James Gunn Interested in THUNDERBOLTS Movie; Learn More about These Villainous “Heroes”

by     Posted 138 days ago

marvel-thunderbolts

With the very recent success of Guardians of the Galaxy, folks may be wondering what’s next for the former Troma director James Gunn to sink his teeth into when it comes to the Marvel moviescape.  The answer may surprise you as in a recent interview, Gunn let it slip exactly which Marvel property he may be willing to tackle next.  While the Guardians of the Galaxy were a ragtag group of loners combining their powers for good across the spaceways, the other team Gunn is thinking of bringing to the big screen is a ragtag group of loners combining their powers for evil….to a point.  Hit the jump for my breakdown of both Gunn’s statement and the team that is the Thunderbolts.

marvel-thunderboltsIn a recent interview with ScreenRant, Gunn had this to say about tackling another Marvel property outside of Guardians….

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.

Well people, Guardians has done well and has blown past expectations, so a Thunderbolts movie may be coming down the pike. For those who don’t know, the Thunderbolts were originally a group of villains disguised as heroes, attempting to perform the “long con”.  Following a Marvel event entitled Onslaught, the Thunderbolts were in fact the Masters of Evil (a team of villains united for the sole purpose of destroying the Avengers) who, in the absence of the Avengers and Fantastic Four due to a series of unfortunate events, attempted to gain the public’s trust in order to eventually take over the world that much easier.  Eventually, the team decided to actually try to become heroes themselves, but it wasn’t meant to be for many of them.

Originally spawned from Marvel creators Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley, the Thunderbolts were a really fresh concept and the idea was something that hadn’t been done that much before, if ever.  What made it all the better was that the book was marketed as a super hero tale from the get-go, with no hint of anything malicious or evil about the team in general.  It was only until the final pages of the first issue that the bomb was dropped and Thunderbolts’ members such as Citizen V, Songbird, Mach V, Techno, Meteorite, and Atlas, were in fact the villains known as Baron Zemo, Screaming Mimi, the Beetle, the Fixer, Moonstone, and Goliath respectively.  Around 12 issues into the series, the team played their trump card immediately following the Avengers and Fantastic Four’s return, with descent amongst their ranks as many had grown to love their newfound place as heroes in the world. Eventually, the team decided to try playing the hero game and their series lasted over 100 issues before eventually getting the axe for the next interpretation of the team.

marvel-thunderbolts-1The second iteration of Thunderbolts, which is arguably the more popular version, consisted of heavy hitters such as Venom, Green Goblin, Bullseye, and a few layovers from the prior team.  This team was brought together under the Green Goblin’s thumb with government backing to hunt down rogue super heroes during the Civil War era of Marvel when simply being a superhero and not registering with the government was a crime.  Obviously, having Green Goblin and Venom in there is going to be downright impossible as it stands since both are owned by Sony Pictures under the Spider-Man banner, but we’ll have to see how this develops moving forward.

This team lacked nearly all heroic aspects which had been found in the previous incarnation, and relished in the opportunity to hunt down the heroes that had been thorns in their sides for so long.  Of course, what made this so interesting was the fact that, since all of them were villains who were only looking out for themselves, they routinely got their butts handed to them by Z-list Marvel heroes such as Iron Spider and American Eagle to name a few.  In one arc, the team was attacked by a group of physics causing a villain fight the likes of which you don’t see often in the funny books, with a particularly chilling scene of the Green Goblin soaring through the halls of “Thunderbolts Mountain” on his goblin glider.

Finally, the most recent iteration of the Thunderbolts takes a big departure from the previous two teams, being a group of heroes who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, killing most of the villains they encounter.  This team, put together by General Thunderbolt Ross (now actually the Red Hulk), is populated by Marvel characters such as the Punisher, Deadpool, Elektra, Ghost Rider, and Venom (though a different person wearing the suit this time around).  The series is just about to end soon, but perhaps Gunn will play give-and-take with all the iterations of the team and come up with a lineup all his own, similarly to how he did with Guardians of the Galaxy.

I personally wouldn’t mind seeing a Thunderbolts team which carried over some of the villains from previous Marvel Studios films, such as Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer, Tim Roth’s Abomination, and Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash to name a few (even though Abomination and Whiplash apparently died).  If we can get a movie with a talking raccoon and tree to make a gigantic splash at the box office, the sky’s the limit.

