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Steven Yeun Explains Why He Dumped Marvel’s ‘Thunderbolts’

Steven Yeun parted ways with Marvel via email.

Amidst reports of his exit from the upcoming superhero movie «Thunderbolts,» Yeun said Variety that he spent a lot of time trying to write a breakup report to the production. He was cast to play Patrola high-flying anti-hero who has the power of «a million exploding suns» as well as a dark alter ego.

«It took a lot of drafting in the email to make sure I was honest about how sorry I was to back out,» Yeun said.

«Thunderbolts» was originally scheduled for a July 2024 release, but was pushed back to 2025 after the historic SAG-AFTRA and WGA double strike halted production in May. Filming should begin in March or April The Hollywood Reporter.

The «Beef» and «Nope» actor cited time off during the Hollywood strikes as one of the reasons for his departure, saying, «The passage of time and things changing took me out of it a little bit.» But he sent well wishes to Jake Schreier, who is directing the film.

In February, several outlets reported Yeun’s casting in the Marvel Studios project. Then in November, showrunner Robert Kirkman, who worked with Yeun on «The Walking Dead» and Prime’s animated superhero series «Invincible,» all but confirmed the casting by saying during an interview, «My good friend Steven Yeun is playing Sentry in the movie.»

Kirkman added that the actor called him for a film-appropriate costume and joked about playing another superhero dressed in yellow and blue (his «Invincible» character wears a similarly colored suit). However, Yeun and Marvel never confirmed the role.

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The studio previously announced that the «Thunderbolts» cast will include Florence Pugh, Sebastian Stan, David Harbour, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Wyatt Russell and Harrison Ford. «Beef» and «Bottoms» star Ayo Edebiri was also there attached to the movie. The screenplay is written by Lee Sung Jin, creator of the acclaimed Netflix drama «Beef,» in which Yeun starred.

Rumors began to circulate among fans on Tuesday on X and Reddit that Yeun dropped out of the project. A few hours later, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed his departure.

In his interview with Variety, Yeun said that he still intends to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

«I want to do a Marvel movie,» he said. But he added, «It’s too early to say» which project he would like to be a part of.

«I probably pissed off too many people who were leaving, so I’ll just say, ‘Thanks for having me,'» he said.

Marvel is facing a separate casting void after cutting ties with Jonathan Majors, who played supervillain Kang. The studio cut ties with the actor immediately after Majors was convicted of assaulting and harassing his ex-girlfriend. His latest film, «The Marvels,» opened in November to a lackluster showing and ended the year as the lowest-grossing film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The superhero project Yeun is already a part of, «Invincible,» began airing its second season on Prime in November. He is also starring in Oscar winner Bong Joon Ho’s upcoming sci-fi film ‘Mickey 17’.

Yeun is up for an Emmy nomination for «Beef» in the limited or anthology series category. He was the star and executive producer of the show.

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Times reporter Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.

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