Thunderbolts Reportedly Bringing Back 1 Major Character from Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow That Can Finally Live Up to Its Real Potential

Black Widow failed to explore the full potential of this character in the 2021 film

Thunderbolts Reportedly Bringing Back 1 Major Character from Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow That Can Finally Live Up to Its Real Potential


  • After her appearance in Black Widow, Rachel Weisz is reportedly set to make her return to the MCU in Thunderbolts.
  • Rachel Weisz's character Melina Vostokoff is portrayed as one of the good guys, with her comic powers largely unexplored.
  • Fans expect Thunderbolts to explore the comic accurate portrayal of her alternate identity, Iron Maiden.
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According to new reports, Marvel’s Thunderbolts is set to bring back two mentor figures into the MCU. While Laurence Fishburne’s Bill Foster will return from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Rachel Weisz is also set to play Melina Vostokoff from Black Widow. Weisz’s character was shown to share a motherly bond with Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha and Florence Pugh’s Yelena. However, Black Widow explored very little of the character’s powers when compared to the comics.

Black Widow's Rachel Weisz will appear in Thunderbolts
Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff in Black Widow

In Marvel Comics, Melina Vostokoff is a supervillain, Iron Maiden, who completed the Red Room training. Fans got to see Weisz play the villainous side of Melina, in a voice role capacity, in the second season of What If…?.

Also Read: Frontrunner For Sentry in Thunderbolts After Steven Yeun’s Exit Has Already Worked With Brie Larson


Rachel Weisz’s Melina Vostokoff Reportedly Returning In Thunderbolts

Rachel Weisz's Melina Vostokoff and Laurence Fishburne's Bill Foster will reportedly appear in Thunderbolts
Rachel Weisz’s Melina Vostokoff and Laurence Fishburne’s Bill Foster will reportedly appear in Thunderbolts

Marvel’s upcoming film, Thunderbolts, will see the unconventional team-up of a bunch of anti-heroes or reformed villains, who will undertake dangerous missions for the government. Interestingly, the group will reunite Yelena Belova with Alexei Shostakov, the supposed daughter-father duo from Black Widow, played by Florence Pugh and David Harbour. New reports suggest that the motherly figure Melina, played by Rachel Weisz, will also return to this film.

According to a scoop by Production Weekly, both Melina Vostokoff and Laurence Fishburne‘s Bill Foster will appear in Thunderbolts (via The Trail Blazer). Fans expect both of these characters to finally suit up in the film, as the previous films did not explore their alternate identities from the comic books. Bill Foster is the size-changing Goliath, whereas Melina is the supervillain Iron Maiden in the comics.

In Black Widow, Melina and Alexei posed as a couple and lived in Ohio for years, with Natasha and Yelena as their pretend children. The mission was ordered by General Dreykov, the leader of the Red Room, who trained young girls and women as assassins after controlling their minds. The makeshift family comes together 21 years later to destroy the Red Room once and for all.


When the fans last saw the live-action Melina, she was treading the good guy path. However, the comic book version was not so nice to Scarlett Johansson‘s Natasha. In fact, she was Black Widow’s one of the biggest adversaries. She was jealous of Natasha during her espionage days, as Melina always lived under her shadow. Iron Maiden was one of the assassins sent to kill Natasha when she defected.

The reported addition of Bill Foster and Melina in the film, however, points to Marvel continuing to explore the dysfunctional family dynamics between the characters.

Also Read: Thunderbolts: 6 Actors Who Can be the New Sentry after Steven Yeun Exit


Will Thunderbolts Explore the Comic Accurate Powers Of Iron Maiden?

Iron Maiden in Marvel Comics
Iron Maiden in Marvel Comics

In the comics, Melina Vostokovna is a Russian spy and a Red Room scientist. She later turns into a freelance assassin, with the primary goal of eliminating Black Widow. In the comics, she joins several villainous teams before being captured and coerced into joining the Thunderbolts during the Civil War comic series.

While Iron Maiden is a trained assassin and a master martial artist, her superpower comes from the strong metal suit. The suit is a lightweight silver exoskeleton that protects her from impacts, bullets, and even energy weapons. Besides avoiding any penetrating injury, the flexible suit also enhances her strength and durability. Fans will have to wait to see if Thunderbolts will explore the full potential of the character.

Also Read: Thunderbolts: Florence Pugh’s Anti-Hero ‘Avengers’ Might Directly Connect to Spider-Man 4 and Daredevil: Born Again


Reports indicate that the production for the MCU film will begin in March. The Jake Schreier-directed film is currently expected to be released in theaters on July 25, 2025.


Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1478

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.