Remember when Tim Blake Nelson‘s noggin started looking all funky in The Incredible Hulk? Well, if you don’t, it happened around the point where the Hulk and the Abomination starting ripping each other apart. While those two worked out their problems, Dr. Samuel Sterns was having a makeover. Before the finale, we saw Sterns crack a smile while making his transformation into The Leader, the brilliant green-skinned Marvel baddie.
He’s a villain favorite for some, possibly even the makers of The Amazing Spider-Man, who used one of his more famous schemes for The Lizard’s grand plan. The Leader is a very comic book-y type of villain, one that could have been too much for Marvel’s Phase I, but now that the studio has pushed the boundaries of its scientific status, bringing back actor Tim Blake Nelson to terrorize The Hulk or The Avengers is a solid idea.
Louis Leterrier would seem to agree. Speaking with him recently, I asked whether there was ever serious talk over using The Leader in future films.
“That’s the thing, it’s what’s interesting about Marvel,” Leterrier said. “They open a lot of doors, and they will all close at one point. After Phase II and III, there is Phase IV and V. No one will stop watching superhero movies. Yeah, Nelson’s The Leader. He’s a great actor, so he’d be great reprising the role.”
Nobody is going to disagree with Leterrier on Nelson. It’s also hard to fathom people turning their back on Marvel at this point. Unless there’s a freak accident and the studio starts making Batman & Robin every summer, what’s to stop The Leader from appearing one day? Even if audiences have forgotten who he is, Mark Ruffalo‘s Bruce Banner or a news video could fill people in on the character in an instant.
But what’s the best context for the character?
“I think The Hulk, as a character and superhero, is better in an interactive plot than a solo plot,” Leterrier admitted. “Hulk is interesting as a TV show. . . Hulk as a movie, it becomes expected. You know what I’m saying? Like, when he’ll turn into The Hulk and all that. As a TV show, this expected thing is what works in a sense. He doesn’t have to Hulk out in every episode.”
So we may not see another solo Bruce Banner tale in the near-future, but an appearance by The Leader could still be in the cards. After all, if you have an actor like Tim Blake Nelson under contract as a powerful villain (and interested in returning), why wouldn’t you use him?
Do you want to see Tim Blake Nelson return as The Leader?