Tim Blake Nelson hypes up his return as The Leader for Marvel’s Captain America: Brave New World

Tim Blake Nelson is “really excited” about returning to the MCU as Samuel Sterns/The Leader for Captain America: Brave New World.

Last Updated on March 5, 2024

Tim Blake Nelson The Leader

Tim Blake Nelson is excited about his return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time since 2008 when he played Samuel Sterns / The Leader in The Incredible Hulk. The Leader returns to the MCU in Captain America: Brave New World, which sees Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson picking up the shield after Steve Rogers passed the torch. The Incredible Hulk ended with Sterns undergoing his transformation into The Leader, and Nelson says his look in the new film could be more comics-accurate.

After an accident at a chemical plant exposed Sterns to high levels of radiation, his skin turned green, and his head became enlarged alongside his brain. After dying and returning to life several times, the Leader becomes obsessed with the afterlife and an object called the Green Door, “a metaphysical barrier that connects the Below-Place, the bottom layer of the Multiverse, even below the deepest layer of Hell, to the real world.” (via MarvelFandom) With his superior intellect, the Leader is a criminal mastermind with ambitions that rival the extent of his smarts.

Speaking with Comicbook.com, Nelson said he’s “really excited” about bringing a more comics-accurate Leader to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “I had a great time filming it,” Nelson said. “And [I] worked with the Marvel team and this wonderful makeup artist named David Atherton, with whom I’ve collaborated on a dozen movies now.”

“I think people are going to be pretty excited about what this guy looks like. And what he has to say and what he does,” Nelson teased. “All power to the amazing team over there at Marvel.”

As Comicbook.com points out, Nelson is careful not to confirm his character’s iconic look, but we can read his comments between the lines. Marvel Studios often recreates characters with comic book accuracy (except for Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher, ugh). Nelson’s Leader may arrive on screen with green skin, a massive skull, and terrifying technological enhancements.

Directed by Julius Onah, Captain America: Brave New World opens in theaters on February 14, 2025. The highly-anticipated superhero sequel stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Captain America, Harrison Ford as Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, Live Tyler as Betty Ross, Rosa Salazar, Shira Haas as Sabra, Time Blake Nelson as Samuel Sterns/The Leader, Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley, and Danny Ramirez as Joaquin Torres.

Are you excited about Tim Blake Nelson’s Leader returning to the MCU? How much Hulk-related content is in the next Captain America film? We’ll have to wait for more details to find out.

Source: Comicbook.com

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.