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Harrison Ford Might Be Too Old For Red Hulk (But Just Right For Thunderbolt Ross)

Casting Harrison Ford as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross was a stroke of Bruce Banner-level genius. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had the unenviable task of replacing William Hurt, who immaculately portrayed Thunderbolt in the MCU prior to his death in 2022. But Ford's imminent arrival in "Captain America: New World Order" will give the bearer of the Vibranium shield, Anthony Mackie, a formidable foil.

"This has been a dream for years, ever since Jon Favreau cast Harrison Ford in 'Cowboys and Aliens,'" Feige said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I was always very jealous of that, so to have him finally in the MCU is just incredible. It's like, I can cross that off the wishlist." Ford's no stranger to taking on larger-than-life roles like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and he seems eager to join Marvel. "He's embracing the role," Feige also told EW. 

What the casual moviegoer might not know is that Thunderbolt also becomes one of Bruce Banner's most dangerous super-powered villains in the source material: Red Hulk. Ross is transformed into the Red Hulk by the Leader and M.O.D.O.K. Some fans liked the "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" version of M.O.D.O.K., but his appearance in the Quantum Realm means he won't be available to co-create Red Hulk. Regardless, Phase 5 seems like the perfect opportunity to break out the gamma-irradiated Banner baddie, but can Ford bring the same gravitas to Red Hulk that he undoubtedly will for Ross?

Thunderbolt is the perfect MCU role for Ford

General Ross relentlessly hunted Bruce Banner and his green (sometimes gray) alter ego in the pages of Marvel Comics, beginning with his first appearance in 1962's "Incredible Hulk" No. 1. However, the more seasoned "Thunderbolt" didn't transform into the red-hued monster until "Hulk" No. 1 in 2008. And while it might be a stretch to see actor Harrison Ford performing the stunt work required to bring a CGI Red Hulk to life, the actor is perfectly cast as the imposing Ross.

"This is certainly a big part for Thaddeus Ross," Feige said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "He's the president of the United States in the film." "Captain America: New World Order" might be Ford's first stint in the MCU, but he's no stranger to playing the head of state, as he portrayed President James Marshall in "Air Force One."

"There's a dynamic between President Ross and Sam Wilson," Feige continued. "They have a history together, but in this film, we'll be seeing the dynamic between Captain America and the president of the United States in a way that is just incredible." 

Ford's presence alone will give credence to the role of Thunderbolt Ross, but don't let the fact that the actor is 80 years old fool anyone. A stunt double and the special effects would undoubtedly do all the heavy lifting, but Ford's unique physicality and indistinguishable, gruff voice would make the MCU's Red Hulk undeniably his.