David Harbour Says Marvel's Thunderbolts Is A Team Of 'Losers'

Marvel Studios has finally finished its first phase of films post "Avengers: Endgame," with "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" serving as the bookend to Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It won't be long until "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" kicks off Phase 5 of the MCU in early 2023. This next phase of films looks to have an even more diverse set of films than the previous Phase, featuring a mix of legacy sequels and brand-new team-ups. According to the current lineup announced by Marvel Studios, the film is set to end Phase 5 (which is crazy to think about considering it hasn't even technically started) is "Thunderbolts," based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name.

Fundamentally being Marvel's equivalent of the Suicide Squad, "Thunderbolts" is a rag-tag team of villains and mercenaries brought together by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). First announced at this year's D23, the lineup for the live-action iteration of the Thunderbolts certainly feels like a departure from the comics. With no Zemo in sight (for now), the team consists of Ghost, U.S. Agent, Yelena Belova, Taskmaster, Red Guardian, and the Winter Soldier. Most of the group seems to consist of lower-tier MCU characters making the team feel less impactful as a team like the Avengers. According to Red Guardian actor David Harbour, that's mostly the point.

Flawed but capable characters

In an interview with ComicBook, David Harbour spoke briefly about "Thunderbolts" and the team's place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, gleefully referring to them as losers:

"We're like losers, which I like (laughs). We're the losers. I think it's fun to watch us just mess everything up. It's very funny; there's also a lot of pathos in that. There's a lot of drama in a bunch of people who just keep getting their lives wrong and — because of character flaws — keep messing things up."

The assortment of bad guys that the film will spotlight are definitely troubled individuals, although most lack the development that other members like Bucky Barnes or Yelena have. Ghost hasn't been seen or mentioned since 2018's "Ant-Man and the Wasp," and Red Guardian and Taskmaster are still fresh off their debut in 2020's "Black Widow." "Thunderbolts" finally seems like a chance to take some under-utilized characters played by talented actors and give them proper development. The MCU has been so busy setting up different pieces for their "Multiverse Saga" that it feels like some elements haven't been given room to breathe.

David Harbour believes there's interesting story potential with "Thunderbolts," especially given that they're underestimated and nowhere near as respected as more prominent heroes but just as capable:

"Nobody gives them the respect that they do to Captain America and Iron Man, very capable people. So there's a lot to draw on there. I think there's a lot of movie there that will be fun."

Whether or not "Thunderbolts" makes arguably one-dimensional characters like Taskmaster human and empathetic remains to be seen. The potential is there, though, and Harbour is clearly excited to be a part of this new and interesting team in the MCU.