Thunderbolts, Marvel's Answer To The Suicide Squad, Has Found Its Director

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is continuing to expand with new individual franchises despite having a great deal to get through in Phase 4 and beyond already. To that end, it has been confirmed that a long-rumored "Thunderbolts" project is moving forward at Marvel Studios. What's more, it is going to be a movie — not a TV show on Disney+ — and a director has been tapped to head up the adaptation.

According to Deadline, Jake Schreier ("Robot & Frank") has been tapped to direct the "Thunderbolts" movie. Plot details largely remain under wraps but it is said to revolve around a group of bad guys who are carrying out missions on behalf of the government. If that sounds familiar, it's because this group, in the pages of Marvel Comics, largely serves as an answer to DC's "Suicide Squad." So, broad strokes, there will probably be some similarities there. Eric Pearson ("Black Widow") is set to pen the screenplay and the outlet reports that filming is expected to begin next summer.

No character details were confirmed at this time but it's expected that several characters who have already appeared in the MCU will be getting in on the action. Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), Abomination (Tim Roth), US Agent (Wyatt Russell), and Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) were all named as possibilities. The outlet also notes that Marvel is looking to certain actors to keep their schedules clear.

Marvel's answer to DC's Suicide Squad

The Thunderbolts, as a team, first debuted in the pages of "Incredible Hulk" #449 in 1997 and were created by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley. The team has had many, many members over the years but the core idea of this being a group of bad guys carrying out dangerous missions has largely been at the core of it all. As for Schreier, he has directed music videos for artists such as Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar, as well as TV such as "Dave" and "Brand New Cherry Flavor." He also has the miniseries "Beef" in the can. But this is by far his most high-profile gig to date and the report notes that it was his presentation to the studio that landed him the job. Execs were apparently "blown away."

What's interesting is that so many pieces of this puzzle are already on the chess board within the MCU. Other than the characters already listed, Jon Bernthal's Punisher is sitting out there waiting in the wings, as is, perhaps most importantly, Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool. We recently learned that "Deadpool 3" is expected to stay R-rated in the MCU. So, maybe getting Deadpool to help lead the "Thunderbolts" movie would be a great way to use that character and give the film an edge? Just a thought. Either way, this could be a very different type of movie for the MCU and, so long as it's just not a carbon copy of "The Suicide Squad," this could be awesome.

"Thunderbolts" does not yet have a release date set.