Harrison Ford Divulges the Real Reason He's Joining Marvel

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Harrison Ford, Avengers: Endgame poster

Harrison Ford explained why he decided to join the MCU as Thunderbolt Ross. 

News of the Star Wars icon joining yet another Disney-owned franchise - and replacing the late William Hurt as Thunderbolt Ross - was first announced in September 2022.

While no explanation is required for why Ford was a huge get for Marvel Studios, why the endearingly, dismissive 80-year-old star wanted to was a mystery. 

As the actor gears up for a year of premieres and filming for Captain America: New World Order, he provided an answer.

Harrison Ford's Reason for Joining the MCU

Captain America, Sam Wilson, Harrison Ford

When asked by The Hollywood Reporter about what made him want to join Marvel and play Thunderbolt Ross, Harrison Ford confessed, "I watch all these terrific actors having a good time [in Marvel movies]:"

"I don’t know. I can’t explain myself to myself, I just work here. I thought, 'Everybody else seems to be having a great time. I watch all these terrific actors having a good time [in Marvel movies].'" 

The Indiana Jones star went on to admit that, like his current role in Apple TV+'s Shrinking, he likes "doing something different:"

"I like doing something different to what I’ve ever done and pleasing people with it. So I’ll try a piece of that."

Ford shared a similar sentiment in a prior interview about his MCU role, explaining that his interest stems from wanting "to do some of the things I haven't done:"

“Hey, look, I’ve done a lot of things. I now want to do some of the things I haven’t done."

While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is certainly something the actor hasn't done, he has played the President of the United States before, a role that Thunderbolt Ross holds in Captain America 4

Just how Ross crosses paths with Sam Wilson's Cap in the 2024 film is unknown, but with Thunderbolts on the horizon, it may only be the start of Ford's MCU tenure.

Harrison Ford's Franchise Destiny

Harrison Ford is far from the first renowned actor to cross into the superhero world under the red brand. 

In addition to Robert Redford, who also appeared in a Captain America film, Russell Crowe, Ethan Hawke, Christian Bale, and Angelina Jolie have also embraced the MCU. 

As for Ford's interest in seeing other actors "having a great time," his 1923 co-star, Helen Mirren, had a similar explanation for why she joined DC's Shazam! Fury of the Gods, saying, "there are certain things you do just for the fun of it."

As Ford prepares his new, fun role in Captain America 4, audiences are preparing to see him return to an old one in Indiana Jones and the Dial Destiny

Set to release on June 30, expectations are high, and Ford himself expressed confidence in the project. 

Thanks to Indy 5, Captain America 4, and whatever Marvel Studios has planned for him beyond, Ford isn't only having fun but further establishing that franchises are, in fact, his own destiny.

Captain America: New World Order arrives in theaters on May 2, 2024.

Release Date
February 14, 2025
- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.