Sam Rockwell Wants To Join A Marvel Ensemble Movie

Sam Rockwell once appeared in Iron Man 2 as Justin Hammer, and now he wants to return for the Thunderbolts movie.

By Joshua Jones | Published

Marvel boss Kevin Feige revealed the official cast of the upcoming Thunderbolts movie slated for summer 2024. The cast includes the likes of David Harbor, Sebastian Stan, Florence Pugh, and others. One name who wants to join the impressive cast is Sam Rockwell.

In a recent episode of The Discourse podcast, Sam Rockwell spoke about his role as Tony Stark’s rival Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2 when the topic of Thunderbolts came up. The actor expressed his enthusiasm for potentially returning to the MCU after a long absence. He said being in the Thunderbolts would be a really cool idea.

“Yeah, definitely. The Thunderbolt… I would be into that. That sounds cool. What villains would be in that? Yeah! yeah, that’s fun… [Hammer]’s a real Lex Luthor.”

sam rockwell

Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer character hasn’t appeared in the MCU since his cameo in the 2014 Marvel short All Hail The King. Marvel doesn’t shy away from bringing back old MCU characters. They recently reintroduced Tim Roth’s Abomination in the Disney+ series She-Hulk.

Of course, it all comes down to the story. Not much is known regarding Thunderbolts, other than that it involves several anti-heroes that already exist in the MCU. While Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer could be a fine addition to the group, it’s unclear what his role would be, considering the creators have yet to divulge story details.

Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer does provide a link to Tony Stark, who is no longer alive in the films. Hammer’s presence in Thunderbolts might give longtime MCU fans a bit of a nostalgia trip and could make them revisit Stark’s earlier adventures in the franchise. It’ll also be interesting to see Hammer interact with one of Stark’s closest friends, James Rhodes.

Rhodey appeared in the trailer for Secret Invasion, which centers on Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury untangling a mystery that involves Skrulls. The trailer hints that Rhodey has a more powerful position within the government. Perhaps Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer could use whatever influence he has to retrieve something right from under Rhodey’s nose.

As mentioned earlier, Kevin Feige is bringing back a bunch of Phase 1 characters. In addition to Tim Roth’s Abomination, there is also the announcement of Tim Blake Nelson’s The Leader returning for Captain America: New World Order. This certainly makes Sam Rockwell’s return to the MCU even more of a possibility.

After the events of Iron Man 2, Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer ends up at Seagate Prison. The prison has a lot of relevance in the expanding Marvel universe as it’s where Luke Cage received his power after being experimented on by Dr. Noah Burstein. Feige could also be setting the seeds for a reboot of the character now that he and the other Marvel Netflix characters are back with Disney/Marvel.

While adding Sam Rockwell in Thunderbolts or any upcoming MCU project wouldn’t be a game-changing announcement, it would continue to reaffirm the idea that every phase and project in the franchise matters in the end. One of the best aspects regarding the MCU is its ability to reference past events and add to them. Justin Hammer’s appearance in Thunderbolts could add more to Tony Stark’s story, even though he sacrificed himself in Avengers: Endgame.

It’ll also be great to see a charismatic and talented actor like Sam Rockwell return to a major film franchise. Whether or not he will remain to be seen, but for now, fans can at least know that he’s down for it.