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A new rumor has revealed that upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies Captain America: Brave New World and Thunderbolts were more closely connected before the latter's latest rewrites.
According to trusted scoopers CanWeGetSomeToast and MyTimeToShineHello on X (formerly Twitter), Marvel Studios initially intended for the two Phase 5 installments to be "more tightly connected." However, after Lee Sung Jin was hired in March 2023 to rewrite Eric Pearson's Thunderbolts screenplay, some plot elements changed resulting in the film's ties to Brave New World being severed. The scoopers added that one way Brave New World was connected to Thunderboltswas through a cameo by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, reprising her MCU role as CIA director Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. It is believed that cameo has now been scrapped unless Marvel repurposes it as one of Brave New World's post-credits scenes.
Marvel Presses Pause on Thunderbolts Amid Strikes
Unlike Captain America: Brave New World, which wrapped principal photography on June 30, 2023, production on Thunderbolts has been delayed due to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Jake Schreier is attached to direct Thunderbolts, which will follow the superpowered group of the same name that will be assembled by Louis-Dreyfus' Val. Similar to DC Comics' task force the Suicide Squad, the Thunderbolts is made up of former villains, with the MCU's debut iteration set to consist of six members: Yelena Belova/Black Widow (Florence Pugh), Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, John Walker/U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell), Antonia Dreykov/Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), Ava Starr/Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
With Thunderbolts featuring some of Hollywood's most in-demand talent, some fans have begun to wonder if the strikes will cause scheduling conflicts with other projects. Harbour, who has the fifth and final season of Netflix's popular horror series Stranger Things to film in 2024, recently revealed that he will likely be shooting his scenes for Thunderbolts during downtime on Stranger Things. "There will be a little bit of a push difference, but Stranger Things 5 will shoot for a year," he said. "So Thunderbolts will have to live somewhere within that, but the whole thing is crazy speculation at this point. I just don't know what anything is anymore. I don't know what we're doing."
He added, "I really wish that somebody in charge could tell me what's going on, because I get tons of phone calls every week that say, 'Oh, this is what's gonna happen.' And then it just doesn't happen. So nobody knows."
Anthony Mackie Leads His First Captain America Movie
Brave New World will mark Anthony Mackie's first time leading a Captain America movie as the Star-Spangled Man, following his character, Sam Wilson, taking over the mantle in the Disney+ limited series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. While plot details for the upcoming fourth installment remain under wraps, set photos have teased the MCU debut of the Serpent Society, a villainous snake-themed organization that has appeared in Captain America comics since 1985. Brave New World will also feature several characters from The Incredible Hulk, including Tim Blake Nelson as Samuel Sterns/Leader, leading some fans to believe the superhero movie will continue dandling plot threads from the 2008 film.
At the time of writing, Captain America: Brave New World is set to hit theaters on July 26, 2024, followed by Thunderbolts on Dec. 20, 2024.