The internet has been buzzing in recent weeks over news concerning the upcoming two Avengers movies, Infinity War and an as-yet-untitled follow-up. First, it was confirmed by Vin Diesel that the Guardians of the Galaxy would be involved. Then we learned that Steve Rogers has left the mantle of Captain America behind after the events in Civil War. Yesterday, we got one more little gem from directors Joe and Anthony Russo: Josh Brolin on set as Thanos.
A cosmic supervillain in the Marvel comic universe, Thanos first appeared (silently) in a mid-credits scene in the first Avengers movie. After showing up again in Guardians of the Galaxy (again, without much to say), we finally heard Brolin’s voice coming from the character during a mid-credits scene in Age of Ultron. Now, at long last, the mad king of Titan is here to face off against Earth’s mightiest heroes.
While Infinity War looks to be the culmination of what the MCU has been leading up to, here’s a look back at some of the one-off actors who made memorable appearances, as well as the likelihood that we might be seeing them in action once again.
Jeff Bridges – Iron Man
An actor who can shift seamlessly between genres, Jeff Bridges was an ideal choice for the MCU’s first supervillain, industrialist Obadiah Stane in 2008’s Iron Man. Filmed during the writers’ strike of 2007, which meant “they had no script, man,” Bridges still managed to craft a convincing portrayal of a cold-hearted magnate bent on destroying his partner, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr). By the end of the film, Stane had donned the Iron Monger armor and engaged Tony in battle, eventually meeting his fate when he falls into a reactor at Stark Industries.
Chance he’ll return: It could happen. It turns out, Bridges was supposed to survive that final battle, and Marvel had plans to write him into future installments before changing course and killing off his character. In a Facebook Q&A given by Bridges in 2015, the studio reassured him by saying “It’s a comic-fantasy, so who knows, your character could come back.”
Tim Roth – The Incredible Hulk
The esteemed British actor played Royal Marine-turned-Abomination Emil Bronsky in The Incredible Hulk, released the same summer as Iron Man. He approached the part with his usual gusto, portraying a character with enormous moxie who, after his first taste of Gamma radiation, wasn’t afraid to stand up to the Hulk. Of course, by the time he is fully transformed he proves to be a terrifying adversary for the Hulk, and the two end up leveling most of Harlem in their final showdown.
Chance he’ll return: Possible. While Hulk definitely wins the fight, there was, according to Roth and director Louis Leterrier, they also shot an unused post-credits scene that showed Bronsky chained inside a tiny metal cell. Later, there was a plan to have Abomination return as a villain in the sequel to The Avengers, which were eventually scrapped as well. Although, given that another Hulk stand-alone has yet to materialize, we might not be hearing much from Abomination in the near future.