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  • XFan

    Abomination didn’t die.

    • cloud720

      Yea he didn’t die. There was a moment when Hulk was about to snap his neck, but Hulk ended up decided it was too brutal. Which makes me wonder, what kinda world do we live in when Hulk has more respect for life than Superman?

      • Loso_Rocks

        What the hell was Superman suppose to do in that moment? Let the family die? Continue the fight and destroy the rest of Metropolis? Ask him nicely to stop? Tickle him?

      • cloud720

        If Hulk could break a few of Abominations bones and knock him out, why couldn’t Superman do the same to Zod. I am just saying…

      • Strong Enough

        Because he would have regain consciousness and started all over again. the only way to stop him was to kill him. with the abomination it eventually wears off and he turns back human. Zod is a demi-god 24/7 that wasn’t going to stop destroying until everything was gone. why can’t people understand this shit. there is no prison that can hold that maniac superhuman. he was a rabid dog off his leash and he needed to be put down.

      • cloud720

        You know there was a prison that would have held him. Superman destroyed it right after he said Kyrpton had it’s chance. Remember the Kryptonian ships could mimic the atmosphere of of Krypton. This would cause both Zod and Superman to lose their power in the ship. It would have been the perfect prison if superman didn’t decide to crash the ship into Metropolis.

      • Loso_Rocks

        Sooo, at that moment when Zod was about to vaporize that family what should he have done?

      • cloud720

        Knock him out and took to time to think about his options. Something has to be better than killing. I have a feeling that some of the ship was preserved and will be used as the fortress of solitude. If that is the case then it would have been able to hold Zod as a prisoner.

      • LEM

        Put his invulnerable hands over Zods eyes.

      • Strong Enough

        First of all he destroyed the ship to save Lois and EARTH. if he wouldn’t have blew it up, everything would have been for nothing. Besides that ship isn’t a prison. I like how you say he can just knock him out. How? He was THROWN through concrete buildings, bashed with fists across the head, survived a crashing ship and he still charges back at him. Zod can’t get knocked out! but even we entertain your viewpoint and put him in the ship. everyone is just going to hope and pray he doesn’t escape? Or perhaps destroy the ship himself and become a raging God again? All he has to do is blow up some fuses and BAM! he’s as strong as superman. Now Superman has to deal with him all over again and put more lives at risk.

      • Loso_Rocks

        Seriously. People have no answer to what he should have done. They’re just all “Superman doesn’t kill”. Um, pretty sure Chris Reeve killed Zod in the second Superman, even when he lost all his powers!

      • cloud720

        Maybe it was the Richard Donner cut but i remember seeing Superman flying Zod away at the end of Superman 2.

      • Loso_Rocks

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUORL-bvwA0

        Right there my friend. Even after he lost all his powers.

      • LEM

        And look what happened to him.

      • cruzzercruz

        There was also no prison in Man of Steel that could hold Zod. The MCU is a more heightened reality and Abomination was shuttled off to a SHIELD facility after his demise.

      • http://mysite.verizon.net/vzepr1xp/index.html unsean

        Nonsense! These are comic book-based. If they wanted to hold Zod, all they had to do was bring back the Phantom Zone, or a million other things instead of breaking his neck.

      • cruzzercruz

        There was also no prison in Man of Steel that could hold Zod. The MCU is a more heightened reality and Abomination was shuttled off to a SHIELD facility after his demise.

      • http://mysite.verizon.net/vzepr1xp/index.html unsean

        Yeah, because snapping his neck stopped Zod from killing…what was it, four people? After the thousands prior?

      • Batt Damon

        These people defending a fictional situation annoys the crap out of me. Goyer and Snyder could have done literally anything they wanted in that moment. It turns out their imaginations are pretty limited and kinda bloodthirsty.

      • http://mysite.verizon.net/vzepr1xp/index.html unsean

        Exactly! They could have done–literally–virtually anything that they wanted, and they chose the most violent way forward possible.

      • LEM

        Yeah he should have been neck snappin way earlier. If anything this should have showed Supes he needs to eliminate the threat immediately.

      • Batt Damon

        Have a dance-off, obviously.

      • Batt Damon

        Have a dance-off, obviously.

      • LEM

        A Superman tickling might have worked or maybe a Superman noogie.

