MCU Thunderbolts Movie Release Date Revealed for Phase 5

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Thunderbolts MCU villain movie

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is filled with complex and interesting villains. While most of them are dead, there are still characters who are alive that are waiting for their next mission. Diehard Marvel fans are wondering when the likes of Zemo, Yelena Belova, and John Walker would return to the MCU, and it seems that these powerful villains will look to make a grand comeback in the rumored Thunderbolts movie

Thunderbolts has long been part of the MCU rumor mill. Back in 2015, the villains were rumored to be getting their own Netflix series, but it didn't come to fruition. In October 2021, the film garnered a lot of hype when it was revealed that a Thunderbolts movie was in development, with it rumored to start production in 2023. 

The fun didn't stop there as Deadline recently reported that Marvel Studios had already hired Jake Schreier as the film's director, with Black Widow's Eric Pearson being tapped to write the script. Now, Marvel Studios has an important update about the villain-led movie. 

The MCU's Thunderbolts Are Finally Here 

During the MCU's mega-panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige officially announced Thunderbolts, a team-up movie featuring some notable villains of the franchise. The film will debut on July 26, 2024.

As part of the reveal, the film's official title card was unveiled: 

Thunderbolts, Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios 

Feige also confirmed that Thunderbolts will mark the end of Phase 5. 

Who Will Val Recruit for the MCU's Thunderbolts?

Phase 4 began with Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine on a recruitment spree for unknown reasons, but this announcement might have shed some light on the subject. 

Val's endgame is now clear: recruit MCU villains for an unnamed mission that would set the stage for the plot of Thunderbolts. At this point, Val has already recruited Black Widow's Yelena Belova and Falcon and the Winter Soldier's John Walker, and signs indicate that there will be more. 

It looks like notable candidates that could join the team are Abomination, Zemo, Taskmaster, and Ghost from Ant-Man and the Wasp. A previous report also mentioned that Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes a.k.a. the Winter Soldier would also appear, meaning that he could serve as the lone Avenger who needs to pacify the villainous team. 

As for the team's mission, it still isn't clear, but it's possible that a much more dangerous threat emerges that would force the Thunderbolts to save the world. Of course, every villainous member has their own intentions, but this movie allows these characters to shine while still showing their complex yet interesting personalities. 

It remains to be seen why Marvel chose Thunderbolts to end Phase 5, but it's likely that something big will happen at the end that would serve as the catalyst for Phase 6. As for this big reveal, a major villain would surface or an incoming threat would arrive similar to how Thanos made his presence felt at the end of the first two Avengers movies. 

- In This Article: Thunderbolts
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.