Director James Gunn, quite busy with his iteration of The Suicide Squad, has kept fans waiting for exclusive footage from the movie in the upcoming DC FanDome. Nevertheless, when Gunn recently turned 53, the cast gave him a special surprise with a video carrying the official Suicide Squad Logo, seemingly, dropping some clues.
Gunn is known to bust myths and respond to fan theories on social media. Usually, when fans ask him to confirm or debunk anything outrageous, he happily obliges while also leaving cryptic messages, teasing fans to figure out.
Recently, the ever-cryptic Gunn ‘liked’ a tweet on the social networking site due to which fans assume he will finally take up Marvel’s Thunderbolts project. Before the coronavirus hit and delayed the MCU phase 4 the speculations were rife about Thunderbolts coming to the MCU. Gunn also told ScreenRant,
Thunderbolts? I will tell you, one time I was saying to Kevin [Feige], we were sitting on set together on one of the days he visited and I said, ‘You know, I really want to make Thunderbolts,’ and he said, ‘James, if Guardians does well you’ll be able to do whatever you want’, so we’ll see what happens.”
Although, there is a long list of heroes getting ready to debut in the MCU’s 4th phase. A team of super-villains could be bursting onto the scene sooner rather than later. And while there have been previous debates as to whether the MCU would be getting the Masters of Evil or the Thunderbolts, turns out the latter would be getting the green light.
The Thunderbolts is a group of criminal misfits that were created by Kurt Busiek in 1997 in a comic issue that wasn’t given much of a success rating. However, the first issue of Thunderbolts ended in mind-blowing fashion, where it was revealed that the new team of heroes who had risen up as Earth’s protectors – following the demise of the Avengers – was in fact a criminal organization lead by Baron Helmut Zemo.
Watch: Thunderbolts Officially Confirmed
Over the years, the Thunderbolts concept has evolved, but it has always remained a way for the MCU to mobilize its villains for a good cause. The Thunderbolts could be referred to as Marvel’s version of DC’s Suicide Squad. Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn had even, at one point, expressed an interest in directing a Thunderbolt movie. Ironically, James Gunn worked on Suicide Squad for DC at a later time.
Thunderbolts In The Black Widow
We do know that the Thunderbolts are indeed coming to the MCU in Phase 4 and their leader, General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross would make an appearance in Black Widow. Further, Zemo is confirmed as the antagonist for Disney+ Falcon and The Winter Soldier. There are ideas as to who the members of the squad will be. While some new characters are set to enter the fray, we could be seeing some old villains returning as members of the Thunderbolts team.
In the comics, the first Thunderbolts team was led by Zemo. Over time, the squad revamped and even had different versions created. But it has always been used to gather some of the MCU’s exciting villains – some rogue heroes – together for missions when its favorite heroes aren’t available or are under-staffed.
The version of the Thunderbolts coming to the MCU will be led by General Ross. Ross first appeared in The Incredible Hulk as Thunderbolt Ross, and since then has made appearances in a couple of other Marvel movies. In the comics, General Ross became the Red Hulk after taking the super soldier serum. While it’s not likely that he would be towing the same line in the MCU, his appearance in the upcoming Black Widow will give fans more insight as to the role he will be playing in future movies.
Watch: Black Widow Post Credit Scene Thunderbolts Breakdown
Furthermore, General Ross’ appearance in the upcoming Black Widow couples with the fact that Yelena Belova will take forward Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow legacy. Making her join the Thunderbolts could carve another path for the Black Widow franchise, keeping the character around for a long time.
There are also speculations that Zemo could be making his return to the MCU as a member of the Thunderbolts. Another familiar face coming back is Justin Hammer of Hammer Industries. The demise of Tony Stark has created an opportunity for Hammer to shine once again, while Zemo’s skill in manipulations and infiltration could make him a really valuable asset to the Thunderbolts. Trailers for the upcoming Black Widow movie suggest that General Ross might be recruiting the first members of his Thunderbolts team in the movie.
While Gunn is yet to start filming MCU’s The Guardian of The Galaxy Vol 3, he has made it clear in the past that this is his and team’s last outing. Nevertheless, Marvel looks likely to open up the Thunderbolts conversation with James Gunn. There’s none better than Gunn to put together and make a bunch of misfits work — be it Guardians or The Suicide Squad.