      • http://mysite.verizon.net/vzepr1xp/index.html unsean

        Which would have been a hell of a lot more interesting than the route they actually took.

  • bidi

    the original concept sounds pretty cool. i’m game for whatever Gunn wants to do with Marvel

  • mattritchey

    Sorry to be this guy, but it’s “dissent among the ranks.”

    • Hawking

      And good or evil, you can never beat “physics”. It’s the law.

  • Oliver Queen

    PERFECT, after seeing Guardians i’m positive this guy is the right guy for these types of obscure and less popular characters and can bring them to the forefront. GO GUNN!!!! #GoGunn

  • SomeGuy

    I would really like to see Justin Hammer again, mostly because Sam Rockwell is such a fun actor.

    • Calcazone

      I would pay for two tickets to see him dance again.

  • TigerFIST

    Great article Evan except the second to last sentence. ABOMINATION clearly didn’t die. He was breathing still in his last shot if you go back and look. Also in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D they said he’s being kept in a prison in Alaska. So he’s alive. I want him and the Leader to be in a new HULK movie. HULK vs. Abomination, The Leader, and HULK dogs!

  • Thomas K.

    Here’s Your Black Widow movie….

    Dream Team:
    Black Widow
    Hawkeye
    Punisher
    Ghost Rider
    Elektra
    Crossbones

    And if possible to get the rights back…..
    Deadpool

    Obviously to get Elektra and Crossbones part of it they’d have to hold out a few years which will definately allow Him to do GotG2, first.
    And would be fairly easy to Market.

  • appolox

    Oh this sounds cool. I’d love to see Songbird as the leader, Radioactive Man as the brains and superpowers one, Crossbones as weapons specialist, Bullseye as infantry, Abomination as the muscle and Justin Hammer supplying the gadgets.

  • Batt Damon

    Can we also get a Hit-Monkey one-shot for the Blu-Ray?

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  • Lee Harvey Cobblepot

    James Gunn is making Guardians 2, though. So we’re not really wondering what’s next for him. Or did I miss something? It was announced just this week, wasn’t it?

    • Dave

      Whatever iteration of The Thunderbolts he wishes to bring to the screen would take a while to set-up and integrate into the MCU, giving him enough time to concentrate on GotG2 in 2017.

      Regarding all of the speculation of how the MCU might be mapped out until 2028 that I’ve seen online, the idea that Thanos might conceivably kill off all of the Avengers leaving an opportunity for Baron Zemo to set up the original iteration of the Thunderbolts is quite novel.

  • Lee Harvey Cobblepot

    James Gunn is making Guardians 2, though. So we’re not really wondering what’s next for him. Or did I miss something? It was announced just this week, wasn’t it?

  • LEM

    I really wish Marvel at least owned Venom.

  • LEM

    I really wish Marvel at least owned Venom.

  • cruzzercruz

    I think this would be a cool way to reintroduce the actual Mandarin that was alluded to in the “Hail to the King” one-shot, if he commissions the release of multiple villains and tries to imbed some new ones in the newly blossoming superhero landscape to have some aces in the hole. Bring back that looming menace for a post-Thanos MCU.

  • Thal Sinestro

    I guess I’ll hold to my Thunderbolts comics for a while. =)

  • Thal Sinestro

    I guess I’ll hold to my Thunderbolts comics for a while. =)

  • John

    If they make Tom Hiddleston the lead this could be MASSIVE.

  • John

    If they make Tom Hiddleston the lead this could be MASSIVE.

  • DEADP00L

    MARVEL BUY ME BAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!

  • DEADP00L

    MARVEL BUY ME BAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!

  • Grayden

    Group of physics? Or psychics?

    • DEADP00L

      tee hee hee

  • jp

    dis·sent
    diˈsent/
    verb
    1.
    hold or express opinions that are at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially expressed.
    “two members dissented from the majority”

    noun
    1.
    the expression or holding of opinions at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially held.
    “there was no dissent from this view”
    synonyms:disagreement, difference of opinion, argument, dispute;

  • Miguel Garay Boszeta

    YES. A Thunderbolts movie. This is my take: There have been many
    villians so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the concept of the
    Thunderbolts is villians becoming heroes together, sometimes forced to
    do it. And HAWKEYE have been a leader of the team for some time. So,
    Hawkeye trying to make a team with former villians like Whiplash,
    Abomination, Loki, etc. will be fun.

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