Even before ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ became a bona fide hit over the weekend, Marvel Studios officially announced a sequel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Director James Gunn has already started to drop a few hints about what could happen in the next film while promoting the first one, but many wonder what other Marvel property the filmmaker would like to tackle afterwards. In his answer, Gunn mentions yet another unexpected team from comic book mythology.
While speaking to ScreenRant, Gunn stated that besides being the guiding light for the Guardians, he’d also like to bring the Thunderbolts to the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
“Thunderbolts? I will tell you, one time I was saying to Kevin [Feige], we were sitting on set together on one of the days he visited and I said, ‘You know, I really want to make Thunderbolts,’ and he said, ‘James, if Guardians does well you’ll be able to do whatever you want so we’ll see what happens.”
Unlike Star-Lord and the gang of inherently good people, the Thunderbolts is comprised of villains. In some incarnations, the team is made up of villains trying to con the world into thinking that they’re heroes in order to make a big score. In others, incarcerated villains are given the opportunity to reduce their prison sentences by acting as a superhero team. But no matter which way you slice it, the Thunderbolts are some dangerous people.
Presenting a team of villains is a very interesting concept, so it’s easy to see why Gunn would want to work with them. We’ll be seeing it soon from Sony with ‘The Sinister Six’, however, I’m curious to see how Marvel Studios would make it work. After all, all-knowing Marvel Comics editor extraordinaire Tom Brevoort makes a good point about the team appearing in a movie or a TV show on his Tumblr:
“I don’t know that it would work great as either, as it’s so tied into the history of the Marvel Universe. Having the Thunderbolts revealed to be villains that you never heard of before doesn’t have quite the same impact.”
The thing about creating the Thunderbolts with MCU villains is that most of them perished after their battles with heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Loki is still at large and the Red Skull will likely find a way back to the realm of the living, but they’re too big to have on a team like this. Same goes for Crossbones, who will likely be busy with HYDRA business to sign up. Their pursuits are beyond petty crimes. The only one seemingly left standing is Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer, but he’s hardly a supervillain. Like Brevoort said, it just wouldn’t have the same impact.
For this to work, I could see Gunn taking the same approach as ‘Superior Foes of Spider-Man’, which features lower-level villains trying to make their way in a super-powered world, while at the same time taking aspects of the current run of ‘Thunderbolts’, which sees General Thunderbolt Ross (as Red Hulk) assembling a deadly team of heroes who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty like the Punisher, Deadpool, Venom, and Ghost Rider. There are a ton of things that need to be worked out before ‘Thunderbolts’ could fit into the MCU, but if anyone could make it work, I’m sure James Gunn can.
What do you think about James Gunn’s desire to bring the Thunderbolts into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Which version of the team do you think would work the best on the big screen? Do you agree with Tom Brevoort’s comments on a film adaptation of the team? Share your thoughts in the comments below.