Summary

  • Steven Yeun’s departure from Thunderbolts has generated strong reactions, but it is blown out of proportion.
  • Ryan Reynolds’ concerns about spoilers in Deadpool 3 apply to Thunderbolts in a different way.
  • The desire for leaks and spoilers in blockbuster movies is unlikely to go away, but handling spoilers better is crucial for preserving surprises.


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Steven Yeun is not moving forward with his role in the MCU’s Thunderbolts, and fan reactions prove just how right Ryan Reynolds was with his criticisms of superhero movie spoiler culture. The latest MCU casting news is that The Walking Dead and Beef star Steven Yeun will no longer be playing Sentry in Thunderbolts, though details of the character’s role in the movie have been kept well under wraps. The movie hasn’t yet begun filming, so there’s plenty of time for Marvel Studios to find an exciting replacement and keep the project on track.

However, it’s hard not to notice that reactions to Yeun’s Thunderbolts departure and what it means for the wider MCU have been harsh, perhaps undeservedly so. As such, Ryan Reynolds’ concerns about Deadpool 3 spoilers seem eerily appropriate despite the differences between unofficial set photo reveals and hype around an unofficial casting. Yeun’s departure is disappointing as he’s a proven talent, but Thunderbolts and the MCU will be just fine.

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Steven Yeun is reportedly no longer playing the Sentry in the MCU’s Thunderbolts, but there are many actors who could replace him in the Phase 6 film.


Ryan Renolds’ Deadpool 3 Concerns Apply To Marvel’s Thunderbolts (In A Different Way)

A close-up of Deadpool's masked face in Deadpool 2

In late 2023, a deluge of Deadpool 3 set photos spoiled several unannounced cameos and Easter eggs that were presumably meant to be a surprise in the final release. This is far from the first time something similar has happened to a blockbuster movie, but Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds posted a paragraph on Instagram claiming that “surprises are part of the magic of theatrical movies” and hoping that fans and news outlets “hold back showing images before they’re ready.” Now, his claims seem appropriate for Thunderbolts in a markedly different way.

Thunderbolts‘ story and surprises have largely stayed under wraps so far, but Yeun’s role as Sentry in the movie has never been officially confirmed by Disney or Marvel Studios. Speculation started swirling early that Yeun may play Robert Reynolds, aka Sentry, after he was first connected to the project, and Invincible writer Robert Kirkman seemed to let slip confirmation that these rumors were right. However, Yeun’s departure would surely not have garnered such strong reactions if his role had been properly kept under wraps – at least for the time being.

Yeun reportedly pointed out the coincidence that he’s playing two superheroes with blue and yellow suits to Robert Kirkman as Yeun voices the titular character in Prime Video’s Invincible. This is the closest confirmation of Yeun playing Sentry has come to being official.

Steven Yeun’s MCU Departure Is Getting Blown Out Of Proportion

Yeun has publicly spoken about joining the MCU, but him playing Sentry was never discussed by him or Marvel in any official capacity. Thunderbolts losing its villain seems like yet another misstep in Marvel’s recent string of casting problems. In late 2023, Marvel Studios officially parted ways with Kang actor Jonathan Majors, and the brand has seemingly struggled to lock in the cast for its upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. However, it’s become clear that the reasons for Yeun’s departure are hardly concerning.

Hollywood was on pause for much of 2023 with congruent SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, which caused a ripple effect of production delays that have seemingly caused problems for Yeun’s schedule. Yeun clarified as much a day after news of his departure broke, but given that he was never officially announced as Sentry, the studio couldn’t officially announce that he was no longer playing that role. However, the delay in clarification – however small – instigated snap reactions that the script or character must be problematic.

Will Superhero Movies Ever Escape Leaks And Spoilers?

Promotional image of the MCU Thunderbolts standing together

At this point, the unfortunate truth is that the desire for leaks and spoilers has become such an ingrained part of blockbuster movie culture (not just superhero movies) that it seems incredibly unlikely to go away any time soon. While there’s nobody to blame, as audiences can enjoy their media consumption however they see fit, the studios have also played a part with increasingly spoiler-heavy marketing and movie announcements that come half a decade or more before the project’s actual release. Genuine casting surprises, like Maguire and Garfield having substantial roles in Spider-Man: No Way Home, seem few and far between.

However, what can change is the way spoilers are handled when they happen. As overreactions to Yeun’s departure show, it can be misleading to make judgments when information is presented as partial, fragmented, and incomplete. There’s a reason certain castings, scenes, and stories are kept under wraps while others are shown off or teased, and Reynolds is right – it can be a disservice to the talent involved to experience those reveals via leaks or spoilers. Sentry may be all but confirmed for Thunderbolts, but hopefully, plenty of other surprises will stay hidden until the movie releases in 2025.

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