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|Appeared in||The Incredible Hulk|
|Actor||Tim Blake Nelson|
- "I've always been more curious than cautious, and that's served me pretty well so far."
- ―Samuel Sterns[src]
Professor Samuel Sterns is a cellular biologist who may be able to find a cure for Bruce Banner.
Sterns was initially a scientific ally to an on-the-run Bruce Banner and they communicated with each other as Mr. Green and Mr. Blue while collaborating to find a cure for Bruce's condition. Upon meeting in the flesh, Dr. Samuel Sterns was shown to be an eccentric man who was infatuated with the potential power of gamma-radiation. After witnessing Banner transform into the Hulk as a test and successfully reverting him back with their finalized supressant, it was revealed that he had been experimenting with Bruce's blood samples on animal test subjects without Bruce's knowledge. He was physically threatened by Emil Blonsky who desired to be further mutated. Sterns eagerly complied. Once Blonsky mutated, he became insane and proceeded to injure Sterns and demolish his lab. Sterns was accidentally infected with Banner's blood via an open wound on his forehead and he was last seen with his head expanding as he smiled in joy.
Fury's Big Week
Sterns' mutation has gone wild, and his brain power has incremented exponentially, to the point his cranium was expanded and deformed. He's found by Natasha Romanoff, who has a brief dialogue with him, during which Sterns identifies Black Widow's birth place from a hint of accent in her voice. Sterns then attempts to bribe her, promising he'll help her come back to Stalingrad, but Natasha shoots him the leg and arrests him, blowing him off as he threatens to kill her. Sterns is now in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s custody referred to as "Project: Mr. Blue".
According to actor Tim Blake Nelson, "Sterns is brilliant, but he is also ethically challenged." He goes on to explain that Sterns wants to continue to make discoveries, and doesn't worry too much about good or bad.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (1 film)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (1 comic)
Behind the scenes
- In the comics, Sterns becomes The Leader, Banner's archnemesis. This transformation is foreshadowed in the film, when he begins mutating after being exposed to Banner's blood.
- In the original comic, Sterns was not a scientist, but instead was a menial laborer with only average intelligence. He was exposed to gamma radiation while he was transporting hazardous materials. Also, he became the Leader before Banner became the Hulk.
- Sterns uses the online name Mr. Blue to communicate with Banner. In the comic, Mr. Blue was an alias used by Betty Ross to keep in contact with a fugitive Banner.
- James Schamus had begun work on the script for a sequel before the release of Hulk and early drafts featured the Leader and Abomination. Though he appeared as the main villain in the video game, taking place after the 2003 movie.