The Incredible Hulk Star Says The Leader Was Going To Appear In 3 Movies


Hard to recall though it may be, there was a time when Marvel movies were not the inexorable box office conquerors they are today. 11 years ago, The Incredible Hulk – just the second pic in the then nascent franchise – entered cinemas with an underwhelming splash. It also remains the lowest grossing Marvel film and is the only entry never to have a sequel enter development.

But that wasn’t the plan at the time. Tim Blake Nelson, one of the stars of that nearly-forgotten blockbuster, has elaborated on plans that the bosses had for his character in potential future installments.

“I got called down to the lobby of the Mercer Hotel to meet Louis Leterrier and Gale Ann Hurd, who’s producer. They said, ‘We want you to play this science character [Samuel Sterns],” and I’d read the script. He was a wildly eccentric guy, mainly in the second half of the movie.”

Nelson added:

“I thought that was interesting because I haven’t been in one of these movies before and they said, ‘Well, you’re going to become the villain in the next movie, so you’ll basically be signing up for three movies and you’re going to be this character called The Leader.’ And I thought ‘Oh my God, this is fantastic.'”

Samuel Sterns’s transformation into supervillain the Leader was a Hulk plot development already well-documented – a sequel set-up characteristic of every Marvel film. More tantalizing for fans though is Nelson’s revelation that producers had designs on as many as 3 films with the character (though it’s likely the first movie is counted in that total).

Unfortunately, Hulk’s relative failure to pull in the crowds meant a sequel was never on the cards and those keen on seeing the Leader on the big screen will have to wait a little longer yet.

Alternatively, those who’ve delighted in Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of the cantankerous green giant might be sanguine, for if The Incredible Hulk had been a success, it’s entirely possible Edward Norton would have continued in the role. Have you ever imagined Norton lining up alongside the Avengers? Of course you have. It’s a strangely disconcerting image. Now try imagining Mark Ruffalo in Fight Club. That’s definitely wrong – like putting a puppy into a blender.

OK, that’s enough rambling. Stop splicing Hulks in your imagination and do something productive with your day. Like reading some more ideas that never made it to the MCU, but you secretly wish had.