Thunderbolts Star Thinks Red Guardian Can Help Make Yelena More ‘Complete’

David Harbour, star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s upcoming antihero team-up film Thunderbolts, had some thoughts on how his Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian may be able to reconnect with his former daughter-figure, Florence Pugh‘s Yelena Belova.

In an interview with Screen Rant, Harbour discussed the complicated relationship that Alexei and Yelena have after faking a family life together during Yelena’s childhood, as shown when both characters were introduced in 2021’s Black Widow. “So they have a lot of unexplored history,” Harbour said. “There’s a lot of details that the director, Jake [Schreier], has gone into the great care of what their life was like in the Midwest when they were doing all that spy stuff… And there’s just a lot of complexity between me and Florence’s character, which I love.”

Harbour further explored the contentious feelings between Alexei and Yelena, saying, “And also they’re two people that … she can’t stand, but she needs some because she’s incomplete in a certain way that he may be able to help her with … Sometimes we don’t get to choose the people that complete us. The people that we really need. I think that they exemplify that in their own way. It will be fun to bring that to life in the movie.”

Who else will join the Thunderbolts?

In addition to Harbour and Pugh, Thunderbolts will star Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Hannah John-Kamen as Ava Starr/Ghost, Wyatt Russell as John Walker/U.S. Agent, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, and Olga Kurylenko as Antonia Dreykov/Taskmaster. Each actor is reprising a character with a questionable history who appeared in a prior MCU project and now must work together as a team.

Additionally, Harrison Ford will reprise his role as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross in the film following February 2025’s Captain America: Brave New World, while Ayo Edebiri has been cast in an undisclosed role. It was recently revealed that Steven Yeun, known for The Walking Dead and Invincible, will play Sentry in Thunderbolts. The film is directed by Schreier and written by Eric Pearson and Lee Sung Jin.

Thunderbolts is scheduled to hit theaters on July 25, 2025.