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New World Order and Thunderbolts rumored to be ‘significantly darker’ than other recent MCU movies

Published Feb 28th, 2023 6:16PM EST
The cast of Marvel's Thunderbolts on stage together.
Image: Marvel Studios

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In recent years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has tackled increasingly dark subject matter, from Natasha Romanoff’s dreadful childhood to the desolation of Kamar Taj to Jane Foster’s battle with cancer. That trend continued in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, as Scott Lang unleashed a massive army of Kang variants upon the multiverse, dooming every conceivable reality. According to a recent leak, despite all of the tragedy we’ve seen in MCU Phases 4 and 5, Captain America: New World Order and Thunderbolts will somehow be even darker.

MCU Phase 5 is only getting darker from here

Prolific MCU leaker The Watcher shared an interesting tidbit on Twitter this week. He claims that Captain America 4 and the supervillain team-up movie Thunderbolts will be “significantly darker and more serious in tone than recent Marvel projects.” He refers to the movies as “a duology of trauma and war,” which sounds incredibly heavy for two Marvel movies:

What this means is anyone’s guess, though your guess will be more educated if you have been keeping up with all of the Multiverse Saga leaks.

Here’s what we do know about the fourth Captain America movie: Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) will square off against Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross (Harrison Ford), who is now the President of the United States. It’s easy to see how a war between Captain America and America itself could become incredibly messy very quickly. Ross could presumably turn the entire US military on Sam if he wanted to, as well as the American public.

Captain America: New World Order is set to hit theaters on May 3, 2024. Thunderbolts will follow less than three months later, on July 26, 2024.

We can safely assume that the events of New World Order will lead directly into Thunderbolts. As such, there is a good chance that Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) will unleash her team of antiheroes to stop Ross, who may or may not be the Red Hulk. Whatever the case, if any MCU characters have ever been expendable, the villains that make up the Thunderbolts team probably top the list. We’d be shocked if they all make it to the credits.

As dark as some of the recent MCU entries have been, Marvel Studios is apparently prepared to get much darker before giving our favorite heroes a break.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.