See The Cast Of Marvel’s The Thunderbolts

The Thunderbolts roster revealed: Yelena Bulova, Bucky Barnes, US Agent, Taskmaster, Red Guardian, Ghost, and La Contessa.

By Mark McKee | Published

Earlier this year, Kevin Fiege revealed a schedule for the rest of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He also gave a glimpse into the beginning and end of Phases 5 and 6. The notable projects on the schedule were Fantastic Four launching Phase 6 and Thunderbolts capping off Phase 5. While not much has been revealed about the cast of either, D23 gave fans a look at the upcoming roster of antiheroes that are coming together for the film. The lineup consists of Yelena Bulova, Bucky Barnes, John Walker, Antonia Dreykov, Alexei Shostakov, Ava Starr, and La Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine. While the Thunderbolts have had hundreds of members throughout the comic book run, there are some notable absences and a few surprise additions to the team. 

Four people on The Thunderbolts debuted in Black Widow, the one solo outing for Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). Yelena Bulova, AKA Black Widow (Florence Pugh), is rumored to be the group’s leader. She appeared as Romanoff’s sister, revealed as a cover for a family of undercover spies in America. She appeared again in Hawkeye, having been told Clint Barton was responsible for her sister’s death in Avengers: Endgame. La Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine or just Val (Julia Louise Dreyfus) appeared in the Black Widow post-credit scene and recruited Yelena with the information about her sister. She seems to be taking on a Nick Fury-type role for the future. Alexei Shostakov, AKA Red Guardian (David Harbour), served as the father figure of the Russian spy family. And Antonia Dreykov, AKA Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), was the film’s secondary antagonist, answering to General Dreykov (Ray Winstone). 

The other half of The Thunderbolts comprises super soldiers and a long-lost villain considered a one-off in the franchise. Bucky Barnes, AKA The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), makes his return to the MCU after serving as a Russian villain turned Captain America sidekick in Captain America: Winter SoldierCaptain America: Civil WarAvengers: Infinity WarAvengers: Endgame, and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. In the latter appearance, he went up against the United States Government’s replacement for Captain America, John Walker. After a public meltdown, he took on the persona of US Agent and was recruited by Val at the end of the series. Finally, Ava Starr, AKA Ghost, makes her return after a less than memorable appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp. She is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who suffered from an ailment in her quantum energy and was near death. After being healed by Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), Ghost disappeared and hasn’t been heard from again.  

Notable surprise absences from the team are Baron Zemo (Daniel Brul), who has a long history with The Thunderbolts and even led them for a time, Emil Blonsky, AKA Abomination (Tim Roth), and Thunderbolt Ross, AKA Red Hulk (William Hurt). While the latter makes sense due to the actor’s death in March of this year, the other two seemed to be perfect fits on the team and certainly would be more expected than Red Guardian and Ghost. Kevin Fiege has also claimed that other characters not yet introduced in the MCU will be on the team in the future, so there is still hope for people like Ghost Rider, Deadpool, or the Punisher to make appearances.