David Harbour Says Marvel’s Thunderbolts Doesn’t Make Sense

David Harbour says the Thunderbolts roster is confusing and that is intentional by Marvel.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

David Harbour, best known for his portrayal of Jim Hopper in Stranger Things, says Marvel’s upcoming Thunderbolts movie doesn’t make sense. Although he hasn’t seen the script, the actor was told about the story arc. And while the general roster comes off as strange, he admitted that the idea is also super cool. Speaking to io9/Gizmodo, the 47-year-old elaborated on his comments.

“I’ve loved Wyatt, and Sebastian and Julia’s characters throughout the universe,” he told the publication. He added that director Jake Schreier’s vision for Florence Pugh’s character is very interesting, especially regarding her relationship with Red Guardian. “It’s really clever,” David Harbour added about Thunderbolts. “You have this movie that’s kind of ragtag.”

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

He also said that Red Guardian’s inclusion on the team is definitely the oddest since he technically hasn’t done anything malicious to any of the Avengers. But it’s that weirdness that is part of the point. “To throw these characters [together] feels very random, David Harbour explained about the Thunderbolts team. Besides the lineup, which doesn’t make sense in the best way, he says the movie will be funny, weird, and full of action.

“And then we’re also going to drop a bomb, which is cool,” David Harbour teased, while not revealing anything more about the Thunderbolts plot. The nonsensical cast was revealed during Marvel’s D23 Expo in September and also includes Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Wyatt Russell as U.S. Agent, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.

Harrison Ford will also appear in the movie, reprising his role as Thaddeus Ross (filling in for the late William Hurt) from Captain America: New World Order. Although the film features antagonists like Ghost from Ant-Man & the Wasp and Black Widow’s Taskmaster, these characters aren’t exactly villainous. Most are people who’ve been manipulated by the government of their country, and Ghost only resorted to evil to not die. None of them, including David Harbour’s Red Guardian, were ever really evil like the Thunderbolts are in the comics.

But since they do kind of fall into the reformed villain category, it will be interesting to see how Marvel expands their stories. According to CBR, Florence Pugh’s Black Widow will lead the team with her character expected to return for at least two more Marvel projects. Filming is expected to begin in 2023, with Jake Schreier directing from a script by Eric Pearson. David Harbour’s Thunderbolts is scheduled to be released on July 26, 2024.

Meanwhile, David Harbour hopes to explore his character well beyond Thunderbolts. “I love Red Guardian,” he told the publication. “I can’t wait to pull back the layers.” He added that the best thing about the character is that he’s not very well-defined in the comics. So along with the creative team, the actor can play with him in a way that is surprising and unexpected. Additionally, Alexei and Yelena are already confirmed to appear in Marvel Zombies, and a What If…? spinoff which will see the pair among a ragtag group of survivors in a world overrun by the superhuman undead.