Tim Blake Nelson as Samuel Sterns before his transformation into The Leader.

Tim Blake Nelson Talks Captain America 4 Reshoots, Teases Leader’s Return

As Captain America: Brave New World undergoes a new round of reshoots, star Tim Blake Nelson has teased how Samuel Sterns/The Leader has been operating in the shadows of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Very excited about it. I’m headed to Atlanta tomorrow to continue working on that,” Nelson said in an interview with ScreenRant regarding Brave New World’s reshoots.

“It’s been very exciting to bring back a character from 16 years ago and imagine how he has aged with me and how that has manifested. The Marvel team has come up with a really interesting explanation — revelation, I should say, as to what he’s been up to for 16 years and why.”

Nelson’s Samuel Sterns has not been seen in the MCU since his brief appearance in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. The second MCU installment featured the future supervillain as an anonymous contact nicknamed “Mr. Blue” who tricks Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) into believing he could cure him of his Hulk transformations. While using Banner’s blood to transform Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) into Abomination, Sterns gets injured when the transformation goes wrong and the blood sample makes contact with his head wound.

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With Nelson making his long-awaited return to the MCU after 16 years, Marvel fans wonder if his version of Leader will include his signature oversized green brain. Recently, the actor confirmed to Michael Rosenbaum on his podcast, Inside of You that the brain effect will be achieved with minimal CGI.

“I can tell you about my character that we did everything we could, and this was entirely supported by Marvel, and I’m so grateful to Kevin Feige and Nate Moore for supporting this,” Nelson said. “They were on board 100% to do the character as practically as possible with an absence of digital stuff.”

What we know about the Captain America 4 reshoots so far

Originally announced with the title Captain America: New World Order, the upcoming MCU installment starring Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson had wrapped production in June 2023 before the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike. Then a report by The Hot Mic‘s Jeff Sneider stated that the newly titled Captain America: Brave New World would undergo reshoots for three major sequences after reportedly scoring low scores after a test screening.

In December 2024, Marvel tapped Matthew Orton (Moon Knight) to write “additional scenes and material” ahead of Brave New World’s reshoot schedule. Additionally, Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito was added to the cast in a mystery role.

Directed by Julius Onah, Captain America: Brave New World opens in theaters on February 14, 2025.