The Leader of the Incredible Hulk breaks silence on Surprise Cap 4 return
Marvel Studios made great announcements and reveals at San Diego Comic-Con 2022. Somehow, he continued that momentum in D23, a convention that had its own big moments when it came to the MCU. One of the biggest news reports was that The Incredible Hulk’s Tim Blake Nelson would return as The Leader in Captain America: New World Order.
Audiences last saw Edward Norton as Bruce Banner in the 2008 film. In his final act, Nelson’s character, Samuel Stern, is seen lying on the floor with the Hulk’s blood, falling into an open wound on his head—turning the unlucky scientist.
Since then, not a single word has been spoken about the character in any of the following MCU movies (or series). So when Marvel Studios announced its return to the New World Order, it was a big deal, to say the least.
But what does the actor behind the character have to say about making a comeback after such a long time?
the leader speaks
During Marvel Studios’ D23 presentation, the actor behind the newly announced antagonist for Captain America: New World Order, Tim Blake Nelson, broke his silence about returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The actor admitted that he is “delighted” to be back in the role and shared how it is “an absolute honour:”
“I am delighted. Marvel is a part of cinema history and I am honored to be a part of it and thank you for staying with the leader.
In a previous interview in 2018, Nelson spoke with GQ about his time in The Incredible Hulk.
He revealed that he actually met the film’s director, Louis Leterrier, in “the lobby of the Mercer Hotel:”.
“Unbelievable giant. That movie came to me in a funny way, because I was about to direct this film I wrote with Edward Norton called Leaves of Grass and he and I were also producing it together and I was called down, I think, the lobby of the Mercer Hotel to meet Louis Leterrier, the director of
The Incredible Hulk, and his producer, Gail Anne Hurd. And they said, ‘We want you to play ‘this scientific character’ , and I had read the script. He was a wildly cynical guy, mainly in the second half of the movie. And I thought, ‘Okay, yeah, well, that’s interesting to me, I’ve been to one of these movies before.’ I was not.’
Nelson revealed that he had warned her that he was originally “signing up for three movies”, which apparently never happened:
“And then they said, ‘Okay, you’re going to be the villain in the next movie. So, you’ll basically sign up for three movies. And you’ll be this character called The Leader.’ And I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is fantastic.’ I said, ‘Okay, who else have you cast?’ And they said, “Well, oddly enough, you’re our first offer. Which I thought was strange, because no one was going to watch the movie because I was playing this scientist, or even because I was going to be the villain. They needed a man to play the banner. And I said, ‘Who is…?’ And they said, ‘Well, it’s either going to be ‘Mark Ruffalo or Edward Norton’.”
Apparently, he was also going to direct a film with Edward Norton, and while that was ending, had to wait until they were both on The Incredible Hulk:
“And I think I even said, ‘But wait a minute! Edward has to do my film and I’m no competition to you guys, of course he wants to play the banner.’ And I called Edward and he said, basically, ‘Tim, get real, of course I’ll play Bruce Banner. It’ll be awesome, you’ll probably be in the movie with me, it’ll be a blast. And then we’ll do your film’ , I’m not going anywhere.'”
Nelson shared that he “learned a lot about shooting from Louis Leterrier,” something he applied to his next small project:
“And Edward is a man of his word. And so we got to act, I got a chance to star in a movie with Edward. For both of us, we did Hulk and then Leaves of Grass was our next film… I Learned a lot about shooting from Louis Leterrier. As I often do, because I direct my own short films, I walk around the set even when I’m not needed and just watch That’s what the director is doing because all these people I work with know a lot more about it than I know.”
How big is the future of the leader?
Now the big question is, will Nelson’s villain be around after the New World Order ends? After all, it looks like the original plans included bigger villains to return more than once.
The leader’s larger relationship with the Hulk seems like a natural bridge to the long-running World War Hulk movie. Plus, it would be a shame if the character comes back after fourteen years and doesn’t get a chance to cross paths with Bruce Banner once again.
Maybe even the bigger bad is pulling strings at She-Hulk. goons already jennifer walter