Marvel's Thunderbolts is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Motion Pictures. It is the fourteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is written by Christoper Markus, Stephen McFeely, and Joss Whedon and is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. It features an ensemble cast of Henry Cavill, Haley Ramm, Michael Ealy, Dacre Montgomery, Karen Yamashita, Kate Mara, and James Badge Dale with appearances by Samuel L Jackon, Robert Downey Jr, and Don Cheadle. The film follows the events that lead to the creation of the Thunderbolts and the team subsequently taking on William Hurt's Red Hulk.

The film was announced in September 2014 with Markus and McFeely signing on to write the screenplay. They were joined by Avengers director Joss Whedon in December of the same year. Filming began in January 2016 at Pinewood Altanta Studio and concluded on August of the same year. 

Marvel's Thunderbolts premiered on July 6, 2018 in Los Angeles and was released in the United States on July 10. The film was praised for its action and story, as well as the cast's performance of the Thunderbolts team members. The film grossed over 1.2 billion dollars worldwide. 


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Henry Cavill as John Watkins III/Citizen V:
Cavill Thunderbolts Premier

Henry Cavill, who portrays Citizen V, at the premier of Thunderbolts.

The leader of the Thunderbolts who was handpicked by Tim Dungan. A former SAS operative now living in the United States, he is exceptionally skilled at hand-to-hand combat as well as swordfighting, which he learned from his father, although he prefers to negotiate if possible. Joe Russo stated that Watkins is "struggling with the idea of fighting to save the world but at the same time wanting to use this opportunity to save more lives than he did as an SAS operative". 

Haley Ramm as Melissa Joan Gold/Songbird:

A member of the Thunderbolts who was former high school wrestler and had her vocal chords enhanced as a HYDRA experiment to produce supersonic sounds before being rescued by the Avengers and becoming an agent of SHIELD. Co-director Anthony Russo stated that even though she was a part of SHIELD, she still didn't really "trust [the organization] due to her experiences as a member of HYDRA and being used by her superiors".     

Haley Ramm portrays Melissa Joan Gold, also known as Songbird.

Michael Ealy as Donald Joshua Clendenon/Cardinal:

A member of the Thunderbolts who was a US Army Paratrooper during the Iraq War and SHIELD agent who designed and operates a special red and black winged armor suit. Following the events of the Songbird movie, Cardinal had begun to distance himself from SHIELD but is convinced to return by his old partner Songbird. 

Dacre Montgomery as Abner Ronald Jenkins/Mach IV:

A member of the Thunderbolts and a former US Air Force engineer who was previously known as the villain Beetle. He was recruited by HYDRA for his intellect and met Songbird there. The two would later have a brief romantic relationship that would be cut short when Jenkins betrays HYDRA and helps the Avengers kill Strucker, but leaves Gold behind. Joe Russo stated that the film would "further explore [Jenkins] and Gold's relationship as [the latter] has a hard time forgiving Jenkins for leaving her behind". 

Michael Ealy portrays SHIELD agent and superhero Donald Clendenon/Cardinal.

Karen Fukuhara as Helen "Hallie" Takahama/Jolt: 

A member and main spokesperson of the Thunderbolts, she was a part of the SHIELD's AETHER (Advancing Espionage Through Human Enhancement Research) project which embued her with enhanced agility, speed and hyperkinetic powers. 

Kate Mara as Satana Hellstrom:

A member of the Thunderbolts, Satana is a half-demon succubus who agreed to join the team in exchange for immunity against any criminal charges that were brought against her prior to her joining the team. 

James Badge Dale as Tim "Dum Dum" Dungan:

A SHIELD agent who is also the director of the Thunderbolts. He is a lenient director whose lack of knowledge in superheroes gained
Fukuhara thunderbolts

Karen Fukuhara portrays Helen Takahama/Jolt.

him the nickname "Dum Dum" by the group. 

William Hurt as General Thaddeus Ross/Red Hulk:

A former US Army General who served in the Vietnam and Iraq Wars before retiring. Ross insisted on joining the AETHER project against Fury's advice and gained the powers of Hulk, only less stable and more easily manipulated as shown in the movie when Zemo convinces Ross in his Hulk form that SHIELD is planning to kill him, thus turning Ross to his side. 

Hank Azaria as Baron Heinrich Zemo: 

The main antagonist and grandson of the infamous Nazi general and Baron Helmut Zemo. He is current leader of the North American branch of HYDRA after the death of former leader Wolfgang von Strucker. Zemo was also the director for HYDRA's Enhanced Warriors Initiative, which created Songbird. 

Ben Affleck as Paul Norbert Ebersol/Fixer:

A close friend of Abner Jenkins who was also a US Air Force engineer. He would be recruited with Jenkins but remained loyal to HYDRA, even as his friend joined SHIELD. The film explores "tensions between the two former friends and how it would impact their decisions", according to Anthony Russo.

Additionally, Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their roles as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Lt. Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine, and SHIELD Director Nick Fury, respectively. Steven Yeun also makes a guest appearance as SHIELD agent and HYDRA double agent Jacob Oh, who would go on to become Airstrike in Avengers: Rise of the Thunderbolts. Kerry Condon also reprises her voice role as FRIDAY, Tony Stark's AI assistant. 

Svetlana Khochenkova appears as Madame Hydra in the post-credit scene of the movie. 


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In-Universe Appearances 


  • Thunderbolts 
    • John Watkins III/Citizen V 
    • Melissa Joan Gold/Songbird 
    • Donald Joshua Clendenon/Cardinal
    • Abner Ronald Jenkins/Mach-IV 
    • Helen Takahama/Jolt 
    • Satana Hellstrom 
  • Strategic Homeland Intervention and Logistics Division (SHIELD)
    • Nick Fury 
    • Maria Hill (mentioned only)
    • Tim "Dum Dum" Dungan
      • Advanced Espionage Through Human Enhancement Research (AETHER) 


  • HYDRA 
    • Heinrich Zemo 
    • Helmut Zemo (mentioned only)
    • Wolfgang von Strucker (mentioned only)

Other Characters 

  • Thaddeus Ross 
  • John Watkins (indirect mention)
  • John Watkins II (mentioned only)


  • Earth 
    • Sapporo, Japan 
    • Los Angeles 
    • Russia (mentioned only)
    • Germany (mentioned only)

Items, Gear, and Technology 

  • Iron Man Armor Mark XXIV Vibranium-Adamantium Enchance Variable Response Suit "Omega"
  • War Machine Armor Mark II 
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