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Thunder Force - What We Know So Far

The superhero genre is, we can probably all agree, badly in need of having some air let out of its cultural presence tires. There are 23 Marvel Cinematic Universe flicks out there already, with another 11 announced feature films and 13 streaming shows headed for screens in the near future. On top of that, there's the DC Extended Universe, a swath of movies and shows based on indie properties, and around 200 IP-laden Lego comic book video games.

For this, and so many other reasons, we are lucky to have Octavia Spencer and Melissa McCarthy. Their new collaboration, Thunder Force, getting its big premiere on Netflix in 2021, approaching the world of superpowers and derring-do from the previously unexplored perspective of, as the recently released trailer puts it, "two chicks in their forties." Helmed by Ben Falcone, McCarthy's husband and director of her previous films Tammy, The Boss, Life of the Party, and Superintelligence, Thunder Force looks like another in the pair's series of slapstick, off-the-wall comedies that will keep the laughs rolling. Here's an in-depth look at what we know about the project so far.

What's Thunder Force all about?

As alluded to above, Thunder Force is a lambasting of superhero tropes. Here, Octavia Spencer plays Emily Stanton, a successful scientist and entrepreneur developing a genetic therapy capable of granting its recipients fantastical abilities. Her life takes a turn when she receives a visit from her childhood best friend, Lydia, played by Melissa McCarthy. In classic McCarthy style, Lydia gets into some improvised shenanigans at the lab and, whoops of all whoopses, injects herself with the super serum, right in the dang old face.

As a result of her hijinks, Lydia is imbued with super strength, which pairs nicely with the invisibility powers that Emily has developed. The two team up to become Chicago's first real-life superheroes, calling themselves Thunder Force and Tazing convenience store robbers with notable enthusiasm. Unfortunately for them, they're not the only folks with powers, and the duo finds themselves at odds with a lurking cabal of evildoers. Also, at some point, a bus gets thrown in the general direction of Lake Michigan, potentially knocking some of the trash out of the water.

When will Thunder Force hit Netflix?

Deadline first broke the news that Thunder Force was in development at Netflix back in March 2019, but news of the film's production dried up not long after. Up until recently, it's been unclear when the movie would hit streaming, but lo and behold, we now have answers. On March 3, 2021, the trailer for Thunder Force premiered, giving us a solid release date for the comedy: April 9.

April 2021 looks like it'll be a banner month for Netflix. Along with Thunder Force, they'll be dropping a handful of other original programming. April 14 sees the debut of Dad Stop Embarrassing Me, the multicam Jamie Foxx sitcom based on the actor and musician's relationship with his daughter. On April 23, Shadow and Bone drops, taking audiences on a trip to the Kingdom of Ravka for a battle between the forces of good and the dark creatures that want to eat their skin. Things Heard and Seen, a Netflix original horror flick, will appear at the end of the month, putting a new spin on the classic "young family moves to a creepy old house" narrative.

Who's in Thunder Force?

Thunder Force already has an eye-catching duo with McCarthy and Spencer at the top of the call sheet, but they won't be on their own.

The criminally underrated Bobby Cannavale plays the criminally criminal crime lord of the picture, currently credited only as "The King," seen in the trailer informing the city of Chicago that it deserves what's coming to it. Returning to superhero comedies is Hancock alum Jason Bateman, playing a character called "The Crab," complete with pincers and astrology puns. The Kominsky Method's Sarah Baker appears as B. Krut, an employee at Emily's company, and Pom Klementieff plays an unnamed character, albeit one without the antennae and giant contact lenses we usually see when she shows up in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise as the empathic Mantis.

Audiences can also expect to see Chicago Fire regular Melissa Ponzio as Rachel Gonzales, as well as Tyrel Jackson Williams from Disney's Lab Rats.