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Captain America 4 Is Bringing Back An Incredible Hulk Character For Anthony Mackie's MCU Solo Film

Tim Blake Nelson in The Incredible Hulk
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

There are a number of big Marvel movies on the horizon, and one of those is Captain America: New World Order. The upcoming film was announced at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con as a part of Marvel’s Phase 5 lineup. Not much is known about the movie at this point, but new details have just arrived. And fans will be excited to learn that the Anthony Mackie-led movie will see the return of none other than Tim Blake Nelson’s Samuel Sterns a.k.a. The Leader!

That’s right, you read that correctly. News of Tim Blake Nelson’s return came during Marvel Studios’ presentation at Disney’s D23 Expo. Exact details on The Leader’s role were not revealed, though one would assume that he’ll serve as an antagonist to Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson. To say that Nelson’s casting is a surprise would be an understatement, considering that he hasn’t appeared since the aforementioned MCU flick (which released back in 2008). 

Samuel Sterns was introduced as a colleague of Bruce Banner, who tried to help him find a cure for his Hulk affliction via digital correspondence. The two would finally meet up in person, with help from Betty Ross, though the U.S. military charged in after Banner was seemingly “cured.” After Sterns later helped Emil Blonsky, a.k.a. The Abomination, enhance his own mutation, the scientist’s forehead was cut, and he was exposed to a vial of the gamma-radiated blood. Shortly after, his head began pulsating, which was a hint to his own eventual transformation into the intelligent telepath.

It probably shouldn’t be too surprising that Marvel found a way to bring back The Leader, especially since he’s not the only Hulk alum to make a triumphant return after a long absence. Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky just recently reappeared in Disney+’s She-Hulk: Attorney At Law – and had made a brief appearance in last year’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings before that.

The Leader isn’t the only familiar face that’s returning for the new show, as it was also confirmed that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Danny Ramirez will return as the MCU's Joaquin Torres, who may or may not be on his way to becoming the new Falcon. Also reappearing is Carl Lumbly’s Isaiah Bradley, one of the Captain Americas fans learned about on the Disney+ show. There’s also a new face entering the fray in the form of Shira Haas, who will play the role of Sabre.

It’ll be exciting to see what Cap 4 has in store for Tim Blake Nelson’s long-missed character. Surely, a character as powerful as he is could truly shake things up for the Sentinel of Liberty. Also, I, for one, am more than ready to see Nelson chew up a bit of scenery throughout the proceedings. 

Captain America: New World Order opens in theaters on May 3, 2024 and, in the meantime, you can stream past MCU fare using a Disney+ subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.