The news that Steven Yeun was stepping away from his undisclosed role in the upcoming MCU film Thunderbolts is notable not just because of how close the film is to beginning filming but also because Marvel Studios had never officially announced him as part of the cast. It was an almost open secret that he would play a part in the movie right up until it turned out he wouldn't. Now, the anti-hero-led film has another potential production delay to overcome, something the actor acknowledges might not have won him many friends at Marvel.
“I wanna do a Marvel movie,” he recently told Variety at a Louis Vuitton pop-up in West Hollywood. News broke earlier this week that Yeun was backing out of Thunderbolts due to scheduling conflicts, though it isn’t clear what upcoming project he’s involved with that is causing the conflict. However, it doesn’t seem like the Beef and Invincible actor has much hope for an eventual appearance in the MCU.
“I probably pissed off too many people leaving, so I’m just gonna say, ‘Thank you for having me.’”
Thunderbolts, which follows a team of criminals and anti-heroes that are sent on government-sanctioned missions, was a victim of the multiple strikes that shut down Hollywood for much of 2023. First, the Writers’ Strike shut down production a month before filming was meant to start, and then the SAG-AFTRA Strike pushed the film to a 2025 release date.
Those delays are the main reason that Yeun has pulled out of the film. “I think for me, time passing and things shifting kind of pulled me out of it,” he told Variety in the same conversation. Considering that many Marvel contracts are for multiple films over several years, it is understandable that the potentially long commitment to a single studio was what put Yeun off. “It took a lot of drafts on email to make sure I conveyed the sincerity of how sorry I was to have to back out.”
Despite a subpar year for Disney and Marvel in 2023, expectations remain high for Thunderbolts, with US Agent actor Wyatt Russell telling fans that it won’t be like any Marvel film we’ve seen before. However, there is a long road – and a new round of casting – to get through before we finally get to see it on July 25, 2025.
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