Marvel Studios is secretly working on its next big franchise.
Deadline reports that Jake Schreier has been hired to direct Thunderbolts, a top-secret movie that will bring the Marvel Comics Suicide Squad-inspired team to the big screen. Eric Pearson, who penned Black Widow, is writing the script.
Not much is known about the film beyond the fact that it will follow “a group of villains who are sent on missions commissioned by the government.” No word yet on which Marvel Cinematic Universe villains might comprise the team, but characters like Baron Zemo, Yelena Belova, Ghost, Taskmaster, The Abomination, US Agent, and the Winter Soldier have been mentioned.
Okay, now let’s address the “Thunderbolt” in the room. Although not originally part of the team, the Thunderbolts have been connected to General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, who has led the team as the Red Hulk in the comics. Unfortunately, William Hurt, who played Ross in the MCU, passed away earlier this year. Deadline mentions that the role could be recast, but Marvel Studios isn’t considering that at this time.
Marvel is hoping to begin shooting Thunderbolts in Summer 2023 and had already been in touch “with certain individuals who already are part of the MCU to make sure to keep an opening in their schedules” for the shoot.
Want to hear my idea for who should be the government liaison for the Thunderbolts? Betty Ross, with Liv Tyler reprising the role from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. We have no clue what the character has been up to since The Incredible Hulk, so let’s give her a soft reboot. Maybe she joined S.H.I.E.L.D. or the C.I.A. or S.W.O.R.D.? Maybe she worked under her father when he got sick. I think it could work and she could then inherit the title of “Thunderbolt” from her father. If not that, how about Maria Hill? I like Cobie Smulders.
As for Schreier, I guess you might be wondering what sort of work he’s done in the past. Well, he directed “classic” (so Deadline says) Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar music videos but broke into feature-length films with 2013’s Robot & Frank. He also directed 2015’s Paper Towns.
We’ll keep you posted as more information on Thunderbolts becomes available.
What do you think of Schreier directing Thunderbolts? Are you familiar with his work?