Julia Louis-Dreyfus “Really Wants to Fight” in Marvel’s THUNDERBOLTS — GeekTyrant

Julia Louis Dreyfus’s Marvel character, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, is returning yet again for the upcoming movie, Thunderbolts, which is headed our way next year. The movie is set to shoot this summer, and the Seinfeld and Veep actress says she is ready to fight.

Louis-Dreyfus was briefly introduced in credits scenes and cameos over multiple Marvel films and series so far, including her debut in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, followed by Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. The Contessa last appeared in the 2022 blockbuster Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, where the audience learns she’s been named director of the CIA. This sets the stage for her strongest outing, the upcoming film Thunderbolts, which Louis-Dreyfus told Variety will film this June. 

The plot has been described by Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige as the tale of a “rag-tag bunch” of unincorporated superheroes, including Florence Pugh’s Yelena Bolova and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes. Louis-Dreyfus is no longer content with cameos, she said. She wants to crack some skulls.

“I actually pitched it,” Louis-Dreyfus said, “I told them I really, really want to fight. We’ll see if that happens. I haven’t seen the script yet.” When reminded about Marvel’s intense stunt training, she reluctantly agreed, “Ugh. I’d better get in shape.”

Other Thunderbolts cast members include Wyatt Russell returning as the character U.S. Agent; David Harbour reprising his Black Widow role of Red Guardian; Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster; Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost; and Harrison Ford, making his Marvel debut, as Thaddeous Ross. They’ll all be answering to Louis-Dreyfus, top Marvel production executive Nate Moore teased last summer, as her character will emerge as the MCU’s most formidable behind the scenes leader since Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.

Louis-Dreyfus said of the project:

“There’s so much secrecy around it, when I first started shooting it I had to go set wearing a black cloak with a hood and keep my head down so nobody could see it was me walking onto the soundstage.”

In the Variety profile, she also confirmed Black Panther director Ryan Coogler’s recent revelation that the Contessa’s significant role in Wakanda Forever was scaled back to accommodate more storyline surrounding the death of King T’challa, played by the late Chadwick Boseman. Her storyline will be further unpacked in Thunderbolts and beyond. While we wait to learn more about the Contessa, Louis-Dreyfus has been been finding ways to make the character her own.

“In the original comic she has sort of a white streak in her hair, but I thought purple would make it a little more of this world today. And I didn’t want her to look too much like Cruella, or anything like that.”

Thunderbolts is currently slated to open on July 26, 2024.

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