with Deadpool 3 and the MCU’s Blade, or read our The Marvels review.
Not satisfied? Well, check out our list of the best movies ever made for you to enjoy (or not, as the case may be). You can also learn why Loki copied a Doctor Who episode and, finally, check out our feature on why Marvel needs to learn that killing characters isn’t everything.