Captain America 4 Set Pics Offer First Look at Hulk Villain and Harrison Ford

The first movie featuring Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson as Captain America comes together, with set photos of Tim Blake Nelson's return as The Leader and Harrison Ford as Thunderbolt Ross.

Photo: Marvel

It’s hard to imagine what, exactly, the fourth entry in the Captain America franchise will be. It’s not just that Captain America: New World Order will be the first without Chris Evans’s wholesome hunk Steve Rogers in the red, white, and blue, with Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson abandoning his Falcon identity to become the new Sentinel of Liberty. The movie also puts the legendary Harrison Ford in the place of the recently departed William Hurt as former Secretary of State and Hulkbusting enthusiast Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, and brings back Tim Blake Nelson as Samuel Sterns, a scientist last seen in early MCU entry The Incredible Hulk.

With The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman writing the script, and The Cloverfield Paradox director Julius Onah helming, we know that the movie will continue the threads set up by that show. While the series ended with Wilson deciding to take up the mantle of Captain America despite the systemic racism of the country he represents, the (very uncomfortable) subtitle of the movie suggests that Sam will face further resistance from forces both inside and outside the U.S. government.

We get a little more of an idea of the movie’s direction from some recently released set photos. In one, we see Ford in character as Ross. The shot shows Ross striding across a parking lot, sporting a conservative, but classy, blue button-down and dark slacks. He wears a look of disgust and disappointment, but it’s hard to tell if he’s in character as the cantankerous military man or if he’s just, you know, Harrison Ford.

The more interesting of the pictures gives us our first look at Samuel Sterns since 2008. For those who don’t remember the largely forgettable The Incredible Hulk, Sterns was a scientist who seemed to be helping the fugitive Bruce Banner (then in the form of Edward Norton) research a cure for the other guy. But Sterns had his own agenda, which turned out badly for him when Banner Hulked out, knocking over Sterns, as well as a bunch of gamma-radiated blood. In his last scene, Nelson’s Sterns smirks at the camera as the green ooze sinks into a cut on his forehead, foreshadowing his transformation into the classic Hulk villain/nerfed Marvel Snap card, Leader.

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In the comics, exposure to gamma radiation transformed Sterns into a green-skinned megalomaniac with a sizable head. But in the set photo, Sterns has a pretty normal-sized head and a mostly standard Caucasian hue – with the exception of his hands and forearms, which have a green tint, showing that his jade-ification has happened fairly slowly thus far. He does make up for lost time by donning a green striped shirt and some purple slacks, adhering to the standard Hulk dress code.

At this point, we still don’t know much about how these elements will play out in the movie. The appearance of a gamma-radiated character hints that Ross will follow his comic book counterpart and become the Red Hulk, especially if the notoriously grouchy Ford got used to wearing CGI dots while shooting Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. But what does this have to do with the titular new world order? And how does Sam Wilson figure in? We probably won’t know those answers until Captain America: New World Order hits theaters in 2024.