Harrison Ford is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in what might be one of the biggest casting coups for the franchise so far. /Film is reporting that the iconic star of Indiana Jones and Star Wars has been tapped by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige to take over the role of Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, which was played by William Hurt before the death of the actor earlier this year.
Ford will be cast as Ross for multiple films, with his debut reportedly set to come in the upcoming Captain America: New World Order before joining another ensemble cast. He will also appear in the team-up movie Thunderbolts which was shown off at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. The film is designed to be the finale to the MCU‘s Phase 5, and the full cast was announced at the time. Ford will be joining Florence Pugh, Wyatt Russell, Olga Kurylenko, Hannah-John Kamen, Sebastian Stan, David Harbour and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Marvel‘s biggest team-up movie since Avengers: Endgame.
Ford, of course, has a long-standing relationship with Disney through his work on the Lucasfilms productions of Indiana Jones and Star Wars. He made his return after 32 years to a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: The Force Awakens having softened in his stance against the films that he had taken in the years immediately following his appearances in the original trilogy. Following the death of Carrie Fisher, he then made another appearance in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in a cameo role. His most passionate role, however, has always been that of the daring and bold archaeologist, Indiana Jones. Ford is reprising the role for the final time in the fifth installment, simply titled Indiana Jones which is scheduled for release next year.
The role of Ross is not expected to be an overly physical one for Ford, who is now 80 years old. His role as Indiana Jones will be aided by de-aging technology, but his MCU character tends to oversee things from boardrooms, meaning his schedule should be light and manageable. It will be seen as a major success for Marvel and Feige to recruit Ford to the franchise, which has lacked some A-list star power since the departures of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans after Endgame.
Captain America: New World Order is set for release on May 3, 2024, and will be directed by Julius Onah, while Thunderbolts is scheduled to be released in theaters on July 26, 2024 and will be directed by Jake Schreier.