Time for Harrison Ford to phone in another performance. Reports are coming in that Harrison Ford is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, replacing William Hurt after his untimely death. The character will reportedly “debut” in Captain America: New World Order, which is slated to arrive in 2024.
Thunderbolt Ross will probably be one of those characters that pops up across films, though Harrison Ford will most likely see his biggest contributions coming in Thunderbolt movies as Ross acts as the not-to-be-trusted government head of a team of anti-heroes. The casting of such a big-name actor, however, might mean that Ross is playing a larger role across the entirety of the next story arc of the MCU, or at least throughout Phase 5, which will start after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ends Phase 4. Obviously, Ross plays a key role in the Hulk’s storyline as well, even turning into Red Hulk in the comics, so this could add more fuel to the World War Hulk movie fire, especially after that tease at the end of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
The casting might be a bit more exciting if the MCU weren’t all stuffed to the gills with every famous person that exists and if Ford hadn’t been giving some lackluster performances in his big-budget films over the past decade. The actor doesn’t seem to care all that much anymore, even though he’s happy to collect paychecks to return as Han Solo or Indiana Jones. (Of course, it’s possible he’s given his all to Indiana Jones 5.) He hasn’t given a truly committed performance aside from Blade Runner 2049 in a really long time, and while we don’t need Oscar winners in our MCU, the films have, for the most parts, seen strong performances.