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How to Get Cast in Marvel’s ‘Thunderbolts’

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Moscow, Russia - March, 2018: Marvel logo sign printed on banner. Marvel Comics Group is a publisher of American comic books and related media (Ekaterina Kupeeva / Shutterstock.com)

Learn how to get cast in Marvel's ‘Thunderbolts.

About Marvel's ‘Thunderbolts'

Marvel Comics has introduced numerous teams that have captured the imaginations of readers worldwide, but few are as intriguing as the Thunderbolts. A group that debuted in 1997, the Thunderbolts are primarily known for their unique premise: a team of supervillains who take on the identities of superheroes. This blog post delves into the origins, development, key storylines, and cultural impact of the Thunderbolts.

Origin and Concept

The Thunderbolts first appeared in “The Incredible Hulk #449,” created by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley. Originally conceived during a time when many of Earth's heroes were believed dead following the events of the “Onslaught” saga, the Thunderbolts stepped in to fill the void. However, the twist that shocked readers was revealed at the end of their first issue: the Thunderbolts were actually the Masters of Evil in disguise, led by none other than Baron Zemo.

The concept of villains masquerading as heroes was a fresh and exciting plot twist that offered a new layer of depth to character development and storytelling. It challenged readers' perceptions of morality and redemption, themes that would continue to resonate in subsequent story arcs.

Evolution and Major Storylines

Over the years, the roster of the Thunderbolts has seen many changes, encompassing a wide array of Marvel's anti-heroes and redeemed villains. Characters like Hawkeye, Moonstone, and even the Red Hulk have led the team at various times, each bringing their own flavors and moral complexities to the group dynamics.

One of the most significant story arcs is “Civil War,” where the Thunderbolts played a crucial role in enforcing the Superhuman Registration Act. Under the government's direction, and led by Norman Osborn, the team was tasked with capturing unregistered superheroes—a storyline that added layers of political intrigue and questioned the limits of authority and power.

Another pivotal storyline is the “Dark Reign” series where Norman Osborn, after the events of “Secret Invasion,” forms a new Thunderbolts team as part of his broader agenda to control the world's superhero . This period in the Thunderbolts' history explores themes of power corruption and the blurred lines between good and evil.

Cultural Impact and Legacy

The Thunderbolts have had a significant impact on Marvel's universe and its fans. By turning the typical hero-villain dynamic on its head, the team has explored the grey areas of morality in a genre where these lines are often clearly drawn. The concept has been so appealing that it has inspired adaptations in video games, animated television series, and rumors of future appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Furthermore, the Thunderbolts have contributed to the broader discourse about redemption. Each member's struggle with their past deeds and their attempts at redemption offers compelling narratives about change and the possibility of forgiveness.

Future Prospects

With the ever-growing popularity of superhero media, the potential for the Thunderbolts in movies and TV shows is vast. Audiences are drawn to complex characters and morally ambiguous stories, suggesting that the Thunderbolts could find even greater success in the coming years.

In conclusion, the Thunderbolts stand out as one of Marvel's most compelling creations. By continuously evolving and challenging the boundaries between heroism and villainy, they offer a rich tapestry of stories that resonate with the timeless themes of redemption and identity. As they continue to adapt and grow, one thing remains clear: the Thunderbolts are here to stay, constantly challenging what it means to be a hero.

What is the Marvel ‘Thunderbolts' Movie about?

Thunderbolts is an upcoming American superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Studios Motion Pictures, this film marks the 36th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Directed by Jake Schreier, with a script penned by Eric Pearson, Lee Sung Jin, and Joanna Calo, the movie boasts a star-studded cast including Sebastian Stan, Hannah John-Kamen, Wyatt Russell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Olga Kurylenko, Harrison Ford, and Lewis Pullman. The plot centers on a band of antiheroes undertaking government missions.

Marvel Studios hinted at the formation of a Thunderbolts team within the MCU as early as 2021. The project was officially announced in June 2022 with Schreier and Pearson initially attached. The main cast was unveiled in September of the same year, with further casting details emerging into early 2023. Lee Sung Jin came onboard to revise the screenplay by 2023, reuniting with Schreier from their collaboration on the Netflix series Beef. The 2023 Hollywood labor disputes led to delays and casting changes, culminating in Calo's addition in early 2024. Principal photography kicked off in February 2024 and is set to wrap in July at Trilith Studios and Atlanta Metro Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, with additional locations in Utah and New York.

