So recently, I was scrolling around on IMDB as I do a lot, when I noticed something different in the cast list of Captain America: Civil War. Actually, I noticed two new things. If you're not familiar with IMDB's cast list styles for pre-production, if they are pretty dang sure someone will be in a film but it just hasn't been officially confirmed / signed yet, they will put "rumored" in parentheses right after the name (For example: shortly before Benedict Cumberbatch was confirmed as Doctor Strange but everyone pretty much knew it would be him, he was in the rumored phase on IMDB).
Anyways, I was on IMDB when I noticed two new "rumored" additions to [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409). The first one was Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes / War Machine. This isn't much of surprise after the recent rumors that he will join Captain America during the Civil War. The real surprising addition was actually...
William Hurt as General Ross!
Now many people may have forgotten him by this point, but Hurt previously played General Ross in 2008's The Incredible Hulk. He was the father of Banner's love interest Betty Ross and also witnessed the creation of the Hulk. From there, he insisted that the Hulk / Banner be taken into custody for two primary reasons: (1) he needed to pay for his crimes as the Hulk and (2) Ross considered the Hulk government property. Many people (including myself) assumed that Marvel had retired this character due to the recasting of Bruce Banner. No actor or character except the character of Bruce Banner and the small cameo by Tony Stark have appeared in the MCU since, and the clips from the movie were limited in Marvel's Phase 1 promotions. Whatever the case, it certainly looks like Marvel is trying (and succeeding) to get Hurt back to reprise his role as one of Bruce Banner's greatest antagonists.
What does this mean, though???
Well, it could mean a lot of things. It could be just another attempt to get yet another cast member in the movie that may go wrong, like with the rumors about Abomination appearing in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035). However, if William Hurt turns down a chance to show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe again to expand his character, he would be an idiot.
So it looks like William Hurt has a very good chance of returning as General Ross, but what is he going to do??? Well there's one thing we know he will do for a fact.
General Ross will side with Iron Man
Now why would he side with Stark? Well maybe it's along the lines that the Registration Act, or whatever law they try to pull in this version of the Civil War, represents everything Ross has ever stood for. Specifically, control over the superhumans (like Hulk) and making them responsible for their actions (like Hulk's smashing). So it's quite obvious that General Ross will play some part on Iron Man's side, but what side might that be? Let's look at a couple potential options:
1. The New Maria Hill
Since SHIELD is (in the movie universe, and at least before AoU) still technically disbanded, there may not be much room for SHIELD to do much controlling in the Civil War. This would leave it more to the regular government, specifically those experienced with superhumans, like General Ross, to support the new law placed on the superhumans. Now there are no signs of Cobie Smulders being cast into Civil War at all, but in the comics her character Maria Hill is, at the time, the head of SHIELD who orders Iron Man around half of the time. She is one of the most vicious players in the War and serves as the devil on Tony's shoulder.
Now if Maria Hill and Nick Fury aren't going to be in it as it looks like right now, there will need to be a new head honcho to serve as Tony's shoulder devil. Could this be General Ross's promotion? Could he be given the orders to control the Registration (Control) side of the war?? Let's cross our fingers, because I want to see William Hurt yell at people some more!
2. The New Thor Clone / "Clor"
For those that aren't familiar with the story arc of the clone Thor in the Civil War comic, I will debrief you. Due to the fact that Thor is presumed dead (this is after Ragnarok), Tony Stark feels empty without him and wants his help in the War. Because of this, he and a couple others (including Hank Pym) create a clone of Thor, later named "Clor" by Spider-Man. The clone goes against the intial planning, however, and ends up killing Giant Man / Bill Foster during the midpoint of the War. It becomes a major turning point for Tony because he starts to realize the negative outcomes his actions can have.
Anyways, just like with Cobie Smudlers, it looks like Chris Hemsworth will not play a role in the Civil War, so it looks like there is no chance of seeing "Clor" on the big screen. We may get something bigger, though. Something a bit more...red.
That's right, I'm talking the Red Hulk! In the comics, General Ross uses the same serum used to make the Hulk on himself in order to take down the Hulk once and for all, much like Abomination in The Incredible Hulk. It too goes wrong. Now, since it looks like there's no chance we will be seeing another Hulk movie soon, there's a safe bet that Red Hulk may make his smashing debut during the Civil War.
What if the Hulk is out of reach during the events of the Civil War, but Tony feels like he needs his science-bro back by his side, so he and Ross team up to make Ross into a new Hulk? And then, what if it goes wrong just like Clor went wrong? Who knows, but I would just love to see Red Hulk smash this movie even further into the Box Office.
3. He's part of the Thunderbolts
So, again, some of you may not know about the Thunderbolts and what they do in the Civil War. The Thunderbolts are one of the teams of superheroes that Iron Man and SHIELD form to work for them. The difference that the Thunderbolts have, though, is that they are all reformed villains trying to clear their name by working for SHIELD, and getting to beat the crap out of some of the other superheroes.
Now Red Hulk may never be part of the Thunderbolts during the Civil War comics, but he does eventually join them down the line. So what if Ross's origin as the Red Hulk has already happened by the time Cap 3 rolls around? He may show up as a part of the Thunderbolts team, along with possibly a couple other Marvel villains.
4. He will play a minor role just to set up a further story line
This one is not my preference, but it seems the most likely. Ross may only show up for about five minutes of the movie. He will most likely side with Iron Man, but won't do much action or smashing as the Red Hulk. He may just give a couple orders, give his input and be gone.
Then why have Ross show up at all? Why, this would be to give more room for Ross to show up in the future. His appearance could let everyone know that General Ross is still an active member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and you need to keep an eye out for him. It would make his potential return in a future movie more believable and understandable instead of just skipping 10 years of a character's life, and then suddenly making them an enormous Hulk villain.
So will we see Ross show up???
Though it is not confirmed, there is a good chance that we may see him pop up, maybe even just for a couple minutes, during Captain America: Civil War. I honestly hope, though, that he ends up being the new "Clor" of the movie. Also, in case you don't believe that I got my source from somewhere, you can check out the link here. But what do you think? Will we see him? Is there another way Ross could return? Let us know in the comments!