Thunderbolts May See Contessa Kick Ass

Julia Louis-Dreyfus's Valentina Allegra de Fontaine speaking to Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova in Black Widow.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus hopes her Marvel character Contessa Valentina will be allowed to get physical in the upcoming superhero film, Thunderbolts.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus wants Marvel fans to see Contessa Valentina as more than a sarcastic noblewoman and hopes Thunderbolts will showcase her character as an unapologetic ass-kicker.

Speaking with Variety about her role in Thunderbolts, Louis-Dreyfus insisted that she was ready for a fight for her role in Marvel Studios’ Thunderbolts movie. “I pitched it; I told them I really want to fight,” she said. “I haven’t seen the script yet — we’ll see if that happens.” Regarding the physical demands that come with having a fight scene in a Marvel movie, the 62-year-old actor said, “Ugh. I guess I’d better get in shape.”

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According to the Veep star, she landed her first Marvel Cinematic Universe role just a few days after meeting with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D’Esposito. Louis-Dreyfus discussed making the Contessa Valentina character her own, successfully tweaking the fictional CIA director’s notable streak of white hair. “I thought purple would make it a little more of this world today. And I didn’t want her to look too much like Cruella,” she said.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Shakes Up the MCU

Louis-Dreyfus’ first appearances in the MCU as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, aka “Val,” came in Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and a post-credits scene in 2021’s Black Widow. She reprised the role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, where she mainly featured alongside Martin Freeman’s Everett Ross, revealed to be her ex-husband. Initially, it was initially planned that Val would have a larger role in the Black Panther sequel, but this was scaled back following the death of Chadwick Boseman.

“Actually, in this version, [Louis-Dreyfus’ role] was pared back in order to make space for dealing with T’Challa’s death,” said Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler. “And we had Val in there before she even appeared in any of the other movies, before Black Widow and [the series] Falcon and the Winter Soldier. People assume that we were told to put her in, but she was there from the beginning.”

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Created by Mark Bagley, the Thunderbolts debuted in The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #449 in January 1997, featuring a team of reformed supervillains founded by Baron Helmut Zemo. They later rejected Baron, aiming to become heroes under the direction of Hawkeye. Louis-Dreyfus confirmed that filming for Thunderbolts will begin in the summer of 2023. Feige also revealed at 2022’s San Diego Comic-Con that the movie will mark the end of the MCU’s Phase 5.

While plot details remain unknown, Louis-Dreyfus will star in Thunderbolts alongside Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, David Harbour as Red Guardian, Harrison Ford as Thunderbolt Ross, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, Wyatt Russell as US Agent, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes. Thunderbolts will be directed by Jake Schreier.

Thunderbolts opens in theaters on Jul. 26, 2024.

Source: Variety


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