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Marvel’s ‘Thunderbolts’ Halts Production Amid Writers’ Strike

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Movie was set to begin shooting in Atlanta next month

thunderbolts-movie-lineup

Concept art for Marvel’s Thunderbolts movie (Marvel Studios)

Marvel’s “Thunderbolts” is the latest production to find itself stymied by the ongoing WGA writers’ strike. The upcoming superhero team-up movie was set to begin filming in Atlanta in mid-June, but production has been paused due to the labor dispute, TheWrap has confirmed.

Scheduled for release July 26, 2024, “Thunderbolts” will be directed by Jake Schreier from a script by “Black Widow” writer Eric Pearson, who is (along with the rest of the Writers Guild of America) now on strike.

Like the comics, “Thunderbolts” is effectively Marvel’s version of “Suicide Squad,” following several popular villains from previous Marvel projects assembled to carry out missions for the U.S. government. Returning to the MCU are Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, David Harbour as Red Guardian, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, Wyatt Russell as U.S. Agent and Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus also returns as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Newcomers include “Beef” co-star Steven Yeun in what is supposed to be a “significant” role, and “The Bear” actress Ayo Edebiri.

“Thunderbolts” isn’t the first Marvel joint to hit a picket sign-sized brick wall. Production on “Blade” has also paused because of the strike. Like “Thunderbolts,” the vampire superhero film starring Mahershala Ali was set to start filming in June. In that case, the problem was timing. Marvel hired “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto to rewrite the script just a week before the WGA strike began.

Hollywood hasn’t yet been ground to a halt just yet, but as the strike that began May 2 continues, industry business is beginning to suffer. For example, last week Aziz Ansari’s directorial debut “Good Fortune,” starring Keanu Reeves and Seth Rogen, was also paused.

Hollywood events are being affected as well, most recently the Television Academy Honors ceremony, which was canceled earlier Thursday.

Meanwhile, studio contracts with the Director’s Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA both expire June 30. DGA began negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) earlier this month. SAG-AFTRA begins negotiations June 7 and in a sign of how that guild is feeling, leadership has already put a strike authorization vote to members.

Deadline first reported the news.

For all of TheWrap’s WGA strike coverage, click here.

Umberto Gonzalez contributed to this report.

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