Steven Yeun leaves the Marvel movie Thunderbolts

Did things just not work out, or does the former Walking Dead star want to get off a sinking ship?

21st Annual Unforgettable Gala
21st Annual Unforgettable Gala / Momodu Mansaray/GettyImages

Actor Steven Yeun has exited the Marvel movie Thunderbolts, according to Variety. Thunderbolts, which is due out in 2025, is a kind of sideways Avengers movie, bringing together various antiheroes and recovering villains from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There's Black Widow's fellow assassin Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), her father figure Red Guardian (David Harbour), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), bizarro Captain America U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell), Ghost from Ant-Man and the Wasp (Hannah John-Kamen) and the Nick Fury-esque mastermind Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). The lot of them will come together to fight...I dunno, someone even worse than they are.

The movie will also star Harrison Ford as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, replacing the late William Hurt. Although it was never confirmed, Yeun was going to play a superhero named Sentry. But that's all over now.

To be fair, it was never 100% certain that Yuen was in the movie at all, although people in high places have seemed pretty sure since at least February of 2023. Maybe he was long circling the role but has pulled out as Thunderbolts has experienced some behind-the-scenes shakeups; the movie shut down production during the writers strike last year and has yet to resume filming. With schedules all messed up like that, it's not surprising that a busy guy like Yeun may not be able to make it work.

BUT, fairly or not, it's hard to hear this news and not put it in the context of Marvel's rough year; in 2023, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania underperformed, The Marvels straight-up bombed, and important player Jonathan Majors was convicted on assault charges. Yeun's exit probably comes down to scheduling conflicts or some other innocent reason...or maybe this Oscar-nominated actor figured Marvel was a sinking ship and wanted off. Unless and until Disney can change the narrative, that kind of thing will be in people's heads.

Yeun will be fine. He received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his performance in the Netflix show Beef, voices the title character in Amazon's Invincible, and is starring alongside Robert Pattinson in Bong Joon-ho's upcoming film Mickey 17. As for Thunderbolts, it's due out in theaters on July 25, 2025, with the actor behind Sentry to be announced.

Next. renner. Jeremy Renner "ready" to return to acting one year after snowplow accident. dark

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