Marvel’s 2021 film Black Widow starring Scarlet Johansson followed the events after Captain America: Civil War when Natasha Romanoff is on the run and is forced to confront her past as a Russian spy before she becomes an Avenger. The film opened to lukewarm responses from audiences and critics along with its lead actor Scarlet Johansson being entangled in a lawsuit following a breach of contract regarding streaming rights for the film.
Marvel Studios announced that Black Widow will have a sequel which will release in 2024. Thunderbolts, similar to DC’s Suicide Squad will have several MCU antiheroes on a single team. Many of its main stars like Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Antonia Dreykov have already made their appearance in Black Widow. According to unconfirmed information coming in, Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios have plans to restructure the sequel in an attempt to win over audiences.
“Thunderbolts Should Be More Than a Black Widow Spin-Off”, Says Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios in a telling move, hired writer Lee Sung Jin to take over the script of Thunderbolts by replacing its previous writer Eric Pearson. Jin who is the creator and showrunner for Netflix’s Beef was brought on board to give Thunderbolts a different perspective. If rumors are to be believed, Andy Park, the Director of Visual Development at Marvel Studios hinted that the film must be more than just a Black Widow Sequel.
Moreover, with Florence Pugh and David Harbour whose massive talents were the highlight of Black Widow, the chance of the narrative and plotline of Thunderbolts getting sidelined or even lost amid their performances is a distinct possibility. Pugh in particular was lauded for her role as deadly agent Yelena Belova who overshadowed Johansson’s Black Widow in the film. It now remains to be seen if Jin’s inclusion as a writer will result in lower screen time for Pugh to herald the intended balance that Marvel Studios is looking for in Thunderbolts.
Marvel Wanted to Avoid A Suicide Squad Hangover With Thunderbolts
Hollywood Insider Jeff Schneider expressed his views on the alleged rescripting that Marvel was doing for Thunderbolts. Schneider spoke of the rumors and said that the studio was keen to avoid the mistakes that were apparent in DC’s Suicide Squad which failed at the box office despite a glittering star cast at the helm. Schneider said,
“One of the problems with that ‘Thunderbolts’ draft was that it had a similar problem to what ‘Suicide Squad’ had, the David Ayer one, in that it was too focused on the ‘Black Widow’ characters who are going to be in ‘Thunderbolts’
With Thunderbolts also set to have a staggering array of stars including Bucky Barnes actor Sebastian Stan, Ant-Man 2‘s Hannah-John Kamen, Wyatt Russell’s John Walker from The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Val, Marvel is looking to make sure that they used their resources wisely in their Thunderbolts narrative.