Harrison Ford loves a big Disney-owned franchise, so it was only a matter of time before he joined the most mammoth one of them all.
According to reports from /Film, Ford has been cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Secretary Thaddeus Ross. And he’s set to make his debut in the upcoming Thunderbolts movie.
MCU fans will remember that the character has been played by William Hurt in five movies, starting with The Incredible Hulk. Hurt died in March this year from prostate cancer at the age of 71.
Ford’s takeover of the role marks one of the few times in MCU history in which a character was recast. Previously, Mark Ruffalo succeeded Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk and Don Cheadle took over James Rhodes/War Machine from Terence Howard.
In contrast, when Chadwick Boseman died from colon cancer in 2020, Marvel announced it would not recast the character of T’Challa/Black Panther. The upcoming Black Panther sequel will instead focus on Letitia Wright’s Shuri, Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia and Angela Bassett’s Ramonda.
The Thunderbolts movie was announced at San Diego Comic-Con in July and is slated for release in mid-2024.
The film will centre on a group of heroes and antiheroes, bringing together many characters who have already featured in other MCU movies and TV shows. Ford’s inherited character whose full moniker is Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is expected to play a significant role.
The other likely inclusions include Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Olga Kurylenko’s Taskmaster, Daniel Bruhl’s Baron Zemo, Tim Roth’s Abomination, Wyatt Russell’s John Walker and Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost.
Thunderbolts is to be directed by Jake Schreier with Eric Pearson writing the screenplay.
Thunderbolts is part of the MCU’s Phase Five, a component of the Multiverse Saga. The MCU, which consists of dozens of movies and streaming series is such a beast, it’s grouped under phases and sagas.
The first 23 films, which stretched from Iron Man to Spider-Man: Far From Home, was retroactively dubbed the Infinity Saga.
The next MCU title to be released is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the final project of Phase Four.
Ford is, of course, one of the world’s biggest movie stars having played two of the most iconic characters in cinema history, Star Wars’ Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Both of those franchises are now owned by Disney, as is Marvel.
The fifth Indiana Jones movie is set for release in 2023. Directed by James Mangold (Logan), it also stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen and Antonio Banderas.
It will be Ford’s final time in the role. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that the role will not be recast even if the franchise went on to produce more movies.
Ford is also known for his roles in Blade Runner, The Fugitive, Air Force One, Working Girl and Witness.
Originally published as Marvel nabs Harrison Ford for Thaddeus Ross recast