‘Thunderbolts’ Actor Told Marvel to Change Appearance, Rejects Comic-Accurate Character

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Gabrielle Byndloss, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Wyatt Russell as Olivia Walker, Val, and John Walker in 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Julia Louis-Dreyfus may have more in common with Val than fans thought!

Promotional Image for 'Thunderbolts'
Credit: Marvel Studios

When Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Louis-Dreyfus) introduced herself in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, fans were presented with a new kind of villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here was someone who was without superpowers, who was from earth, who didn’t necessarily have a vendetta against Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), or any hero really. She is persuasive, direct, and seemingly in control of everything behind the scenes!

julia louis-dreyfuss as de fontaine
Credit: Marvel

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Much like Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Fontaine (Louis-Dreyfus) distinguished herself as a gatherer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After recruiting John Walker (Wyatt Russell) to be US Agent, audiences saw the character exercising her same persuasive abilities on Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson) adoptive sister, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), convincing her that Natasha’s (Johansson) death was Clint Barton’s (Jeremy Renner) fault.

Florence Pugh and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Yelena Belova and Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in 'Black Widow' (2021)
Credit: Marvel Studios

This led to Belova (Pugh) and Barton (Renner) butting heads alongside Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) in the Disney+ series Hawkeye. Fans of the series will know that as part of the climax, Belova (Pugh) is finally convinced of Barton’s (Renner) innocence regarding her adoptive sister, which will make for some interesting conflict in Thunderbolts (2024).

Yelena Belova, Hawkeye, Florence Pugh
Credit: Marvel Studios

The film promises to bring together some iconic Marvel Universe antiheroes, including Belova (Pugh), US Agent (Russell), along with two more Black Widow (2021) characters, Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian (David Harbour) and Antonia Dreykov/Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), as well as Ant-Man (2015) villain Ava Starr/Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes, all led by Fontaine (Louis-Dreyfus).

Florence Pugh and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Yelena Belova and Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in 'Black Widow' (2021)
Credit: Marvel Studios

In a recent interview with Variety, covered by The Direct, Louis-Dreyfus revealed that she, like her Marvel Cinematic Universe character, has some pull in high places! According to the interview, the former Seinfeld star had met with Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito, and, after accepting the role, suggested a change for the character to Marvel Studios.

Kevin Feige
Source: Marvel Studios

In Marvel Comics, the character Louis-Dreyfus plays has a prominent white streak in her hair, which, at Louis-Dreyfus’ suggestion, was changed to purple:

“I did this to see if I can get some respect from these people in my family. 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.”

That wasn’t the only suggestion either! Louis-Dreyfus also pitched to Marvel that her character be given fight scenes in Thunderbolts, and while she hasn’t seen the script, it does seem she has some sway when it comes to decision-making at the studio! Could audiences see Val (Louis-Dreyfus) come off the bench and enter the ring alongside the Thunderbolts?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Anthony Mackie “Highly Upset” Over ‘Thunderbolts’ Movie, They “Left Me Out”

The Thunderbolts movie comes to theaters on July 26, 2024. The film stars Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Wyatt Russell as John Walker/US Agent, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, David Harbour as Red Guardian, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Harrison Ford’s Thaddeus Ross. With no official synopsis, Thunderbolts could be taken a lot of different ways in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

What do you think of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ change to the character? Let us know in the comments below!

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