CAPTAIN AMERICA: NEW WORLD ORDER Director Teases Plans For "Terrifyingly Intelligent" Leader In The Movie

Captain America: New World Order will see Sam Wilson match wits with The Leader, and director Julius Onah has now shed some light on what fans can expect from Tim Blake Nelson's "incredible adversary."

One of the biggest surprises during D23 saw Marvel Studios announce that The Incredible Hulk star Tim Blake Nelson will finally make his MCU return in Captain America: New World Order.

By that point, it will have been sixteen years since we last saw Dr. Samuel Sterns' head begin to grotesquely transform. A tie-in comic book revealed that Black Widow took him into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, though we have to believe he's behind the Power Broker's Super Soldiers, the attempt to steal She-Hulk's blood in her series, and possibly even Ant-Man and The Wasp's mysterious Benefactor.

Talking to Screen Rant at D23, Captain America: New World Order director Julius Onah dropped some hints about what The Leader will bring to the table in this movie. 

"We are all paranoid, and hopefully we're all thrilled as well. This is a movie, like the previous Captain American movies, that [leans] into the tradition of this genre," the filmmaker teases. "And what's so great in this film is Sam Wilson has an incredible adversary in The Leader, played by Tim Blake Nelson, this brilliant mastermind who's always 1-2-3-4 steps ahead."

"I think audiences, as they watch the film, will never be able to see what's coming right around the corner."

During a separate conversation with, Onah said the classic villain was a big part of what made him want to board Captain America: New World Order in the first place.

"Let's just say one of the things that really drew me to this project is The Leader is a man who operates from intellect, and so it's great to have an adversary who is working with this incredible intellect to really, you know, put Sam through the wringer in this story," he explains. "And again, as a paranoid thriller, is this grounded adventure where I think that everything that happens in this film feels so real and intense, because of who this adversary is."

"So, back to that other question of yours, what he's going to have to go through in this film is because he's got an adversary who is so terrifyingly intelligent."

It definitely feels like Marvel Studios is building to something big for The Hulk in the MCU, with this movie likely part of that story. We'd bet on some kind of eventual World War Hulks adaptation, a storyline that saw multiple Hulked out heroes and villains squaring off with each other. 

Captain America: New World Order is set to be released in theaters on May 3, 2024.

Click on the "Next" button below to see 8 Hulked Out
heroes and villains who could be coming to the MCU!

8. Kluh


Did you know that The Hulk has a Hulk? Kluh is the personification of all the rage and evil that the Jade Giant suppresses, and he was powerful enough to lay waste to The Avengers during the AXIS event back in 2014.

Klug has the power to regenerate and use telekinesis, and he's so full of hatred, this is a Hulk everyone should be scared of.

As for how he could factor into the MCU, Kluh is a villain who could quite easily emerge when The Hulk we all know and love is pushed to his limits. It feels like Bruce Banner creating Smart Hulk has resulted in "the other guy" being pushed to the back of his mind, and when he breaks out, perhaps this is what he'll have become. 

7. Betty Ross Banner


It's been a long time since we've seen Liv Tyler's Betty Ross, and it's about time she makes her MCU return. After all, the character is really the one who got away for Bruce Banner, but bringing her back as a Hulk...that would be pretty freaking wild.

In the comic books, all those years she spent around Bruce helped Betty develop something of a tolerance for gamma radiation. As a result, M.O.D.O.K. was able to bring her back from the dead as the Red She-Hulk, though she's since evolved into the monstrous Red Harpy.

Either option would be interesting in the MCU, especially if we're going to see Red Hulk. Jennifer Walters being pitted against Betty is an interesting possibility, though there could be any number of reasons why this character ends up Hulking out. 

6. A-Bomb


Surprisingly, Marvel Studios still hasn't introduced Rick Jones. He was the teenager saved by Bruce Banner on the fateful day he became The Hulk, and Rick would later go on to serve as Captain America's sidekick for a time. 

