Rumored Race-Swapped Sentry Actor Steven Yeun Reportedly Exits Marvel’s “Thunderbolts”
In yet another shake-up to the studio’s already tumultuous plans to wright their Multiverse Saga’s sinking ship, actor Steven Yeun – who previous rumors had suggested was on track to appear in the film as a race-swapped version of the Sentry – has reportedly made a full exit from the cast of Marvel’s upcoming Thunderbolts.
Word of the Invincible voice actor’s voluntary discharge from the super soldier team was first made public on January 2nd by The Hollywood Reporter‘s Aaron Couch, himself having learned of the alleged development via his own insider sources.
Currently, the exact reasons behind Yeun’s decision remain unknown.
However, though Couch does make make mention of the fact that Thunderbolts was one of the many Hollywood productions so suffer from a scheduling kerfuffle as a result of last year’s Hollywood guild strikes, it should be explicitly noted that he in no way attributes said confusion as the cause for Yeun’s exit, instead including this fact simply as related information (or, more realistically, as a means to reach the minimum word count required for his article to be picked up by search engines).
As of writing, official confirmation as to which Marvel character Yeun was set to portray on the silver screen remains non-existent, with any such information only likely to come out near or after the film’s official release date.
However, per noted scooper CanWeGetSomeToast, The Walking Dead star was supposedly cast as the aforementioned man with the power of a million exploding suns.
Taking to Twitter in February 2023 amidst rumors of the actor’s role as the MCU’s version of the Sentry, the scooper opined to their followers, “IF Steven Yeun is #Sentry, I hope his hair stays black and turns blonde when he powers up. Our first live action Super Saiyan could be him.”
Then, just five days after making their wish, CanWeGetSomeToast returned to Twitter to announce that Yeun’s casting “looks like it’s NOT an ‘if’,” to which they playfully doubled down, “Now I REALLY want a Super Saiyan power up sequence for him”.
Likewise, that same month saw The Weekly Planet podcast co-host James Clement allege that, “I spoke to somebody at Marvel – not a higher up necessarily – and this is the quote that they sent me: ‘We don’t even know who [Yeun] playing, but my guess is Sentry, since there’s been whispers of that casting circulating a bit.'”
“So, he’s going to be in the Thunderbolts as Sentry, potentially,” said Clement on the February 26th episode of his show. “That’s what somebody’s telling me who heard from somebody else.”
Further whispers regarding Yeun’s donning of Bob Reynolds’ signature yellow-and-blue tights were let slip later in the year when, amidst a lightning round of topic discussions held during the March 30th episode of his and film critic John Rocha’s The Hot Mic podcast, veteran film reporter and Hollywood insider Jeff Sneider asked his co-host, “Steven Yeun, right. We know he’s playing Sentry, right?”
Surprised by this casual reveal, Rocha replied “Well, that’s what you’ve said, but we haven’t officially been told that,” to which Sneider replied with a simple smile before moving the conversation on to the next topic.
[Time Stamp: Overall Thunderbolts discussion begins at 37:00, Sneider speaks to Yeun’s role at 38:07]
But perhaps the strongest piece of evidence to a Yeun-portrayed Sentry came from the actor’s friend, The Walking Dead and Invincible franchise co-creator Robert Kirkman.
During a November 2023 livestream interview with comic book artist David Finch, Kirkman was asked by a user if he ever got “asked about the Sentry in Marvel”.
[Time Stamp: 1:19:59]
Ostensibly realizing that the question was actually meant for Finch, who himself had drawn the golden-haired hero for his reintroduction to 616 canon in 2005’s New Avengers Vol. 1, the prolific comic book writer graciously explained, “I mean, I never really worked on the Sentry,” before recalling, “I think the only time I worked on the Sentry was when he briefly appeared in Marvel Zombies Vol. 1“
“Fun fact, that was written to be Superman,” he then shared. “When Mark Millar wrote the original story of the zombie thing happening in Ultimate Fantastic Four Vol. 1, the cause of it was Superman breaking in from a dimension where zombies had taken over, because that was in the original script they sent me – it was a ‘super-powered character with a red and blue costume’, and when the comic came out, they had changed it to the Sentry.”
From there, thanks to his mind being understandably set to the topic of The Golden Guardian of Good, Kirkman then detailed, “My good friend Steven Yuen is playing the Sentry in a movie.”
“He called me,” recalled the writer. “He went in for a costume fitting. I don’t think this is a spoiler or anything that’ll get anybody in trouble. I don’t know, maybe, we’ll see. I don’t care. I don’t work for Marvel. What are they going to do to me? He called me. He said, ‘I just came back from a costume fitting for the Sentry. I guess I only do superheroes that are yellow and blue.’ He said he was at the costume fitting and was like, ‘Ah crap! I forgot Invincible was yellow and blue!'”
Notably, given Yeun’s Korean heritage, should he have actually appeared in Thunderbolts as the Sentry, his casting would have marked yet another instance of race-swapping out of Marvel Studios, as in every multiversal depiction of the hero, he has never been depicted as anything other than an either blonde- or black-haired white man.
At current, no word has been raised regarding Yeun’s potential replacement, nor, given the film’s pre-production status, whether or not the Sentry will remain a part of the film.
However, viewers can expect to hear word on both of these matters sometime before Marvel’s Thunderbolts makes its sortie date of July 25th, 2025.