The Incredible Hulk‘s Tim Blake Nelson is set to return to the MCU at The Leader in Marvel Studios’ upcoming film Captain America: Brave New World. The question is, what has The Leader been up to for the past sixteen years?

Nelson has confirmed that Brave New World will answer that question. The actor shared in an interview with Screen Rant that Marvel “has come up with a really interesting explanation” for what The Leader has been up to since The Incredible Hulk. 

He said: “Very excited about it. I’m headed to Atlanta tomorrow to continue working on that. It’s been very exciting to bring back a character from 16 years ago and imagine how he has aged with me and how that has manifested.

He continued: “The Marvel team has come up with a really interesting explanation—revelation, I should say, as to what he’s been up to for 16 years and why.”

It’ll be interesting to see what that will be. It’s not hard to imagine that he’s been working for the U.S. Government in secret. That could explain how President Ross ends up becoming the Red Hulk.

The film is being directed by Julius Onah, who previously talked about the movie, saying that it’ll be the biggest test of Sam Wilson’s life: “It’s really his coming-out show. It’s about putting him through the paces.”

The director went on to talk about Wilson’s relationship with the American government, saying: “Part of the challenge for Sam as Captain America, working within the government, is the way he’s going to make decisions. The point of view he’s going to have will at times put him at odds with the President.”

He also talked about Wilson being at odds with Nelson’s Samuel Sterns, aka The Leader: “Sam finds himself almost standing between Samuel Sterns and what he thinks the government owes him, and how he wants to go about getting that.”

The movie also stars Liv Tyler, Shira Haas, Tim Blake Nelson, Rosa Salazar, Danny Ramirez, and Carl Lumbly.

The script for the film was penned by Dalan Musson and Malcolm Spellman, both of whom wrote for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Spellman will produce with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

Captain America: Brave New World arrives on February 14, 2025.

Joey Paur

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BRAVE NEW WORLD Will Explain the Leader’s 16-Year Absence — GeekTyrant