While Rick very briefly became a Hulk, it was The Leader and M.O.D.O.K. who later figured out a way to transform him into the new Abomination. Luckily, Rick retained much of his intelligence and actually ended up becoming a hero known as A-Bomb (use, it's probably the lamest codename on this list, but bear with us). 

While it's probably too late for Rick to show up, another character could head down this route - Martin Freeman's Everett Ross springs to mind - and failing that, why not make this the next step in Abomination's evolution? 

5. Spider-Hulk


As we write this, Tom Holland's future as Spider-Man remains very much up in the air. The hope is that he will return as Peter Parker and, as far as we're, he owes Marvel Studios at least one more cameo appearance. 

The wall-crawler should play a major role in both Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, but if World War Hulk is coming to the Big Apple, we'd love to see Spidey caught in the middle. Why? Well, it finally gives Marvel Studios the chance to do something crazy with the character by having him swing into action as Spider-Hulk.

If a bunch of heroes end up briefly becoming Hulks, who better than Spider-Man? There's precedent for this in the comic books and with his radioactive blood, this feels like a fun and natural next step for a one-off movie!

4. Skaar


Skaar is the son of The Hulk and Caiera the Oldstrong, and he debuted in his Hulk form. However, it turns out that Skaar is just a kid, and while he's every bit as mighty as his father after transforming, there's actually just a scared little boy behind that impressive outer shell.

Believing he had been abandoned by his father (who never actually knew he existed), Skaar initially vowed to hunt down and kill the Jade Giant. He'd later learn the truth, of course, and Bruce was later able to embrace his son.

In the MCU, it appears The Hulk is already heading back to Sakaar to meet Skaar, but there are a few different directions Marvel Studios can now choose to head in. For starters, he could be the Hulk that declares war on Earth, putting a fresh and unexpected spin on that World War Hulk storyline.

3. Red Hulk


Despite his disappointing introduction, Red Hulk has gone on to become a real fan-favourite Hulk among comic book fans. When he first debuted, it was clear this bright red rage machine was a very different beast, and he tore through many of the Marvel Universe's greatest heroes early on.

Fans would eventually learn that General "Thunderbolt" Ross had transformed himself into a Hulk (no, we don't know where his moustache goes either), and it's a shame we probably won't get to see that in the MCU.

William Hurt recently passed away, and unless Marvel Studios intends to recast the role, a different character will have to take his place as Red Hulk. Whatever happens, we hope this iteration - who would later go on to join the Thunderbolts - doesn't end up being sidelined as it would be a real waste. 

2. Hulkpool


Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool is finally coming to the MCU, and after Deadpool 3, we fully anticipate the Merc with the Mouth becoming a fixture of this shared world. Given his wacky nature, that arguably makes him a perfect candidate when it comes to being a regular "hero" who needs to get their Hulk on. 

During the World War Hulks event, Wade Wilson was among those who Hulked out, though Hulk-pool was every bit as deranged as you might expect. You see, he was determined to kill Deadpool and ended up going on a disastrous mission back in kill himself.

We wouldn't want this to distract too much from the seriousness of any sort of World War Hulk adaptation, but c'mon, this has to happen. Heck, if Deadpool is about to meet some MCU heroes in his next solo outing, just do it there! 

1. Joe Fixit


When The Hulk was first introduced, he had grey skin. However, due to printing issues, the hero became green instead and the rest, as they say, is history. 

It was later established that the green Savage Hulk managed to overcome Grey Hulk, but we also learned that Bruce Banner had serious mental problems long before the Gamma bomb went off. Writer Peter David then brought Grey Hulk back, but gave him his own personality and dubbed this Hulk "Joe Fixit."

A morally ambiguous Las Vegas enforcer and tough guy, he represents the personality that can do all the not-so-nice things that Bruce was too unsure of to do himself. We'd love to see this as the next evolution of The Hulk, especially if it means poor Banner is put in the backseat while his other half makes use of his newfound intelligence in a way that suits him!


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