• Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed the Thunderbolts* name change is official, with the added asterisk.
  • Thunderbolts* follows a team of antiheroes from throughout the MCU, led by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine; actual story details are scarce.
  • The asterisk in the Thunderbolts* title may hint at a significant spoiler in the movie, either about the team’s name or roster.



Thunderbolts* recently underwent an official, but puzzling name change when Marvel introduced the asterisk to the title, but Kevin Feige has refused to explain the change. Thunderbolts* is currently slated to release on May 5, 2025, after Captain America: Brave New World releases on February 14 of the same year. Story details are still relatively scarce, but it will feature a group of established MCU antiheroes joining forces under the purview of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.

The title change has raised many eyebrows since it was introduced, but Kevin Feige himself has refused to elaborate on the change in an appearance at CinemaCon 2024, attended by Screen Rant, stating:

Yes, you’ll notice the asterisk on Thunderbolts. That is the official title of Thunderbolts and we won’t talk more about that until after the movie comes out.

This at least rules out some theories about the sudden name change. Florence Pugh revealed in a video of the Thunderbolts* set that the title had made its way onto on-set furniture, which was the first indication that the change was the movie’s official title and not a placeholder. Feige’s confirmation cements this notion, and his refusal to elaborate offers further clues.


Thunderbolts Cast & Marvel Character Guide

Several MCU characters return for Phase 5’s Thunderbolts, a team of antiheroes and reformed villains attempting to follow in the Avengers’ footsteps.

Why Kevin Feige Won’t Explain The Thunderbolts* Movie Title

It’s Likely A Major MCU Spoiler

Kevin Feige’s secrecy is understandable if one thing is true: explaining it would spoil the movie. This all but confirms that the official title of the movie is directly tied to the narrative, and contradicts notions that an asterisk was added as a placeholder ahead of a more drastic change further down the line or that it was added purely for production purposes. Instead, Feige’s confirmation that it is “official” opens the floor to theories surrounding why an asterisk would be tagged onto the titular team’s name in-universe.

Confirmed MCU Thunderbolts Member

Portrayed By

Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Yelena Belova/Black Widow

Florence Pugh

Alexi Shostakov/Red Guardian

David Harbour


Olga Kurylenko

John Walker/U.S. Agent

Wyatt Russell


Hannah John-Kamen

Bucky Barnes

Sebastian Stan

An asterisk suggests that the name comes with an as-yet unrevealed footnote. This isn’t so surprising considering the cinematic team differs substantially from the comic book team they’re based on, which was originally headed up by Baron Zemo, suggesting that it’s the same team in spirit, but not in their traditional composition. Reports about the original plans for Thunderbolts* stated that the team would be sent on a suicide mission, which could’ve led to a massive team-shakeup either in the middle or at the end of the movie. Even if that doesn’t happen, it seems likely there will be some roster changes throughout the film.

Another motive could be to differentiate the team from Thunderbolt Ross, who will play an important role in Captain America: Brave New World just a few months before Thunderbolts* releases. In that MCU movie, Ross will be the President of the United States, and will ask Sam Wilson to rebuild the Avengers. However, since the Thunderbolts* team bears his name, it’s likely he’ll be involved in some capacity, which may be set up in Brave New World. In any case, as Feige asserts, we won’t know for sure for another year when Thunderbolts* hits theaters.

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Jake Schreier

Release Date
May 2, 2025

Marvel Studios

Lee Sung Jin

Source: CinemaCon

Key Release Dates

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