A new report claims that Lucasfilm blocked Marvel’s plans to announce Harrison Ford’s Thunderbolts casting as General Ross at this year’s D23 Expo.
Details have surfaced regarding a major studio effort from Lucasfilm to delay the news of Harrison Ford joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the upcoming Thunderbolts movie. Ford has been no stranger to blockbuster films over the last 45 years, becoming a standout as Han Solo in the Star Wars movies, and cementing his status as a screen icon as the heroic Indiana Jones in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. The last decade of Ford’s career has consisted of supporting roles in blockbusters, including returns to the Star Wars universe and a role in the long-awaited sequel to Blade Runner in 2017.
This past September saw rumors begin to circulate that Ford was being eyed for a role in the MCU, despite earlier reports that Ford would retire after the release of 2023’s Indiana Jones 5. The actor was reported to be eyed to take over as General Thunderbolt Ross for the upcoming Thunderbolts movie, replacing William Hurt after the star’s passing this past March from prostate cancer at the age of 71. While the reports of Ford’s potential MCU casting begins to spread and remain unconfirmed, new reports offer an explanation of why an official announcement has yet to be made.
According to Jeff Sneider from The Hot Mic podcast, the news of Ford’s reported casting as Thunderbolt Ross was supposed to accompany Marvel’s panel at D23 until Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy put a stop to it. Sneider goes on to explain that while Lucasfilm is a Disney subsidiary, like Marvel Studios, Kennedy preferred to focus on promotion for Indiana Jones 5. See what Sneider stated below:
So what I initially heard is that this was a done deal for D23, that they actually wanted to announce him as a cast member in Thunderbolts at D23 but that they didn’t because Kathleen Kennedy put her foot down and said, ‘No, we’re going to keep the focus on Indiana Jones 5 content, I don’t want this to become Harrison Ford joining the MCU, we’re going to keep the focus on Indy 5 right now.
What Role Could Ford’s Ross Play In The MCU’s Future?
Kennedy’s move to delay Ford’s reported casting announcement could point to how large Ford’s role in Thunderbolts, and possibly the MCU, could be. Thunderbolts is already confirmed to include such characters as Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier, Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost, Wyatt Russell’s US Agent and Olga Kurylenko’s Taskmaster, and is emphasizing the team’s gray areas of morality, as showcased in the comics. The film is looking to be the culmination of several building arcs in MCU series such as Falcon & The Winter Soldier and Hawkeye.
Though it’s already been confirmed that Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine will play an administrative role for the team, Ford’s Ross could bring the team to an entirely different level. Despite the number of character actors that have been cast, and the rising star of Florence Pugh, Harrison Ford is a proven A-list name, and provides the film with name-brand security for audiences who may not be sold on the concept. Though Indiana Jones 5 looks to be a definitive, climactic statement in Ford’s career as a box office draw, such roles as Thunderbolts‘ General Ross could be lower-intensity, lower-risk ways for the actor to stay onscreen for another decade.
Source: The Hot Mic