Marvel's Thunderbolts Team Includes Winter Soldier, Ghost, Taskmaster, Red Guardian, And More [D23]

We're 29 movies into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we are bursting at the seams when it comes to superheroes. So why not shake things up by putting villains front and center? Since it worked so well for "Loki," Marvel Studios has decided to bring some baddies to the big screen with "Thunderbolts." And after months of speculating about who will fill out this supervillain roster, we finally have some answers.

Disney's D23 Expo is going down right now in Anaheim, California and /Film's own Ethan Anderson is right there on the ground with the latest breaking news. Newly announced at today's Marvel Studios panel is the line-up for Marvel's "Thunderbolts," which will mark the return of some very familiar faces. Prepare for the return of: Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova, Hannah John-Kamen's Ghost (from "Ant-Man and The Wasp"), Olga Kurylenko's Taskmaster (last seen in "Black Widow"), Wyatt Russell's U.S. Agent ("The Falcon and the Winter Soldier"), David Harbour's Red Guardian ("Black Widow") and Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine.

As previously announced, Jake Schreier ("Robot & Frank") has been tapped to direct the "Thunderbolts" movie. While plot details remain largely under wraps, we can glean a bit from the comic book history of this anti-hero team. Considered Marvel's answer to DC's "Suicide Squad," the Thunderbolts are a team of villains who take on new identities and embark on dangerous missions. As a team, they first debuted in the pages of "Incredible Hulk" #449, created by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley in 1997. Since then, various members have shuffled in and out but the general concept of villains joining forces remains the same.

A new team for a new world

This exciting team-up is bringing together some of the MCU's most interesting villains, each of whom are coming from very different backgrounds when it comes to the superhero game. Yelena's latest outing saw her trying to straight-up murder an Avenger and while Ghost and Taskmaster were just misunderstood villains of circumstance, U.S. Agent has a pretty spotty record as a hero. So what happens when they're all working together? And what exactly is Contessa's endgame?

It's also been speculated that "Thunderbolts" will see the return of Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), but given his involvement in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," perhaps he will instead reenter the MCU in "Captain America: New World Order." In any case "Thunderbolts" will mark the end of the MCU's fifth phase and since it comes on the heels of "New World Order" and "Secret Invasion," the team will probably be operating in a very different world than the one we know now. If the MCU's Thunderbolts are anything like their comic book counterparts, then they'll be timing their arrival to a time when the world deeply distrusts their typical superheroes.

"Thunderbolts" is set to arrive on July 26, 2024.