Somewhat buried in all of this talk about Spider-Man is the fact that William Hurt’s General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (Last seen in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk) will be making his return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War. For those who don’t recall, Ross is the guy whose entire personality is defined by three things: He loves his daughter, he hates the Hulk, and he hates that his daughter loves the Hulk (Well, Bruce Banner). With Avengers: Age Of Ultron introducing some new romantic interests in Banner’s life, we can’t imagine Ross’ daughter will play into Civil War at all, so what’s Ross going to be doing in the movie?
Well, William Hurt gave an interview to IGN recently in which he offered a pretty good clue, but it requires us to bring in some comic book knowledge that may or may not be a spoiler for Civil War. In the interview, Hurt says that the filmmakers have “taken a character who was the Ross from the older film and made a new version,” adding that this one is a “much different Ross.” Whatever this change is, he says that he likes it, but he hasn’t “had a lot of time to understand it.”
For people who know what happens to Ross in the comics, that language all seems to hint pretty strongly at Ross becoming—one last chance to leave, spoilerphobes—a Hulk. The Red Hulk, specifically. A Ross who is willing to become the thing he hates the most in the world would certainly be “much different,” and the motivations behind doing something like that might require Hurt to take some time to understand it. Not to mention the fact that a General Ross who is a massive red monster would certainly be “a new version” of the character.
Obviously, this isn’t official—and won’t be until we see some set photos of William Hurt with a weird, red mocap suit on—but it definitely seems like a safe assumption. Still, try to act surprised if this really happens. The people who made the movie will appreciate it.