Marvel’s ‘Thunderbolts’ recruits Florence Pugh, Sebastian Stan, David Harbour for anti-hero team

  • Disney made the announcement at its D23 fan expo on Saturday, along with the cast for ‘Captain America: New World Order’
  • The director for Disney+ series ‘WandaVision’ will take the helm on a new ‘Fantastic Four’ film
Tribune News Service |

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A cosplayer dressed as Doctor Strange passes by a Marvel Studios exhibit at the D23 Expo on Saturday. Photo: AP

Marvel’s rowdy Thunderbolts assembled for the first time at Disney’s D23 fan expo Saturday.

Marvel president Kevin Feige announced the cast of supervillains who are brought on assignment for the government in the coming film led by Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova and David Harbour as Red Guardian the latter two returning from Black Widow.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is also joining the anti-hero cast as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, along with Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster and Wyatt Russell as John Walker.

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“It tells you all you need to know about the Thunderbolts when the beloved Winter Soldier is the most stable among them,” Feige joked from the stage.

Stan, who is Emmy-nominated for his role as rocker Tommy Lee in Hulu’s Pam & Tommy, said he was happy to be making waves in the MCU universe.

“These are my kinds of people, I’m happy to be back,” Stan said. “They look like a good troubled bunch. Maybe I know a thing or two about that.”

Sebastian Stan will reprise his role as the Winter Soldier in ‘Thunderbolts”. Photo: AP

Pugh, star of the headline-generating film Don’t Worry Darling, was unable to attend the fan expo, instead sending a video saying she was “so gutted” to miss the annual gathering.

Louise-Dreyfus said she was convinced to take the role when Feige told her the character’s colourful name as they discussed the role over the phone.

“I told him, ‘You had me at Contessa,’ “ said Louis-Dreyfus.

The film begins shooting early 2024.

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Tim Blake Nelson’s The Leader villain joins Captain America: New World Order.

D23 revealed the full cast of the fourth Captain America movie New World Order, with Anthony Mackie taking over the superhero shield after playing Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon.

The film’s cast includes Shira Haas as Sabra and the villainous return of Tim Blake Nelson as The Leader, along with Top Gun: Maverick star Danny Ramirez as Joaquin Torres and Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley.

Nelson’s villain The Leader was last seen in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk. The actor said he was happy to be back with Marvel 14 years later.

“Marvel is part of cinema history. So to be coming back is an honour,” he said.

Florence Pugh and David Harbour return from ‘Black Widow’ to star in ‘Thunderbolts’. Photo: Reuters

WandaVision director Matt Shakman tapped for Fantastic Four movie

During his presentation, Feige gave a shout-out to Shakman in the D23 audience. Shakman has earned critical and fan raves for the Disney+ series WandaVision, and Feige said the rising star director would helm the Fantastic Four movie for Marvel.

Because the plans were so fresh, Feige did not even bring Shakman to the stage. The new director simply waved and took applause.

While fans were disappointed with the lack of Fantastic Four news, Feige promised more at the next D23.

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