In early 2023, it was reported that Steven Yeun would be making his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a role in Thunderbolts. His Walking Dead and Invinciblecollaborator, Robert Kirkman, had since let it slip that Yeun would be playing The Sentry. Now, the role looks set to be recast, as word has come in that Yeun has departed the project. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Yeun is no longer going to appear in the film, and the reason for his exit hasn't yet been disclosed.
Previously, Yeun had seemed to be pretty stoked about his role in Thunderbolts. He shared how he'd gotten the role thanks to starring in the Netflix miniseries Beef, as one director from that series is directing the Thunderbolts film. As Yeun teased to THR last June, "It kind of came together in a weird way. Jake Schreier, who did episodes of Beef, he got the gig to direct it. He kind of saw me for this role. I read the role and I was like, 'This is actually a really interesting role. I'd be down to explore this.'"
Yeun rose to fame with his role as the fan favorite zombie slayer Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead. He'd later earn an Academy Award nomination for his role in the drama Minari. More recently, he starred in an Emmy-nominated role in Netflix's Beef. He has also been voicing the titular superhero in Amazon's animated superhero series Invincible. The actor is also set to appear in Bong Joon-ho's next movie, Mickey 17, alongside Robert Pattinson and Mark Ruffalo.
With Schreier directing, Thunderbolts was written by Lee Sung Jin following a previous draft by Eric Pearson. Cast members previously announced to appear in the film include Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier), Hannah John-Kamen (Ava Star/Ghost), Wyatt Russell (John Walker/U.S. Agent), Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova/Black Widow), David Harbour (Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian), Olga Kurylenko (Antonia Dreykov/Taskmaster), and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Valentina Allegra de Fontaine)
Steven Yeun Nearly Played The Sentry
Filming on the project was originally set for the summer of 2023, but it was delayed due to the film industry strikes. If not for this delay, the movie would likely have already been filmed with Yeun as The Sentry. The film is now reportedly expected to start shooting in Spring 2024. There is no word yet on who might replace Yeun as The Sentry in Thunderbolts.
Thunderbolts is scheduled to be released in movie theaters on July 25, 2025.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter