Tim Roth Revealed His Surprising Reaction When Asked To Return To Marvel

Tim Roth was just as surprised as any of us to find himself back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and his reaction was priceless.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

tim roth

Sometimes, it feels like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is on a quest to include every single hero, villain, and minor background character that has ever been included in decades of comic book history. That would explain why pop star Harry Styles is suddenly on-screen as fourth-tier tertiary cosmic being Starfox or why Batroc the Leaper (played by MMA legend Georges St-Pierre) somehow merits being a recurring villain. But even with guys like that around, it was still surprising for Tim Roth to resurface as the Abomination in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. According to Tim Roth himself, it was so surprising, he actually laughed in Marvel’s face when they offered to bring him back. 

We speak metaphorically, of course. According to a recent interview with IGN, Tim Roth says he laughed when he got the phone call that Marvel Studios wanted him to reprise the character of Emil Blonsky because he was just so surprised about it. Join the club, Tim Roth. Anyway, he went on to say that he thought the future plans for the Abomination were “wonderful, and impossible, and mad… It also in a sense was nice because then I could revisit my kids’ childhood.” That part makes sense, considering the last time Tim Roth played the role of one of the Incredible Hulk’s longtime adversaries was all the way back in 2008. Back then, the Hulk was played by Edward Norton, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still working out what it wanted to be, and there was no indication that we were going to get another look at Emil Blonsky after he was nearly choked to death by a giant green rage monster. 

2022 is a very different time from 2008, and so we have gotten a bit more Tim Roth as Abomination, which makes us happy. We first saw the character (in giant scaly monster form) return in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, battling Wong (Benedict Wong) in an underground fighting club. It seemed to be an odd, but fun cameo, but now turns out to be part of the plot of the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Now we have gotten to see Tim Roth back in both human and mutated forms, retaining the legal assistance of Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) as he pleads for parole. So far in the series, the character has been played a bit for humor (fitting the tone of the show), so it will be interesting to see if Tim Roth’s new, mellow attitude is genuine or a ploy for freedom. 

According to the IGN interview, Tim Roth says he did have conversations with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and the late Stan Lee about the future of the Abomination, and the original idea was that he had been sealed up in an impregnable container and dropped to the bottom of the ocean. It seems Marvel decided to go a different, more yoga-based direction for Emil Blonsky, and we are pretty fine with that.