Up until Captain America: Civil War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe had gone to great lengths to virtually erase The Incredible Hulk from canon. The second installment in the franchise, which released just six weeks after Iron Man in the summer of 2008, was never acknowledged or referenced at all for the better part of a decade.
The return of William Hurt’s Thaddeus Ross put an end to that, but he remained the only semblance of connective tissue to Louis Letterier’s blockbuster, at least until this Friday. The first trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings had fans going wild when they saw Doctor Strange‘s Wong battling against Abomination, which came after Tim Roth’s unexpected comeback had been confirmed for Disney Plus series She-Hulk.
In a new interview, Marvel Studios executive Jonathan Schwartz confirmed that the Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs star stepped into the recording booth to lend his vocal talents to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, even if it sounds as though we might not be getting much more than grunts and growls.
“Roth did some vocalization for us, he certainly was part of that process. There will be more of Abomination to come, so more of that story to be told. With regards to Shang-Chi, it sort of came down to who would be the coolest character for this moment? Who do we want to see in that ring? And then understanding who would make sense for whatever ongoing stories they have going on out there in the bigger universe.”
It hasn’t been confirmed as of yet whether or not She-Hulk will find Roth’s Emil Blonsky in his human or monstrous form, but it could realistically be a combination of both. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings may be introducing a brand new superhero into the mix, but now that it’s got direct connections to both The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man, it’s set to be a pivotal piece in the overarching MCU puzzle.