The release of Thunderbolts is slated for May 5, 2025, in the United States, concluding Phase Five of the MCU.

What is the cast of Marvel's ‘Thunderbolts'?

  1. Sebastian Stan portrays Bucky Barnes, an enhanced soldier with a cybernetic arm and the unofficial leader of the Thunderbolts. Once thought killed during World War II, he reappeared in modern times as a brainwashed assassin, until he was deprogrammed.
  2. Hannah John-Kamen plays Ava Starr, also known as Ghost, a Thunderbolts member who possesses molecular instability, allowing her to phase through objects.
  3. Wyatt Russell takes on the role of John Walker, also known as U.S. Agent, a super-soldier and Thunderbolts member. Previously a decorated U.S. Army Rangers Captain, he briefly served as Captain America before a dishonorable discharge.
  4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus appears as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, a contessa and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency who collaborates with Belova and Walker.
  5. Florence Pugh is cast as Yelena Belova, a trained Black Widow from the Red Room and a member of the Thunderbolts.
  6. David Harbour portrays Alexei Shostakov, also known as Red Guardian, the Russian counterpart to Captain America and a father figure to Belova. Harbour mentioned that the film explores the nuanced relationship between Belova and Shostakov, which began in “Black Widow” (2021). Despite Belova's mixed feelings towards Shostakov, he provides her with a sense of completeness.
  7. Olga Kurylenko plays Antonia Dreykov, also known as Taskmaster, a Thunderbolts member with the ability to mimic her opponents' fighting styles using her photographic reflexes. Previously manipulated by her father Dreykov to execute missions for the Red Room, she was liberated by Belova's sister, Natasha Romanoff.
  8. Harrison Ford stars as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, now the president of the United States, having previously served as a U.S. Army general and Secretary of State.
  9. Lewis Pullman is cast as Sentry, bringing a new character into the cinematic universe.

Marvel's ‘Thunderbolts' Production

Development of Thunderbolts

During the production of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, director James Gunn showed interest in making a film about the Thunderbolts, a Marvel Comics team. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige considered this a viable option after the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. However, by 2021, after Gunn directed The Suicide Squad—a DC Comics film with a concept similar to the Thunderbolts—he lost interest in the project. In June 2018, actress Hannah John-Kamen, known for her role as Ava Starr/Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), expressed her eagerness to reprise her role in a potential Thunderbolts movie, noting that her character was part of the team in the comics.

Speculation about the Thunderbolts joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) began to circulate in mid-2019 after it was announced that Daniel Brühl would reprise his role as Helmut Zemo in the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021). The series also introduced Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine and showed her recruiting Wyatt Russell's John Walker/U.S. Agent and working with Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova in the film Black Widow (2021). This led to speculation that de Fontaine was assembling a team akin to the Thunderbolts. Despite this, Nate Moore stated that including the Thunderbolts in the series was never considered as it would complicate the narrative and detract from other story elements. Head writer Malcolm Spellman acknowledged widespread fan discussion about the potential introduction of the team, commenting on the intensity of the speculation.

By June 2022, Jake Schreier was confirmed as the director for Thunderbolts, with a screenplay by Eric Pearson and production led by Feige. Schreier secured the role after impressing Marvel Studios executives with his presentation. At that time, discussions were underway with actors about returning to reprise their roles for the film. There was speculation that the team could include characters such as Zemo, Belova, Taskmaster, U.S. Agent, Ghost, Abomination, Bucky Barnes, or Clint Barton, possibly led by de Fontaine or Zemo. Following the death of , who played Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, there was speculation from sources like Hollywood about recasting the role due to the character's significant connection to the team in the comics. ComicBook.com suggested that Marvel could introduce Robert Maverick, the second Red Hulk from the comics, as an alternative to recasting Ross. The film was officially announced at San Diego Comic-Con in July, with a release date set for July 26, 2024, marking it as the concluding installment of Phase Five of the MCU.

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Pre-production of Thunderbolts

At the D23 Expo in September 2022, concept art was unveiled, featuring the main cast in costume. Portrayed were Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, David Harbour as Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Wyatt Russell as U.S. Agent, and Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster. During this period, Justin Kroll from Deadline Hollywood described the film as a spin-off centered around Belova, with Pugh expected to lead the anti-hero team. Confirmed cast members at the expo included Pugh, Russell, John-Kamen, Louis-Dreyfus, Stan, Harbour, and Kurylenko, all reprising their roles from previous MCU projects. Harbour commented on the film's unique angle within the MCU, calling the main cast “a bunch of misfits and outcasts.”

