Are Marvel’s Thunderbolts Gearing Up for Their Big MCU Debut?

Marvel Studios may finally be developing the Thunderbolts for the screen. Granted, this exists firmly in the rumor camp for the time being, but this is a property we’ve been hearing unsubstantiated claims about for some time. That being said, with Phase 4 and Phase 5 set to open up whole new doors for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, now could be the perfect time to bring this team into the fold. The question is, if this is true, how exactly would Marvel go about bringing them into the MCU?

Again, we must caution this can only be regarded as a rumor for the time being. That said, an often reliable MCU fan site is reporting that Marvel is in early development on a Thunderbolts project. It’s stressed that this is in the very early stages. As such, virtually nothing in the way of specific details has been made available. Not even the medium, as it’s possible this could be developed as either a movie or a series for Disney+. Marvel Studios now has flexibility when it comes to projects thanks to the upcoming streaming service, so there’s no telling which option is more favorable at this time.

For those who may not be familiar, the Thunderbolts are, more or less, Marvel’s answer to DC’s Suicide Squad. The team was first introduced in The Incredible Hulk #449 in 1997. Baron Zemo, who we met in Captain America: Civil War, as portrayed by Daniel Bruhl, started the team as part of his plans for world domination. They eventually evolved into a group of former villains who were trying to do some good. The group has had a large rotating cast of members over the years, often incorporating many lesser-known characters from the Marvel Comics universe.

Many of the key pieces of the puzzle are already in play. Thunderbolt Ross, who we first met in The Incredible Hulk, played by William Hurt, is often portrayed as the leader of the group. Given his current position within the MCU, it’s possible he could end up assembling the team with some of the players already available. Zemo, for one, would make sense and the character is already set to return in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. There’s also Ghost from Ant-Man and the Wasp and even Bucky, aka the Winter Soldier. All of this to say, it makes a lot of sense when looking at the bigger picture.

Phase 4 movies include Black Widow, Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder. Phase 5 already has Captain Marvel 2, Black Panther 2, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Blade on deck. So the movie slate is a bit crowded. But there are plenty of shows for Disney+ as well, such as WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel. So really, Thunderbolts could go either way. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the possible project are made available. This news comes to us via MCU Cosmic.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb