The MCU will release its next big crossover movie in 2024, and the director gave an exciting update on its "personal" tale.
There may still be three years to go until Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, but the MCU has another crossover team-up set for December 2024 with Thunderbolts.
The blockbuster crossover will bring together characters from Black Widow, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and the Captain America and Ant-Man franchises.
Thunderbolts' cast will include the likes of Sebastian Stan, Florence Pugh, David Harbor, and more familiar faces, along with the MCU debut of The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun, seemingly as the superhero Sentry.
2024's Thunderbolts Will Be a 'Personal' Movie
Thunderbolts director Jake Schreier - who previously directed the acclaimed Netflix dark comedy Beef - offered an exciting update to Collider on his MCU movie, teasing how it will focus on characters, despite being a crossover blockbuster.
The director explained how the movie really is "about characters," teasing "something specific" to them which will bring the Thunderbolts together for a unique superhero story:
“Obviously I can say so little, but I think it’s about characters and is there something specific to those characters that bring them together and something that they’re going through that isn’t the most traditional superhero story to be told?
Comparing the MCU project to Beef, Schreier went into how the cast "brought so much of [themself] to it," noting how that "specific" character focus can make it "something universal:"
"And I think if you can hit that and if you can make it specific – I think if you look at something like Beef what makes it what it is is that it’s so specific on so many levels. Sonny (Lee Sung Jin) brought so much of himself to it, Ali and Steven, everyone, and in being that specific, it becomes something universal."
The Emmy-nominated filmmaker added how, even with the goal to make a "big universal movie," the story will still be "something that feels personal:"
"And I think that’s sort of similar to the way that we’re looking at Thunderbolts is that there is a real clear take and perspective on these characters, and there’s a specificity to it that. In the end, obviously, we want to make a big universal movie that everyone can connect to, but that you can only do that by making something that feels personal, and I think that’s what’s exciting about the project to us.”
Speaking in a previous interview with Collider, Schreier noted how Thunderbolts tells "a new kind of story" which is "not a sequel," even with being packed with many familiar faces from the MCU:
“It was just a really different approach and a new kind of story to tell amidst that, which I know they’ve made so many things, but it’s not a sequel. Yes, these characters have appeared before, but it is a new story being told and a story, I think, with a very different perspective than maybe people aren’t expecting, and I think that that felt exciting and felt like a real challenge worth taking on.”
Why Fans Should Get Excited for Thunderbolts
As a whole, Thunderbolts doesn't seem to be surrounded by anywhere near as much anticipation from fans as next year's other MCU movies of Deadpool 3 or Captain America: Brave New World - but why is that?
For one, many were disappointed by the Thunderbolts line-up, which is primarily devoid of superpowers and quite bland compared to its comic counterpart, throwing out crazy anti-heroes in favor of spies and Super Soldiers.
The movie's concept is also relatively shrouded in mystery, but more ought to become apparent in the coming months once filming gets underway as production was delayed due to the ongoing writers' and actors' strikes.
Nonetheless, the promise of a "personal" and character-focussed movie that will bring its Thunderbolts together in a "specific" and exciting way sounds rather intriguing.
After all, in massive crossover movies, it's easy for the character and relationship elements to be brushed away in favor of crazy action. But these parts seem to be a priority for director Jake Schreier and the crew.
The MCU crossover looks to have been crafted as the franchise's next big ensemble event to fill the long gap between Avengers movies - with a seven-year release gap between 2019's Endgame and 2026's The Kang Dynasty.
Not only will Thunderbolts bring plenty of character, heart, and team moments, but there will also undoubtedly be all the blockbuster action and exciting MCU consequences which fans expect from a big crossover.
Thunderbolts hits theaters on December 20, 2024.