Following the news that Lewis Pullman—get on that train now, I am telling you!—is in talks to replace Steven Yeun in Thunderbolts, there is another casting shakeup for that movie. Ayo Edebiri is also bailing on Marvel, and Geraldine Viswanathan is taking over her undisclosed role. 


While it does worry me that Thunderbolts is undergoing so much upheaval, as this movie was supposed to shoot last year but got delayed by the strikes, it is now supposed to begin filming this spring…as is The Bear season three. So for Ayo, it really does look like it’s a simple scheduling conflict. Thunderbolts was supposed to be her between-seasons project, but that did not work out. (Also, Ayo doesn’t need Marvel at this point in her career, and I am not sure that superheroes work out for actors in the 2020s the same way they did in the 2010s.)

Like Ayo, Geraldine is a very talented and funny actor with strong comedic chops. Clearly whatever this role is, director Jake Schreier has a clear idea of the type of actor he wants in it, because they’re sticking with “funny lady”. Geraldine Viswanathan, alum of Miracle Workers, Blockers, The Broken Hearts Gallery, and the upcoming Ethan Coen solo joint Drive Away Dolls, is one of my favorite young actors in recent memory. She’s just always so fun to watch.


Even as Marvel has hit the creative skids recently, Thunderbolts remains one of their most intriguing projects. Jake Schreier, a recent Emmy winner for Beef, is directing, and his Beef collaborator Lee Sung Jin did a pass on the script. The cast features Sebastian Stan, now one of the most veteran actors in the MCU, and newer MCU stars like Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Wyatt Russell, Olga Kurylenko, and Hannah John-Kamen. Losing Steven Yeun and Ayo Edebiri sucks, but Lewis Pullman and Geraldine Viswanathan are not downgrades. 


They’re not as established as Steven and Ayo—who are both Emmy winners now, never mind that Steven is also an Oscar nominee—but they are very talented, and I remain hopeful for Thunderbolts that something in that script is appealing to this caliber of actor. Thunderbolts has a little “what’s she got?” energy we saw from Barbie in early days. Whether or not it can survive the Marvel machine with that energy intact is a whole other question.