The “Thunderbolts” Could Take the MCU Down a Dark Path

sebastian stan "The Thunderbolts" as a future project slated for a 2024 release.
Credit: Craig Sjodin/Disney

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of memorable heroes and villains. The stories of our favorite characters often paint a clear picture of good versus evil. There’s little guesswork in understanding the “good guys” versus the “bad guys.” Although we may empathize with the villains (looking at the “Thanos was right” crowd) or even get a redemption arch such as Loki, Marvel has done an excellent job of keeping their content clear-cut. There’s always been a sure separation between what is right and what is wrong. 

However, That may change, as one of Marvel’s new products, Thunderbolts, gets ready to begin filming this summer. This is an exciting new chapter for the MCU as they will get the opportunity to explore darker and more complex storylines. They previewed this new direction in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. John Walker (U.S Agent), played by Wyatt Russell, blurred the lines of what Marvel characters typically stand for. If you need to know what I mean, you can watch episode four of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+.

"The Thunderbolts" as a future project slated for a 2024 release.

Credit: Disney/ Marvel Studios

We can expect more of this moral incertitude as the The Thunderbolts will deal heavily with real-life situations. These are conditions in which choices that don’t always sit well with the conscious must be made. Anyone familiar with this group of rehabilitated baddies from the comics already understands what we’re saying. Dubbed ‘The Dark Avengers,” we’ve already met some of the Thunderbolt crew. Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour), and Hannah John-Kamen (Ava Starr) are all characters we’ve already seen introduced in the MCU and are reprising their roles for the film (among others). We can also expect  MCU newcomers such as Steven Yeun.

It’s uncertain what the film’s plot will be as Kevin Feige has only introduced The Thunderbolts as a future project slated for a 2024 release. Marvel has been expectantly quiet about the specifics of the film. This hasn’t stopped die-hard Marvel fans from speculating about the plot. There’s plenty of comic-related information for them to derive their theories as The Thunderbolts debuted after the 1996 “Onslaught” comic series. The comic storylines reflect a genuine look into the palpable nature of these individuals, and it’s a safe assumption that this will translate well to the MCU adaptation. 

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We can safely assume that the events of the New World Order will lead directly into Thunderbolts. As such, there is a good chance that Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) will unleash her team of antiheroes to stop Ross, who may or may not be the Red Hulk. Whatever the case, if any MCU characters have ever been expendable, the villains that make up the Thunderbolts team probably top the list. We’d be shocked if they all make it to the credits.” – Jacob Siegal, brg.com.

"The Thunderbolts" as a future project slated for a 2024 release.

Credit: Marvel/ Disney

One thing is sure; the story will be much darker than what we’re used to from the MCU. In February, notorious leaker The Watcher said this regarding The Thunderbolts and the fourth Captain America film.

“A duology of trauma and war.”

— the watcher (@thewatcher_2099) February 28, 2023

We’re excited for this next Marvel product as some of the traditional stories and characters have become a bit stale. This may be the catalyst the MCU needs to pique interest! A real, hard, and raw look at what it means to go from villain to hero may be the type of content Marvel needs for fans to reinvest. It could reinvent the brand into something we never even realized we wanted!

The Thunderbolts is set to start filming in Utah this summer!

About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!