First Look at Captain America 4 Villain on Set (Photo)

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Captain America 4, Sam Wilson, Anthony Mackie

After more than a decade away from the MCU, actor Tim Blake Nelson returned to the franchise for his role as the villain in Captain America: New World Order.

After Marvel Studios shocked MCU fans with a Captain America 4 confirmation at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, but the studio took it a step further by announcing Tim Blake Nelson's comeback as Dr. Samuel Sterns at the D23 Fan Expo.

This will be the second MCU project for Nelson after portraying Sterns in 2008's The Incredible Hulk, which also brings back other big names from that very film like Liv Tyler's Betty Ross as Phase 1 ties are brought back into the fold.

And with this movie being Sam Wilson's first full adventure wielding the Captain America shield, he'll have his hands full with an antagonist, unlike anything he's seen before.

Captain America 4 Villain Arrives on Set

Samuel Sterns, Leader, Marvel Studios

Fans saw the first look at Tim Blake Nelson on the set of Captain America: New World Order as he reprises his role as Dr. Samuel Sterns, who will eventually become the villainous Leader in what will reportedly be a "very comic accurate" adaptation.

Tim Blake Nelson, The Incredible Hulk
Marvel Studios

Nelson is seen walking next to a row of trailers dressed in a green collared shirt and purple pants, tying back to the classic colors of the leading character from his original MCU movie, the Hulk

His hands also appear to be painted green, which could be the first step in his makeup process that will make him look like the Leader in this sequel.

Nelson also dons a scraggly but short beard in these images along with messy hair, teasing his dark path to villainy.

These are just the latest set photos from the set of Captain America 4, which have also shown Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson along with Harrison Ford's recast Thunderbolt Ross.

Leader Actor Ready for MCU Comeback in Captain America 4

While plot details for Captain America 4 remain under wraps, having Tim Blake Nelson back after 15 years is already bringing a great deal of excitement for fans. 

After all, his character has been one of the longest-hanging plot threads in MCU history after Samuel Sterns was accidentally injected with the Hulk's blood and transformed into the Leader.

These set photos are the start for Nelson in his return as he finally gets to embrace the superpowered version of his classic Hulk antagonist, which was teased for a moment when the Hulk's blood made his head start to expand.

And with set photos coming out on a fairly regular basis for the MCU's penultimate movie of Phase 5, only time will tell what other details about Nelson's villain will be unveiled in the near future.

Captain America: New World Order is currently filming and will debut in theaters on May 3, 2024.

Release Date
February 14, 2025
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.