During Marvel Studios' Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, studio head Kevin Feige confirmed that the MCU's Phase 5 will end with a unique team-up effort in Thunderbolts. This sets up a golden opportunity for a number of prominent antiheroes to make their return, including 2021 newcomer Wyatt Russell as John Walker.
Russell first made his mark as the MCU's new Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier after his father, Kurt Russell, also took the villain route as Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. After brutally murdering a Flag Smasher at the end of Episode 4, John Walker came back to the United States in complete disgrace before being recruited by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine for her own new team.
Russell now represents his comic-accurate US Agent moniker as he moves from government-backed hero to full-blown antihero, setting him up perfectly for potential inclusion in the Thunderbolts movie. Following that film's official announcement, the actor shared his thoughts on possibly getting the opportunity to hit the big screen with his dark MCU persona.
John Walker Star on MCU's Thunderbolts
Speaking with The Digital Fix, John Walker star Wyatt Russell shared his thoughts on joining the MCU's upcoming Thunderbolts movie in Phase 5, which was just confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con.
When asked if Marvel has reached out about returning, Russell confirmed that he is still waiting to get the call to join the Thunderbolts cast while hinting that he "[has to] imagine that there’s something in there for [him]:"
"No, I’m still waiting. I know they’re doing it. I know that they’re planning it. I gotta imagine that there’s something in there for me. But yeah, until you get that true actual prompt, like, ‘Okay, this is your start date. And this is when you’re coming, and this is when you rent your house, and this is when logistically you need to start setting up to do these things.’ That’s when I shift my mindset to going to do that, you know? Other than that, before you get that call, things can change on a dime; you never know."
It's especially hard for Russell to wait on the call since Thunderbolts is being directed by Jake Schreier, with whom he worked on the AMC TV show Lodge 49. As much as he wants to call Schreier and ask for a part in the movie, he also respects the way Marvel works through its process:
"I know! Because Jake is directing it. It’s so hard not to call Jake and be like, ‘so what’s going on?’ Yeah, you have to hold your tongue, because Marvel has their process, and their process is great. You respect it for how they do it. And they’ve had so much success doing it that you want them to do it the way they know best, and so that’s the way that it works, and I’m happy to be a part of that process and fit into their world that way."
When asked about how he thinks Scheier will do with a big Marvel movie, he admitted to being biased but also said that he "couldn’t have dreamt of a better person" for the job. Heaping praise upon his former director, he explained how Scheier "needs to make the film that he needs to make," but how he's ready for the challenge:
"Incredible. Amazing. (laughs) I'm so biased, but like you couldn’t have dreamt of a better person. He has such a tender quality to who he is as a person. But I think in all of his movies, like Robot and Frank, like his way of dealing with relationships is always great. I think his structures are always on point. He’s professional. He’s amazing at filtering ideas, listening to opinions, making the best decisions for the movie, listening to all the voices in the room, but holding power as the filmmaker. He needs to make the film that he needs to make. I just don’t think they could have picked a better person."
Wyatt Russell Ready for MCU Thunderbolts Call
Although Thunderbolts is still almost two years away from arriving in theaters, the man behind John Walker has the movie on his mind with regard to his MCU future.
The last time fans saw Russell, he had come back to the United States to try on his new US Agent outfit with Val as she officially gave him his new moniker. The mysterious government official hinted that she was eyeing him to join a special unit where he could shine in ways that he didn't as Captain America, and it was obvious that she had no issues with his actions or methods.
Right now, there are no set appearances for John Walker in any upcoming MCU projects, although Thunderbolts would be his most likely destination considering where The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ended. With other potential team members like Black Widow's Yelena Belova and his own co-star Daniel Brühl's Baron Zemo out in the world, this team has the chance to bring together some real firepower.
Wyatt Russell's John Walker can be seen in all six episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+. Thunderbolts will premiere in theaters on July 26, 2024.