In late September, reports emerged that Harrison Ford was the top choice to replace the late William Hurt as Ross, although an announcement at D23 was postponed due to concerns from Lucasfilm about overshadowing promotions for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023). By mid-October, Ford's casting as Ross was confirmed, and he was slated to first appear in Captain America: Brave New World (2025).

In January 2023, Louis-Dreyfus announced that filming was set to begin in June. Ayo Edebiri was added to the cast in an undisclosed role, and in February, Steven Yeun was cast in a significant role, potentially continuing in future MCU films. Yeun, having previously worked with director Jake Schreier on the Netflix series Beef, was specifically in mind for this new character. In March, Lee Sung Jin joined to rewrite the script at Schreier's request, focusing on balancing the script to ensure an ensemble feel rather than centering too heavily on known Black Widow characters.

By April, Grace Yun was on board as the , having previously worked on Beef, and cinematographer Steve Yedlin was confirmed to be working in Atlanta, Georgia. Costume design was managed by Sanja Milkovic Hays, known for her work on Captain Marvel (2019) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021).

Filming was initially delayed due to the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike but was set to resume post-strike. The Utah Film Commission announced that filming would occur in Emery County and Grand County, Utah, with over $4.5 million planned to be spent in the state. The film was described as a more grounded, global adventure featuring several practical locations.

The release date was first pushed to December 20, 2024, and then to July 25, 2025, following the end of the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Comic book writer Robert Kirkman revealed that Yeun was cast as Sentry, though he later exited the role due to scheduling conflicts, expressing interest in future MCU projects. Lewis Pullman was then tapped as the top choice to replace Yeun as Sentry, with his casting confirmed shortly thereafter.

Additional cast updates included Laurence Fishburne and Rachel Weisz reprising their roles as Bill Foster and Melina Vostokoff, respectively. Geraldine Viswanathan was cast as de Fontaine's assistant, replacing Edebiri who exited due to the delayed schedule. In February, the film's release date was moved forward to May 2, 2025, trading places with The Fantastic Four. Joanna Calo was later brought on to further revise the script, focusing on an ensemble mission storyline.

Filming

Filming was originally set to start in mid-June 2023 and was planned to span six months. Although it was not anticipated that the writers' strike would affect the schedule, with Marvel Studios intending to proceed with principal photography and address any script changes during scheduled reshoots, the production was ultimately postponed due to both the writers' and the subsequent SAG-AFTRA strikes. David Harbour had intended to film his scenes in tandem with the fifth season of Stranger Things, which was also being shot in Atlanta, but this too was delayed by the strike.

Principal photography eventually commenced on February 26, 2024, at Trilith Studios and Atlanta Metro Studios in Atlanta, operating under the whimsical working title “Oops All Berries”—a nod to a variant of the Cap'n Crunch cereal that features only the berry-flavored pieces. Andrew Droz Palermo, known for his work on the Marvel Studios series Moon Knight (2022), took on the role of cinematographer, with the film being shot for presentation. In March, Florence Pugh unveiled a new logo for the film, intriguingly styled as “Thunderbolts*”. This prompted discussions regarding the significance of the asterisk in the logo. The following month, Kevin Feige confirmed “Thunderbolts*” as the official title, noting that the reason for the asterisk would be disclosed after the film's release, leading to further speculation about its meaning.

Filming is also set to take place in Emery County and Grand County, Utah, from May 29 to June 12, 2024, and is expected to include scenes in New York. The production is slated to wrap up in July 2024.

Marvel's ‘Thunderbolts' Casting Calls &

Marvel's ‘Thunderbolts' Casting Call for Minor Photo Doubles in Atlanta, Georgia.

Casting directors are now casting actors, models, and talent to work on scenes filming in Atlanta, Georgia.

Producers are looking for the following talent: 

  • minor photo double for an important role in the upcoming major motion picture, “Oops All Berries.”

How to apply?

