2023 has been pretty good to Lee Sung Jin thus far. His new TV series, Beef—which he created and executive produced—premiered on Netflix this week to rave reviews. And last month, he was hired to rewrite the script for Marvel Studios’ Thunderbolts, which will close out Phase 5 when it hits theaters next year. Coming primarily from a comedy background, Lee is an interesting choice to tackle Marvel’s most ruthless team of anti-heroes. But while speaking with Variety, he discussed how a number of different variables convinced him to give it a shot.
During the interview, Lee confirmed that he’s rewriting an earlier Thunderbolts draft penned by Black Widow scribe Eric Pearson. However, he also teased how the film reunites the “whole squad” that worked with him on Beef. This most notably includes director Jake Schreier, who helmed six episodes of the show, and cast member Steven Yeun, who co-headlines the series with Ali Wong. But according to Lee, Thunderbolts will also utilize the talents of Beef production designer Grace Yun and editor Harry Yoon, the latter of whom previously worked with Marvel on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
As expected, we have Schreier to thank for inviting Lee to take his own pass at the Thunderbolts screenplay, despite it being a far cry from his usual work. Regardless, many of the film’s story elements made the opportunity way too intriguing for Lee to pass up. And although the nature of the movie required some adjustments to his writing style, he still noticed a few similarities between this and his smaller projects.
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“There’s a lot of themes and exciting things about the movie that I couldn’t help but sign on,” said Lee. “It’s truly an honor to be part of a Marvel thing, but it is very different. [For] one, it’s not my project, it’s Jake’s, and it’s such a large scope and scale that the type of writing’s very different. But at the same time, the process feels the same, because I’m still talking to Jake every day, [and] Grace texts me reference images all the time. I think once you find the squad and people you love and trust and are so talented, you do everything you can to keep working together.”
Thunderbolts will premiere on July 26, 2024. Production on the film kicks off in Atlanta this June.
Are you excited to see what Lee adds to the MCU canon? Let us know in the comment section below!
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