“It kind of feels like it still might not happen because of the amount of times it has been paused, which is just a natural feeling. But I’m going straight after this,” Pugh said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight (per X) while promoting Dune: Part Two.
“When we’re done with press, I’m going to Atlanta and start doing some prep and do a bit more press with you guys, and then I’m off — I’m shooting. And it’s wonderful. When we shot Black Widow, we thought we were going to shoot the next movie relatively sooner than we did, and it’s just been this thing that’s been looming, that we’ve been waiting to shoot at some point in the future, and now it’s finally happening, so it feels surreal, but it’s coming back. Yelena’s coming back.”
The production issues on Thunderbolts
Originally slated for a July 2024 release, Thunderbolts’ production was halted last summer due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Its release was moved back by one year after the strikes ended. The strikes resulted in scheduling conflicts, however, which led actor Steven Yeun to drop out and be replaced by Lewis Pullman in a role rumored to be the Sentry. Additionally, Ayo Edebiri was replaced by Geraldine Viswanathan as the assistant to Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).
Directed by Jake Schreier with a script by Beef writer Lee Sung Jin, Thunderbolts will see Pugh’s Yelena join forces with fellow MCU stars 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, David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, and Olga Kurylenko as Antonia Dreykov/Taskmaster. Additionally, Harrison Ford replaces the late William Hurt as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross.
Thunderbolts opens in theaters on July 25, 2025.