James Gunn has sparked rumors that he will be directing a Thunderbolts movie after liking a Tweet mentioning his interest in the project.
This new rumor was first spotted on the subreddit r/marvelstudiosspoilers in a post titled “James Gunn liking an interesting comment.”
On June 14th, Marvel Cinematic Universe related news outlet MCU Direct published an interview with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad director and promoted the piece with a Tweet stating that “directing one of Marvel Studio’s Avengers films “just doesn’t appeal to him.”
In reply to the tweet by MCU Direct, a fan recalled, “I remember James Gunn wanted to do MCU Thunderbolts movie. And that Feige said yes if gotg(Guardians of the Galaxy) did well. I think he prefers those odd and eccentric teams.”
The fan’s tweet was then liked directly by Gunn’s official, verified account, sparking the rumors that eventually found their way to Reddit.
Gunn’s liking of the reply tweet to the article is telling, as the director previously noted his interest in taking on a Thunderbolts title following the release of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Gunn directly spoke on the topic of the Thunderbolts, stating “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.”
Guardians of the Galaxy would end up exceeding box-office performance expectations when it was released in 2014, and it’s success temporarily cemented Gunn as part of the collaborative team set to orchestrate the future of Marvel’s cosmic characters, until some tweets from earlier in his career resurfaced and put a temporarily halt to his involvement at Marvel.
Immediately after being let go by Marvel, DC picked up James Gunn to direct another band of ragtag villains, in a soft reboot/sequel of Suicide Squad.
After staying away from Twitter for an extended amount of time and issuing an apology for his past behavior, Gunn would eventually be hired back by Marvel/Disney and allowed to finish his work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Gunn recently stated that the third installment of the Guardians would be his last with that part of the franchise, saying in part, “It’s probably my last one, and probably the last with the current team, but you never know!”
If Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 truly is Gunn’s last outing with the rag tag crew of space adventurers, the director would be freed up for other opportunities within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including a potential Thunderbolts film.
Though a Thunderbolts film has not been officially announced by Marvel, with mentions of the film almost exclusively coming in the form of rumors, several important members of the team’s various incarnations have already appeared in the MCU, including Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, Ghost, Zemo, and Taskmaster.
Related: Does Marvel Studios Have a Thunderbolts Movie in the Works?
The most telling rumor so far claims that the rumored Thunderbolt film will feature a storyline based on the 2004 mini-series Identity Disc, and involves a post-credit scene included at the end of the upcoming Black Widow film which allegedly shows that Taskmaster and Ross have discovered the existence of a device that can erase a criminal’s red ledger in any government database, in turn using the device to entice criminals to work for them for a chance at a clean record, essentially functioning as the MCU-equivalent of the Suicide Squad.
What do you think of James Gunn directing a Thunderbolts film? Sound off in the comments below or on social media!