Fans were surprised when, out of the blue, a rumor was released that claimed Marvel Studios had cast Harrison Ford in a key MCU role. Deadline later corroborated this report, which confirmed that the actor would be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Secretary Thunderbolt Ross—a role formerly played by the late William Hurt.
The legendary actor would first appear in the fourth Captain America film, where, according to The Cosmic Circus, the character would now be a private citizen who'd be the one planning for "his own 'new world order"—as teased by the project's title.
The character of Thunderbolt Ross is most famously known for his Red Hulk persona, something the MCU hasn't yet reached. But is that plot development set to occur in the future of Harrison Ford's role?
Harrison Ford's 'Exciting' Teased
In an interview with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's Producer, Nate Moore, Brandon Davis of the Phase Zero podcast asked if they'd really be turning the newly cast Harrison Ford into Red Hulk for Captain America: New World Order.
Moore's answer was as cagey as one would expect, but he did note that "[they] couldn't be more excited" and that Ford's scenes with Mackie will be "fantastic."
"I think you're going to have to wait and see, you know what I mean? But, Harrison Ford, we couldn't be more excited. Obviously, when you have Han Solo, or Indiana Jones involved in your movie, it just raises the game. So we're excited to see [Anthony] Mackie and Harrison Ford in scenes together. I think it's going to be fantastic."
The Future of Thunderbolt Ross
Becoming Red Hulk seems to be the obvious future for Harrison Ford's MCU debut, which has theoretically been the trajectory of Thunderbolt Ross ever since his debut back in 2008's The Incredible Hulk.
In the comics, the character is turned into a red variant of Bruce Banner thanks to The Leader and MODOK, villains who had siphoned radiation from the Hulk himself. As luck would have it, The Leader is set to be the key villain of New World Order, while MODOK is being introduced in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania—though it's not clear if the big-headed character will appear after that adventure.
Red Hulk is also known to be a member of the Thunderbolts in several key comic runs focusing on the team, which isn't surprising, seeing how he's in the group's name.
Not only could he be involved with the Thunderbolts movie, but it seems like a foregone conclusion that he'd also play a role in the rumored World War Hulk film, an event movie She-Hulk: Attorney at Law may have even helped set up.
Hopefully, Harrison Ford realized the amount of work he'd have ahead of him by joining the MCU as Thunderbolt Ross at this point late in the game.
Captain America: New World Order hits theaters on May 3, 2024.