He Lives! The Incredible Hulk’s Tim Blake Nelson Returns as The Leader in Captain America 4

ytsfreeSeptember 11, 2022

The Walt Disney Studios continued to give Marvel True Believers the ultimate fan experience on Saturday, September 10, 2022, with a jam-packed presentation from the team at Marvel Studios at the Anaheim Convention Center as part of the D23 Expo 2022. Thousands of Disney fans were among the first to hear new announcements, see never-before-seen footage, and hear from the marvelous stars and crew who are behind all the fan-favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes. One of the most unexpected announcements to come out of Saturday’s Marvel Studios presentation was from studio president Kevin Feige and director Julius Onah, who announced that Tim Blake Nelson would be reprising his role as Dr. Samuel Sterns, a.k.a. The Leader, in the upcoming Captain America: New World Order.

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​​​​​Heading to theaters in 2024, Captain America: New World Order will continue Sam Wilson’s journey as the MCU’s new Captain America now that Steve Rogers has retired and John Walker proved that he wasn’t worthy to wield the shield. The film stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Captain America, Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley, and Danny Ramirez as Joaquin Torres, who, in Marvel Comics, eventually becomes Falcon. In fact, during the Marvel showcase presentation, Feige teased that the next step for Joaquin Torres is taking up the mantle of Falcon, joking that the character “seemed to be jealous of Sam’s wings in the show.” Mackie chimed in that Joaquin was also jealous of Sam’s “sexiness.”

Related: Ms. Marvel Star Iman Vellani Hopes for Season 2 Renewal


The Leader Back After 14 Years

But one of the most unexpected announcements about Captain America 4 was that after 14 years, Tim Blake Nelson was returning to Marvel as The Leader. First introduced in Tales to Astonish #62 by Stan Lee, Carlos Burgos, Dickie Ayers, and Artie Simek, Dr. Samuel Sterns was last seen in The Incredible Hulk when he managed to engineer a temporary antidote for Bruce Banner’s condition but was also forced to repeat this process with Emil Blonsky. It was this formula that transformed Blonsky into the Abomination.

“Last time we saw Sterns, he was lying on the ground, having been exposed [to Bruce Banner’s blood],” said Feige, “and we teased that coming of The Leader, and in short team 14 short years later, we finally deliver. Promises fulfilled.”

Nelson said that he was “delighted” to be back. “Marvel is a part of cinema history, and getting to be a part of that is an absolute honor, and thank you for sticking with The Leader.”

Captain America: New World Order hits theaters on May 3, 2024.

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