Thunderbolts is one of the many entries that remains on the slate of upcoming Marvel movies, and is arguably one of its most intriguing titles. Though specific plot details are limited, the ensemble is made up of a number of Marvel Cinematic Universe alums. That includes the likes of Florence Pugh and Sebastian Stan, who return as Yelena Belova and Bucky Barnes, respectively. As rumors continue to swirl around the production, a new report suggests that two more familiar MCU faces will enter the fray. And I honestly love the notion of seeing these two franchise veterans again.
The roster of stars for this MCU team-up flick is already very impressive, so any additional stars would simply be icing on the cake. So it’s incredibly exciting that Production Weekly reports that Rachel Weisz and Laurence Fishburne will be reprising their roles as Melina Vostokoff and Bill Foster, respectively. At this point, this information should be taken with a massive grain of salt, as their supposed involvement has not been confirmed by Marvel Studios, as of this writing. However, it would totally make sense for both of them to show up.
Bill Foster first appeared in 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp and was introduced as a former colleague of Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym. It was also revealed that he was the caretaker of Ava Starr/Ghost (played by Hannah John-Kamen). Considering that John-Kaman’s Ava is part of the Thunderbolts cast, Foster’s involvement would track. As for Melina Vostokoff, she debuted in 2021’s Black Widow alongside Yelena and David Harbour’s Alexei Shostakov a.k.a. Red Guardian. With the latter two characters taking center stage in the proceedings, an appearance from Melina would be reasonable.
Laurence Fishburne and Rachel Weisz both recently appeared in their respective roles during Season 2 of the animated series What If…? (which is streamable with a Disney+ subscription). However, neither has played their role in a live-action production since their franchise debuts. Both are solid characters, and I’d be eager to see what’s been going on with them since they were last seen. MCU team-up movies have a tendency to incorporate supporting players from different franchises (like Pepper Potts and Erik Selvig in The Avengers). And I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing that tradition continue.
More on Thunderbolts
The cast of Thunderbolts – which is set to be directed by Jake Schreier – is shaping up quite nicely. In addition to the aforementioned stars, Wyatt Russell (John Walker/U.S. Agent), Olga Kurylenko (Taskmaster), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Valentina Allegra de Fontaine), Harrison Ford (Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross) and Ayo Edibiri are also in the mix. Steven Yeun was also tapped to allegedly play the Sentry, though he was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. It’s now rumored that Yeun will be replaced by Lewis Pullman of Top Gun: Maverick fame.
Like so many other high-profile productions, the superhero movie was delayed due to the Hollywood strikes in 2023. Now, production is finally set to kick off around this coming March. Sebastian Stan spoke about finally getting to work and expressed his excitement over once again playing the man formerly known as the Winter Soldier.
I’m hopeful that the stars align so that Rachel Weisz and Laurence Fishburne are indeed among the actors who are on the set when filming gets started. Their characters likely won’t get much screen time should they actually show up. But any time we would get to spend with them would be much appreciated.
Thunderbolts is currently set to open in theaters on July 25, 2025. While you wait for that, know that past MCU films can be streamed on Disney+. And know that the next entry in the sprawling fictional universe, Deadpool 3, opens on July 24 as part of the 2024 movie schedule.