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Minor Photo Double for “Oops All Berries” Major Motion Picture

Job Overview: We are currently seeking a minor photo double for an important role in the upcoming major motion picture, “Oops All Berries.” This role requires a young actress who can match the physical attributes of a specific character in the film. The photo double will be used in various scenes to ensure continuity and assist with the filming process.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Attend and participate in the costume fitting session to ensure proper attire fitting.
  • Work closely with the director and film crew to perform scenes requiring the double.
  • Follow instructions from the film crew to ensure scenes are completed as directed.
  • Maintain professionalism and discretion on set.

Requirements:

  • Gender: Female
  • Age: Suitable for portraying a young girl (please provide the minor's age when applying)
  • Height: Approximately 3'8″ (44 inches)
  • Weight: Around 40 lbs
  • Hair: Blonde, able to match the photo provided (specific details will be shared with potential candidates)
  • Availability to meet all the work dates specified for fitting and filming.
  • Legal guardian must accompany the applicant at all times during fittings and filming.
  • Previous experience in acting or photo doubling is preferred but not mandatory.

Compensation:

  • Filming: $196 for 12 hours
  • Fitting: $49 for 2 hours

Apply now!

Related: How to Find Acting Auditions and Casting Calls

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Marvel's ‘Thunderbolts' Kid Photo Double Casting Call in Union City, GA.

Casting directors are now casting actors, models, and talent to work on scenes filming in Union City, GA.

Producers are looking for the following talent: 

  • minor photo double for an upcoming major motion picture titled “Oops All Berries”. This role is critical for scenes requiring a younger version of one of our main characters.

How to apply?

Join Project Casting to access jobs you can apply to right now.

Casting Call: Minor Photo Double for Major Motion Picture “Oops All Berries”

Job Details: We are currently seeking a minor photo double for an upcoming major motion picture titled “Oops All Berries”. This role is critical for scenes requiring a younger version of one of our main characters. The selected candidate will be involved in both filming and fitting sessions. This is an excellent opportunity for minors looking to gain experience in the film industry, working on a professional set under the guidance of experienced directors and crew.

Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with the director and crew to perform scenes requiring the younger character.
  • Attend and participate in costume fittings as scheduled.
  • Follow all directions from the crew to ensure scenes are performed accurately.
  • Maintain professionalism on set at all times.
  • Be available for the entire duration of the shoot and fitting schedules without conflicts.

Requirements:

  • Height: Close to 5'1″.
  • Complexion and hair color: Must closely resemble the character (photo provided during the selection process).
  • Age: Must be a minor (proof of age will be required).
  • Previous acting experience is a plus but not required.
  • Must have legal guardian consent and availability to accompany on all shooting days.
  • Must be local to or able to travel to Union City, GA for the duration of the filming and fitting.

Compensation: $196 for a 12-hour filming day, $49 for a 2-hour fitting session

Apply now!

Marvel's ‘Thunderbolts' Casting Call for Kid Actors in Union City, GA.

Casting directors are now casting actors, models, and talent to work on scenes filming in Austin, Texas.

Producers are looking for the following talent: 

  • Seeking a minor to work as a photo double in the upcoming feature film “Oops All Berries.”
  • The selected candidate will be required to match specific physical characteristics of a primary actor during filming.
  • This role is critical in scenes where the primary actor is unavailable or when shots require a double for various technical reasons.

How to apply?

Join Project Casting to access jobs you can apply to right now.

Casting Call: Minor Photo Double for Feature Film “Oops All Berries”

Job Description: We are seeking a minor to work as a photo double in the upcoming feature film “Oops All Berries.” The selected candidate will be required to match specific physical characteristics of a primary actor during filming. This role is critical in scenes where the primary actor is unavailable or when shots require a double for various technical reasons.

Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with the director and cinematography team to ensure continuity in scenes.
  • Follow directions carefully to mimic the actions and presence of the primary actor during shoots.
  • Attend a costume fitting prior to the filming date to ensure clothing and any accessories fit properly.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor and work ethic on set, adhering to the schedules and guidelines set by the production team.

Requirements:

  • Height: Must be close in height to 5'1″.
  • Complexion and Hair Color: Should closely resemble the photo provided (not shown here).
  • Age: Must be a minor with valid work permits for Georgia.
  • Availability: Must be available for all listed dates (fitting and filming).
  • Transportation: Must have reliable transportation to and from the set in Union City, GA.

Compensation:

  • Filming Rate: $196 for 12 hours
  • Fitting Rate: $49 for 2 hours

Apply now!

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