Thunderbolts release date, cast and everything you need to know

Thunderbolts is finally gearing up to start filming ahead of a delayed July 2025 release, but its cast has been given a shake-up.

The Bear star Ayo Edebiri is the latest name to have to drop out of the new MCU movie as a result of scheduling changes, following Steven Yeun’s departure earlier this year. But hopefully, that’s it for cast changes.

Back in November 2023, Thunderbolts was delayed to July 2025 as a result of the latest MCU calendar shake-up. The movie was pushed back alongside other upcoming movies like Deadpool 3, Captain America 4 and Blade.

The movie’s new release date also means it won’t be part of Phase 5, as it was initially believed. By placing it after Fantastic Four (May 2, 2025) we now know that Thunderbolts will be part of Phase 6 of the MCU.

So as the movie is about to head into production, here’s everything you need to know about Thunderbolts.

Marvel Comics

Thunderbolts release date: When will Thunderbolts be released in cinemas?

Following the delay, Thunderbolts will now arrive in cinemas on July 25, 2025.

The movie was originally set for December 20, 2024, but it was delayed due to the now ended writers and actors’ strike in Hollywood.

It’s not the first time the movie has been pushed back, since originally it was scheduled for July 26, 2024 release.

It was expected that filming would start in June 2023, but the strikes delayed that. However, Sebastian Stan revealed to Variety in January 2024 that he’ll start filming “in a month or so”, so that points to a February 2024 start.

anthony mackie, sebastian stan, the falcon and the winter soldier

Marvel Studios

Thunderbolts cast: Who’s in Thunderbolts?

When Thunderbolts was officially revealed at D23 Expo 2022, it was revealed who will be making up the titular team and it’s an exciting blend of previous MCU characters.

The team is:

• Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine
• David Harbour as Red Guardian
• Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost
• Sebastian Stan as James ‘Bucky’ Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier
• Florence Pugh as Yelena Boleva
• Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster
• Wyatt Russell as John Walker, aka US Agent

florence pugh, black widow

Disney

In the comics, General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross led one version of the team, so it was thought he’d perform a similar role in the MCU where he was played by William Hurt.

While it was initially assumed that he wouldn’t be recast following Hurt’s death in 2022, Harrison Ford is stepping into the role in Captain America 4, so he’ll likely appear in Thunderbolts too.

However, it’s equally likely that Val will take on the leader role in the MCU version of the team. We’ve seen her recruiting US Agent (in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), and we saw her already working with Yelena in Black Widow.

Fans were surprised to not see Daniel Brühl’s Baron Zemo as part of the line-up, but his last MCU appearance ended with him imprisoned in the Raft, so maybe he’s got other things to deal with right now.

Or maybe he will end up making an appearance…

baron zemo in falcon and the winter soldier

Marvel Studios

We had expected to see Steven Yeun and Ayo Edebiri make their MCU debuts but, as mentioned above, they’ve now dropped out as a result of the delayed production.

Instead, Top Gun: Maverick star Lewis Pullman and Miracle Workers star Geraldine Viswanathan will take on Yeun and Edebiri’s roles, respectively. We still don’t know which role they’ll be playing exactly, or if they’ll be friend or foe.

Behind the scenes, the movie was originally written by Black Widow‘s Eric Pearson, but it was announced in March 2023 that Lee Sung Jin will now write the new movie.

Lee and Thunderbolts director Jake Schreier worked together on Netflix’s Beef, which also starred Yeun.

lee sung jin

Roger Kisby//Getty Images

Thunderbolts plot: What will Thunderbolts be about?

There aren’t any official plot details for Thunderbolts at the moment, beyond a brief description of the movie as “a group of antiheroes goes on missions for the government.”

Think the MCU’s version of Suicide Squad and you won’t be too far off.

In an interview with IGN in August 2023, director Jack Schreier offered some vague details. “I can’t say what it is, but I can say that there is something different,” he explained.

“And I think that, again, when you look at something like Beef, there’s a specificity of character that then makes the whole thing feel more universal because it comes from something so personal.”

“I think that something that was exciting about Thunderbolts is it’s not a sequel. It’s a new story, and it’s a set of characters that maybe we’ve met a little bit in the MCU before, but this is a very new take on who they are and what brings them together. Probably not what people are expecting from it, but I guess I can’t really say more than that.”

black widow, david harbour

Marvel Studios

Thunderbolts trailer: Any Thunderbolts footage yet?

It hasn’t even started filming yet, so you’ll be waiting a while for any Thunderbolts footage. Sorry.

Because of the delayed release date, it’s possible that we’ll have to wait until at least July 2024, where footage might be shown at Comic-Con.

Thunderbolts will be released in cinemas on July 25, 2025.

Headshot of Gabriella Geisinger

Gabriella Geisinger is a freelance journalist and film critic, and was previously Deputy Movies Editor at Digital Spy. She loves Star Wars, coming-of-age stories, thrillers, and true crime. A born and raised New Yorker, she also loves coffee and the colour black, obviously.

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Movies Editor, Digital Spy 

Ian has more than 10 years of movies journalism experience as a writer and editor.  Starting out as an intern at trade bible Screen International, he was promoted to report and analyse UK box-office results, as well as carving his own niche with horror movies, attending genre festivals around the world.   After moving to Digital Spy, initially as a TV writer, he was nominated for New Digital Talent of the Year at the PPA Digital Awards.   He became Movies Editor in 2019, in which role he has interviewed 100s of stars, including Chris Hemsworth, Florence Pugh, Keanu Reeves, Idris Elba and Olivia Colman, become a human encyclopedia for Marvel and appeared as an expert guest on BBC News and on-stage at MCM Comic-Con. Where he can, he continues to push his horror agenda – whether his editor likes it or not.