The recent writers and actors strikes caused all sorts of problems for movies that were in production, and those that were hoping to be. Release dates for many projects had to be shifted around, due to delays in production, and it appears those delays are now forcing actors to drop out of projects they had previously committed to. Two actors have now had to leave Marvel Studios Thunderbolts ahead of production getting underway, but that has led to big opportunities for the stars replacing them.
One of those stars is Geraldine Viswanathan, who is taking over an as-yet unrevealed role in Thunderbolts from Ayo Edebiri. Edebiri had a scheduling conflict that forced her to leave, and Viswanathan took to Instagram to thank her for being so popular that she had to leave something open.
Thank you my friend Ayo Edebiri for being too booked 💖
It looks like Geraldine Viswanathan is very excited to be joining Marvel Studios, so it's a big opportunity that she now has because another actress was unavailable. It likely wasn't an easy decision for the first actress to leave. Edebiri had said she was excited to be part of Thunderbolts previously.
We don't know what role Edebiri was set to play, so we don't know what the long-term implications are for Viswanathan, but there's a decent chance that the young actress just walked into significant job security through a long-term Marvel Studios deal.
Ayo Edebiri was the second actor to step away from Thunderbolts in recent days. Steven Yeun has also recently dropped out after being set to appear in the film, which follows a ragtag team of Marvel baddies who have been recruited to do good. Scheduling conflicts were cited there as well as the reason for the actor's departure.
While not specified, this was certainly due to the delay of Thunderbolts production caused by the recent strikes, causing its filming to run up against other projects the actors were committed to, that they were planning to do after Thunderbolts was done.
One certainly has to wonder, with two actors having to drop out of Thunderbolts, if more casting changes are in the movie's future. Thunderbolts' core cast, which includes Sebastian Stan, Florence Pugh, and Harrison Ford among others, probably doesn't need to worry. They likely have contracts with Marvel that require them to drop out of other projects, and not Marvel projects, while other actors new to the franchise likely don't have such ironclad deals.
Still, as we saw with the endless release date and production schedule shuffling around the pandemic, there's a pretty good chance that we'll see other actors having to choose between movies they were planning to make, either in Thunderbolts or in other upcoming movies.