Fans received an unexpected reveal recently when Deadline reported that Marvel Studios hired Jake Schreier as the director for an upcoming adaptation of the Thunderbolts comics. For those unfamiliar, the group is Marvel’s Suicide Squad. Many fans hypothesized how the studio has been building the team since Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where she recruited Wyatt Russell’s John Walker to her mysterious cause.
Even when that moment happened in the closing moments of the series, Russell had no idea when he’d be returning to the character. Previously, the actor revealed how “part of the way [he] approached Marvel was it’s all your last time you’re going to do it.”
So despite the obvious “carrot dangling” of U.S. Agent’s future in the series, the actor seemingly had no idea if he was ever going to come back.
Given the recent announcement of Thunderbolts, has his knowledge of John Walker’s future changed at all?
John Walker Reacts to Thunderbolts Announcement
In an interview with The Playlist, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's Wyatt Russell was asked about what he thought regarding the recent announcement of the Thunderbolts movie and if it was a surprise to him.
The actor, who brings the anti-hero U.S. Agent to life, admitted that “[he] really didn’t know” and that while “[he] know[s] what they’re thinking of [doing], Russell has no idea “what’s [actually] going to happen” in the end:
“No, I really didn’t know… You know the idea. Right? I’m not a moron. I mean, I know what they’re thinking of, but you don’t know… when they’re going to do it, if they’re going to do it, what’s going to happen… Like, how long has it been since I shot that… show… You know, that was 2019 we started shooting, so that’s like three years ago that I played this character. It came out a year later or whatever, but it’s a long time. You kind of almost are like, ‘Out of sight, out of mind,’ in a weird way. You know, you’re doing other things and… living your life, and so it’s like, ‘Oh, what, who… what’s the character again? Like, I don’t even know how to do it again.’”
He continued, elaborating how “once [he does] something… [he] just throw[s] it away and never really think[s] about it again:”
“‘Cause once I do something, you just throw it away and never really think about it again, so… When you get a phone call, you get the phone call. And they do a really good job of keeping it from everybody because, you know, they’ve got something to protect and I always say like, ’I’d just rather not know. Just don’t tell me. I don’t need to know. Just tell me when you want me to show up. Other than that, just keep me in the dark. I don’t care. And if you do tell me, tell me in enough time where I can get to the gym because right now, I don’t look like John Walker, I look like Dan Lafferty.’”
As for whether the actor had gotten the call to start prepping for the Thunderbolts project, he revealed that “[he’s still] just waiting on it:”
“No, I’m just waiting on it. You wait on it until, like, they announce it. They keep it really, really tight, and it’s like, you respect that because they’ve got other bottom lines to look out for than what they think I need to know.”
Does Russell have any ideas about where he’d like to see the character go? According to him, while “he’s not afraid to give [his] opinions,” he generally “leave[s] that up to them:”
“Ideas or thoughts on where he should go… No one’s ever asked me that… I don’t really. I mean, I leave that up to them. When I hear what their ideas, when they so choose to put me in anything else, then… they know who they’ve got. I’m not afraid to give my opinions. It’s important, I think. I think it’s important in any creative process.”
In the end, Russell “always just want[s] it to be something interesting,” as he aims to never “do the same thing:”
“But in terms of exactly where the character goes, I always just want it to be something interesting. Don’t rehash it. Don’t make me do the same thing. Don’t make me do the same person. That I don’t like. That’s the only thing I ever don’t like in anything. I haven’t done sequels to things that I’ve done ever, so I don’t have a ton of experience.” Except Lodge 49, I even had a little bit of a problem doing Lodge 49 that year in some respects, because sometimes I felt like I was just playing the result of a character that we had created and not the new expanded version of what we had built on. So there were times where I’m like… you know, it’s my problem, but I was having a tough time because I like to create new things and new thoughts ’cause…”
The man behind John Walker finished by reiterating how “[he doesn’t] want to play the same character twice” and “that’s the only thing that I hope would be different:”
“I don’t want to play the same character twice. That’s really boring. Right? I really don’t wanna do that to people. So that’s the only thing that I hope that would be different if they chose to put me in anything."
Will Walker Join the Marvel Motley Crew?
From the moment John Walker’s U.S. Agent was revealed, and arguably before then, many fans were certain the character would go on to play a key role in either the Thunderbolts or Dark Avengers groups. Given the recent announcement from Deadline, it seems that Marvel is leaning more toward the Bucky Barnes-led team.
Hopefully, Wyatt Russell is game to return often as his character. With his quotes about not liking to play the same character, fans may have gotten a little worried—given the nature of the MCU. Fingers crossed that the creatives at Marvel are able to keep his character fresh and constantly evolving.
While Russell was still unable to confirm his involvement, the certainty amongst fans about his part in playing in the proceedings remains strong. But who might join him? Easy pickings would be Yelena Belova, Baron Zemo, and possibly even Black Widow’s Taskmaster. Hopefully, more information will be revealed sooner rather than later.
After all, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently teased some big reveals on the horizon—maybe the infamous group will be part of the big announcements.
Thunderbolts is rumored to start production next year, which would likely place its release date in 2024–though no official timeline is in place.