Captain America: New World Order Is Bringing Back Tim Blake Nelson As Marvel Villain The Leader [D23]

Some very unexpected news coming out of Disney's D23 Expo today, particularly for fans of character actor Tim Blake Nelson and 2008's "The Incredible Hulk." During the Marvel Studios presentation at the convention it was revealed that Nelson, who first appeared as Samuel Sterns in the 2008 Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, is making his long-awaited return. But not in a "Hulk" movie! Rather, Nelson will be playing a villain in "Captain America: New World Order."

It was revealed that Nelson's Samuel Sterns, who helped Bruce Banner attempt to cure himself, will transform into the villain the Leader from the pages of Marvel Comics. This was sort of teased in Nelson's final moments on screen in "The Incredible Hulk," with some of the tainted Hulk blood dripping on his face, making it large and swollen, much like the character in the comics. Leader first appeared in "Tales to Astonish" #62 back in 1964 and was co-created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

More New World Order casting and details from D23

On stage during the presentation, a cool new logo with Captain America's star with Falcon's wings was revealed. As fans of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" will recall, Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson is officially our new Cap and will be taking up the mantle for the film. They also brought out the cast, including Shira Haas ("Unorthodox"), who will be playing Sabra.

It was confirmed that filming will begin early next year, with Julius Onah ("The Cloverfield Paradox") at the helm. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige also acknowledged Mackie's new role saying, "Anthony, Captain my Captain." Mackie said he's a combination of nervous and excited, and that it's everything he expected it to be. He also teased that the script is amazing.

Danny Ramirez also showed up for the panel, confirming he will return as Joaquin Torres. In other important returning cast news, Carl Lumbly will be back as Isaiah Bradley. This signals that the movie will be heavily tied to the events of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier." As for Nelson, he said, "I'm delighted, Marvel is part of cinema history, and that I get to be part of that is an absolute honor. thank you for sticking with the Leader."

Malcolm Spellman, writer and producer of "FATWS," is also on board to pen the screenplay for Sam Wilson's first solo adventure as our new Cap in the MCU. No word yet on if Sebastian Stan will be back as Bucky, but a question for another time.

"Captain America: New World Order" is set to hit theaters on May 3, 2024.