Marvel Recruits Harrison Ford To Replace The Late William Hurt In The MCU

Update: Deadline has confirmed that Harrison Ford will make his debut as Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross in "Captain America: New World Order." It has not yet been confirmed whether Ford will also appear in "Thunderbolts."

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has not lacked for star power ever since Robert Downey, Jr. helped kickstart the franchise back in 2008 with "Iron Man" and subsequently opened the door for practically every movie star under the sun to want to get in on the action. Fast-forward almost 15 years later and Kevin Feige might have just pulled off the biggest coup since ascending to the Marvel head honcho gig.

We've known since this year's San Diego Comic-Con that a "Thunderbolts" movie would officially bring Phase 5 to a close, confirming previous reports that the comic book team-up extravaganza was in active development with the studio. Based on traditional depictions of the team in the comics, fans safely expected a roster made up of characters such as Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova, Wyatt Russell's U.S. Agent, Olga Kurylenko's Taskmaster, Hannah John-Kamen's Ghost, and more. Many also assumed that Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross would also play a significant role in the film. Unfortunately, the untimely passing of actor William Hurt threw a wrench into those plans, but Marvel hasn't missed a step.

We can independently confirm that the news announced live on The Hot Mic With John Rocha and Jeff Sneider is in fact true. The role of Thaddeus Ross will be recast with — yep, you're reading this correctly — Harrison Ford.

Thaddeus Ross has been recast with Harrison Ford

There are major franchise castings, and then there are major franchise castings. Harrison Ford joining the MCU certainly qualifies as the latter, putting a nice feather in the cap of Kevin Feige as the "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones," and "Blade Runner" star can now add superheroes to his legendary résumé. Obviously, a man of Ford's age won't be expected to do much in the way of genuine action (although, then again, he has completed filming on the next "Indiana Jones" sequel), but the source material has featured Thaddeus Ross playing a similar kind of role for the Thunderbolts antihero team as DC's Amanda Waller for the Suicide Squad.

While one could assume Ford would play a major role in the "Thunderbolts" movie, Sneider reports that he will make his debut as the character in the upcoming "Captain America: New World Order."

Of course, one's mind boggles at the idea of Ford donning the sort of motion capture apparatus that Mark Ruffalo and now Tatiana Maslany have used to bring their respective Hulk characters to life. After all, Ross becomes the "Red Hulk" in the pages of Marvel Comics. However Ford's specific role plays out, and as much as William Hurt's presence will be sorely missed, we're fascinated to see how this plays out.

"Captain America: New World Order" will be directed by Julius Onah and will arrive in theaters on May 23, 2024. "Thunderbolts" will be directed by Jake Schreier ("Robot & Frank," "Paper Towns") and is scheduled to release in theaters on July 26, 2024.