The first look at Harrison Ford's Red Hulk in the MCU has been revealed

It looks like Harrison Ford's President Ross will be turning red in Captain America: Brave New World after all.
Marvel: Red Hulk Origin & Powers
Marvel: Red Hulk Origin & Powers / Comics Explained

There has been a lot of debate surrounding the character of Red Hulk for years, specifically in regards to whether he would ever appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross has been a fixture of the Marvel Studios world, occupying various roles including army general and Secretary of State, he's never become the big red machine that his comic book counterpart has.

The character returns in Captain America: Brave New World and he will now be played by Harrison Ford, who takes over the role from the late William Hurt. And given the amount of Incredible Hulk returnees and references featured in the upcoming film, fans have speculated that now could be Ross' time to turn red.

There had been no official confirmation as to whether that would happen or not. Until now.

Captain America 4 Happy Meal toys confirm Red Hulk will appear

Toys and merchandise are a big part of blockbuster movies and they often give us our first look at certain characters or elements from the movie. That is no different for Captain America: Brave New World. As reported by Comic Book Movie, the McDonald's Happy Meal toys for the upcoming film have been unveiled and they confirm that Red Hulk will be appearing in the MCU movie after all.

While the toy obviously lacks the detail that the movie's CGI render will feature, it does confirm that Captain America 4 will be going for a pretty comic-accurate look for the character. Red and hulking from head to toe, the only item of clothing he will wear is tattered pants, much like his green counterpart.

This comes after months of speculation about whether Ross, who has now ascended to the role of President of the United States in the MCU, would evolve into his red alter-ego. Last summer, Ford himself jokingly responded to a question about Red Hulk from in the most Harrison Ford way imaginable, asking "What is the Red Hulk?". He then teased that he "may or may not" appear.

Whenever Ross is involved, the questions of Red Hulk always come up, but the thing that really raised some eyebrows was the fact that the first image of Ford on-set of Captain America: Brave New World featured him in ripped pants, which instantly led to speculation that Red Hulk would appear. Now, it seems that this is very much the case.

Captain America 4 has multiple connections to The Incredible Hulk

While all movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are closely connected, Captain America: Brave New World is starting to sound more and more like a sequel to 2008's The Incredible Hulk. There's an irony in that given that this is the fourth Captain America movie and the fact that The Incredible Hulk is the most forgotten film in the MCU franchise, but it's a turning point for Cap and the MCU, so it does make a bit of sense that we're finally answering some long-lingering questions.

Red Hulk's involvement is just the most recent example of the ties between the two movie. Brave New World's villain will be The Leader, with Tim Blake Nelson reprising his role for the first time in 16 years. He won't be the only one either, as Liv Tyler also returns as Betty Ross, the daughter of the president and long-term comic book love interest of Bruce Banner.

A noticeably absent returnee is the Incredible Hulk himself. Though Edward Norton played the title role in the 2008 movie, he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo in all subsequent appearances. Ruffalo did, at one point in time, suggest that he would appear in Captain America 4 but it has since been confirmed that the actor misunderstood a question about the movie. As for why he's absent, that would probably have something to do with the fact that Hulk is probably off-world right now.

Nevertheless, Captain America: Brave New World looks to be delving into some of the loose threads that The Incredible Hulk left dangling, making it something of a spiritual sequel. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together, but with Sam Wilson finally taking up the shield, and President Ross seemingly becoming Red Hulk, the excitement for the movie is increasing the closer we get to its release.

Captain America: Brave New World arrives in movie theaters on February 14, 2025.

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