Marvel's ‘Thunderbolts’ release date, cast members and everything else we know

Thunderbolts title card
(Image credit: Marvel Studios via Twitter)

Thunderbolts isn't a name everyone knows, but it will be. After its first big announcement at the D23 Marvel event, we got a lot (though I wanted more), and the casting news about this upcoming Marvel Phase 5 movie. And then, a new General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross was cast.

“Thunderbolts”, which was positioned to be Marvel's summer 2024 blockbuster film, is now releasing at a much later time. However, it still looks like it's going to follow some very familiar — and smart — formulas. And that's all tied to who's in the cast. The official artwork shared at D23 (which Marvel shared as most of the cast took the stage) is the kind of murderer's row of scene stealers that could and should amount to an utter delight of a movie.

But, I hear you ask, who are the Thunderbolts? Why should I care? Well, dear reader, that's what I'm here to explain.

‘Thunderbolts’ release date and MCU timeline location

“Thunderbolts “ was supposed to arrive in theaters on December 20, 2024, months after “Captain America: Brave New World” (which has also been changed to February 14, 2025). Now, “Thunderbolts” will dominate the summer of next year instead, specifically on May 2, 2025. The new release date didn’t come as a surprise considering Marvel has pushed back several titles in recent months. 

This does mean that we have another year to wait until we see the Thunderbolts on the big screen. Don’t worry though, because there are several other Marvel movies and shows to look forward to in 2024. These include “Deadpool & Wolverine”, “Kraven the Hunter”, and “Agatha All Along”. 

Variety reported on June 8 that Julia Louis-Dreyfus confirmed "Thunderbolts" had wrapped filming. Now it's only a matter of time until we get more updates, and possibly a small teaser trailer sometime this year.

Right now, it's unknown when "Thunderbolts" will take place and whether it slots nicely between any upcoming spinoffs. 

‘Thunderbolts’ cast  

(L to R) An artist's rendering of the Thunderbolts cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes Wyatt Russell as John Walker/U.S.Agent and Taskmaster

(Image credit: Andy Park via Twitter)

The photos said it all, including one shared by Jamie Jirak of Thanks to a Marvel post, we can confirm who's been announced so far. Of course, we’ll also come back to this page with more updates and casting news.  

  • Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, a superspy and the adoptive sister of Natasha Romanoff 
  • David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, the Soviet Union's first official super soldier and adoptive father of Natasha and Yelena n
  • Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, a young woman who can phase and bypass through solid objects 
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, the Director of the CIA  
  • Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, a former assassin and Steve Roger’s best friend 
  • Wyatt Russell as John Walker, a conflicted U.S.Agent who dubbed the new Captain America suit  
  • Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, a former villain who can mimic anyone’s fighting style  
  • Geraldine Viswanathan in an unknown role, potentially the assistant of Valentina 
  • Lewis Pullman as The Sentry, a superhero with abilities derived from a special version of the Super-Soldier Serum 
  • Harrison Ford as “Thunderbolt” Ross, the former Lieutenant General of the United States Army 

Yes, we're getting a movie where Yelena and her adoptive dad Alexei are back, and if that's not enough, Bucky and John Walker have to work together. I'll admit that Ghost isn't the most exciting character, but when you have all of the above — with Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine trying to make them all coexist? 

Then, Harrison Ford was announced to be joining the MCU as General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, filling the role left behind by the late William Hurt. He will also play that character in Captain America 4: New World Order

Hats off to Marvel. It feels like they found another way to do the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy movies, where a collection of misfits have to work together. Consider this Marvel's The Suicide Squad. James Gunn's version, not the original.

Off the cast alone, I get the feeling this movie is going to be amazing. Of course, I am thinking all of this because I've seen both Black Widow and Falcon & The Winter Soldier, MCU projects that even I'm not 100% behind.

‘Thunderbolts’ potential plot

No official synopsis is available yet. Right now, I'll go back to talking about “The Suicide Squad”, because that feels like the best movie to examine for figuring Thunderbolts out.

The “Thunderbolts” cast (save for don't-call-her-Val) is a group of mixed-up folks who can do some damage. It seems like someone, likely Ms. Allegra de Fontaine, has recruited all of them to do some dirty work. This is likely being done on one of a few conditions. Either they're being blackmailed or (as seen by Yelena's interactions with her new boss) getting paid well for it.

As the MCU has shown in such projects as “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” and “She-Hulk”, the question of "how do these people make a living to support themselves?" is never quite answered. “Thunderbolts” could show off the uglier side of surviving in this current world. So essentially they are a group of antiheroes who go on secret undercover missions for the government. 

‘Thunderbolts’ outlook 

Honestly, folks, the schedule for Marvel’s upcoming shows and movies looks pretty good. There is plenty to look forward to, and it shouldn’t be long until we get more updates regarding “Thunderbolts”.

In fact, Florence Pugh did us a very kind favor by sharing a first look at “Thunderbolts” on her Instagram page. It was only a quick clip revealing her trailer on set, and she looks to be in a very cool costume.  

"Thunderbolts", however, may be the best new MCU crossover we'll get for a while, and I'm really excited to see these misfits in action.

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

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