Marvel Studios finally unveiled the official lineup for the MCU's Thunderbolts at this year's D23 Expo. During the event, it was confirmed that the team will consist of seven members, namely Yelena Belova, Bucky Barnes, Red Guardian, Taskmaster, Ghost, US Agent, and Val.
Despite this reveal, many have theorized that this isn't the final Thunderbolts lineup, with some pointing out that the likes of Abomination and Zemo would've been included. Another potential candidate that fans have been speculating about is the potential return of Iron Man 2's Justin Hammer.
After being defeated by Iron Man and War Machine in the MCU sequel, Hammer was sent to prison. Since then, the character last appeared via a hilarious cameo in Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King.
Now, a new interview has offered high hopes about Hammer's potential Marvel comeback.
Sam Rockwell Teases Potential Marvel Return
Sam Rockwell, who portrayed Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2, sat down with The Playlist to talk about a possible return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
During the interview, the outlet pointed out that there are multiple MCU projects where Hammer could return in Phase 5, namely Armor Wars and Thunderbolts.
When asked if he's interested in a comeback, Rockwell openly admitted that he is while also asking the interviewer what's the "Thunderbolt" is:
"Yeah, definitely. The Thunderbolt… who is that now? That’s not War Machine… that’s somebody else?”
The Playlist then pointed out that Thunderbolts is a villain team-up movie, to which, Rockwell responded with curiosity:
The Playlist: “No, Thunderbolts is like a villain team-up movie.
Rockwell: “Oh, wow.”
The Playlist: “Hopefully that’s something you could fit your way into.”
Rockwell: “Yeah, I would be into that. [Thunderbolts] sounds cool… What villains would be in that?”
When the outlet expressed its excitement to see Justin Hammer appear again in the movie, Rockwell shared that he would also love to do that, even claiming that his character is "a real Lex Luthor:"
The Playlist: “Right now they have all kinds of people, like they have the new Black Widow, and possibly different from the Winter Soldier, you know, Falcon and the Winter Soldier show.”
Rockwell: “Yeah, yeah, that’s fun.”
The Playlist: “Would love to see Justin Hammer pop up again.”
Rockwell: “Yeah, me too. [Hammer’s] fun, he’s a real Lex Luthor.”
Why The Thunderbolts Need Justin Hammer
Sam Rockwell's excitement about his MCU return is apparent, and this could prove to be an advantage whenever Marvel Studios decides to contact him for a comeback.
Given that a good chunk of the MCU's Thunderbolts is composed of super soldiers, Justin Hammer's addition to the team would be a welcome development, considering his expertise and connections to tech-based companies.
While Hammer failed to recreate Tony Stark's armor in Iron Man 2, the sequel still proved that he was a capable genius who can be a reliable asset for a team like the Thunderbolts.
If Hammer does return in Thunderbolts, then his possible role is to supply the team with highly advanced upgrades, similar to what Stark did to the Avengers. In addition, the Iron Man 2 villain could also add to the team's funding due to his wide array of resources from Hammer Industries.
Given that Kevin Feige already confirmed that the Avengers no longer exist, Hammer stepping up as a member of the Thunderbolts could serve as his redemption while also expanding his MCU journey that was cut short during the Infinity Saga.
Thunderbolts is set to premiere in theaters on July 26, 2024.