Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is a staple of the MCU when it comes to Easter eggs and supporting characters. That’s what the late William Hurt’s Ross largely was, a part of the connective tissue that holds the MCU together. However, Marvel has bigger plans for Thunderbolt Ross as Harrison Ford takes over the character following Hurt’s recent passing. And it all starts with Captain America 4.
While we have to wait more than a year to see Captain America: New World Order in theaters, the first set photos from the upcoming movie showing Ford’s character have already popped up online. Mind you, some spoilers follow below.
Our first look at Harrison Ford’s Thunderbolt Ross
Comics fans always expected Thunderbolt Ross to become a bigger character in the movies. And it looks like it’ll finally happen, starting with New World Order. The addition of Ford to the Captain America 4 cast has long been confirmed. Moreover, rumors say he’ll return to the role in other MCU releases.
What’s particularly exciting is the hero/villain that Thunderbolt Ross becomes in the comics. He’s Red Hulk, of course, a character that Marvel took its time to deliver. But that’s because Marvel never needed Red Hulk so far. It’s probably why Hurt’s Ross never rose beyond being a recurrent supporting character.
But the MCU advanced to a point where the story needs a stronger Thunderbolt Ross. And we know from Marvel that Harrison Ford’s character will become the US President in Captain America 4. Not only that, but Ross’s daughter Betty (Liv Tyler), whom we last saw in The Incredible Hulk, is coming back.
Add to that rumors that Marvel has a World War Hulk film in the cards, and the Red Hulk’s arrival seems imminent. That means the MCU has to include Thunderbolt Ross in more stories than before and make us care about the character.
Unfortunately, the first Captain America 4 set photos showing Harrison Ford’s Ross aren’t as exciting as you’d want. Rather than seeing Ford in a motion capture suit that would confirm Red Hulk’s appearance in New World Order, we get a more presidential attire in the images above.
We’re used to seeing Thunderbolt Ross in suits. The images that Just Jared captured give us a familiar look at the character. He’s wearing a buttoned-down shirt which makes us think we might be looking at President Ross in these images.
Will Red Hulk appear in Captain America 4?
The same Just Jared posted Captain America 4 set photos showing Tim Blake Nelson. The actor will reprise his Samuel Sterns role from The Incredible Hulk.
Both Nelson and Ford were seen shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 29th. This suggests the two might appear in the same New World Order scenes. That’s enough for MCU fans to start speculating about Red Hulk and the Super Soldier Serum.
Needless to say that Ford’s Thunderbolt Ross sighting is the more exciting of the two, considering the character is getting more attention from Marvel. That’s an indication that Red Hulk’s MCU arrival is imminent. Whether it’s happening in Captain America 4 or not, it will be an epic MCU moment.
But Marvel certainly needs a few big hits following the lackluster MCU Phase 4 movies, and New World Order must be a big priority on its list. Having Red Hulk appear in the same film that delivers Sam Wilson’s Captain America (Anthony Mackie) would be an amazing development.
We’ll remind you that an image circulated online a few months ago, purportedly showing Harrison Ford’s Red Hulk. We pointed out the time that such concept art images can be manufactured. And the picture never got any confirmation.
Harrison Ford’s set sighting aside, Just Jared also posted New World Order set photos showing Liv Tyler on set alongside Anthony Mackie in what looked like a funeral scene.