CAPTAIN AMERICA: NEW WORLD ORDER Star Tim Blake Nelson On Getting To Return As The Leader

During the recent D23 expo, we learned that Tim Blake Nelson would reprise the role of Dr. Samuel Sterns, aka The Leader, in Captain America: New World Order, and the actor has now addressed his return.

Tim Blake Nelson debuted as Doctor Samuel Sterns in The Incredible Hulk, and even though the movie set-up his return as the villainous Leader, nobody really expected to see the actor in the MCU again.

Then, during this past weekend's D23 Expo, it was announced that Nelson would reprise the role for the upcoming Captain America: New World Order, with The Leader set as the sequel's main antagonist.

During a post-D23 interview, Nelson said he was "delighted" for the opportunity to play Sterns again. "Marvel is part of cinema history and that I get to be a part of of that is an absolute honor, and thank you for for sticking with the Leader,” he added.

Towards the end of The Incredible Hulk, Sterns began his transformation into the super-smart baddie when some of Bruce Banner's blood poured into an open wound on his head. Nelson has previously revealed that he had originally signed on for three movies before Mark Ruffalo stepped in to replace Edward Norton as Banner and the studio took things in another direction.

We're not sure exactly how The Leader will factor into New World Order, but there's a lot of speculation that the character has been pulling the strings in various other MCU projects (sending the Wrecking Crew after She-Hulk's blood, for example).

"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," director Julius Onah teased in a recent interview. "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."

Nelson will join Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, aka Captain America, Shira Haas as Israeli superheroine Sabra, the returning Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley, and Danny Ramirez as the new Falcon.

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

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