Marvel‘s Phase 4 isn’t even close to being over yet, but that won’t stop the MCU machine from continuing to hum and turn. After all, there are movies projected for release in the 2030s that need to start development! All jokes aside, there’s big news on the Marvel front today, as the studio’s “Thunderbolts” movie, a total secret until right now, has found a director. And who may that be?
Deadline reports that Marvel selects Jake Schreier as the director for the upcoming film. Schreier, who first got into the industry directing much-lauded music videos for the likes of Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar, first made a splash in feature films with his 2013 Sundance pic, “Robot & Frank.” He followed that up in 2015 with “Paper Towns.” So, Schreier’s filmography is two indie films that have nothing to do with teams of villainous sanctioned agents. Not the sexiest choice on paper for Kevin Feige and the gang, but insiders say Schreier’s presentation in recent weeks below Marvel away. So, here we are.
As for “Thunderbolts,” the upcoming film centers on a group of bad guys who go on missions for the government. Or, at least, some shadowy sector of the government. And the group isn’t necessarily bad guys, just characters who may or may not have been bad at some point in their comics career. So, no, this isn’t just Marvel cribbing some sort of “Suicide Squad” scenario for whatever Phase this movie comes out in.
In the comics, Thunderbolts is the creation of Baron Zemo, played by Daniel Brühl in last year’s “The Falcon And The Winter Soldier.” But other characters adjacent to “Captain America” factor into the group pretty heavily. One of those is General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, the group’s namesake. However, William Hurt played Ross in the Marvel films, and, sadly, he passed away in March. Emily Van Camp‘s Sharon Carter and Julia Louis Dreyfus‘s Valentina Alegra De Fontaine are big parts of the group in the comics, though, so they may be the safest best for being part of the upcoming film. Especially given the ending of “The Falcon And The Winter Soldier,” which teased Carter’s re-entry into the government but under clandestine pretense.
Beyond Schreier directing, “Black Widow” writer Eric Pearson penning the script, and Feige, as always, as producer, nobody knows anything about “Thunderbolts.” Who may or may be part of this new team in the movie is entirely speculation at this point. However, it’s a lot of fun to speculate, so let’s list the potential team members. Florence Pugh‘s Yelena Boleva and Olga Kurylenko‘s Taskmaster could show up, given Pearson’s presence. Wyatt Russell‘s U.S. Agent and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky “Winter Soldier” Barnes seem like good bets. As for deep-cut options, let’s not forget Tim Roth’s The Abomination from “The Incredible Hulk” or Hannah John-Kamen‘s Ghost from “Ant-Man & The Wasp.” All of these characters were in Thunderbolts in the comics at some time or another, so they could very well show up in Schreier’s film.
Of course, and it deserves to be repeated: this is all speculation! “Thunderbolts” is on the way, at some point, from Marvel, and Jake Schreier is the man the MCU wants to helm the movie about Marvel’s latest super-team. But before that happens, several more Marvel projects are on the way, and the upcoming “The Fantastic Four” still needs a director. So, speculate away Marvel fans. That’s all you can do at the moment.