civil war baron zemo

As the very positive reviews for Captain America: Civil War have begun to arrive on the internet, many critics have addressed how well the movie has been sold to audiences. It seems that the important beats, characters, and sequences have been left out of the marketing altogether, preserving more than a few surprises for audiences who buy tickets for the film when it opens in a few weeks. One those characters absent from every trailer, clip, TV spot, and poster is Baron Zemo, the old school Captain America villain who is played by Rush and Inglourious Basterds star Daniel Brühl in the film.

And while we’ll probably have to wait until the film is released to get a look at the character in motion or to hear him speak, the first official look at the character is here and…well, it’s not what you’d expect.

In the Marvel comics, Baron Zemo is a psychotic Nazi scientist (or the son of said scientist, depending on the decade) with a vendetta against Captain America. He wears a distinct purple face mask and his powers fluctuate from storyline to storyline, depending on which artifacts and gadgets he has in his arsenal at the time. And in Captain America: Civil War, he looks like this (via Entertainment Weekly):

civil war baron zemo

Yeah, he looks like Daniel Brühl with glasses. Which feels like a bit of a bummer. Then again, I haven’t seen Civil War yet, so there’s always a chance he dons his famous look at some point in the movie. After all, they’ve kept him out of the spotlight for this long – if he does end up actually looking like Baron Zemo in the movie, why spoil it now?

The exact nature of Zemo’s role in the film hasn’t been spelled out in any of the official materials, but those early reviews have indicated that he is essentially the Lex Luthor-in-BatmanvSuperman of this movie, pulling the strings from behind-the-scenes and watching the heroes squirm. Joe Russo, who directed the film with Anthony Russo, had very little to add:

He’s still similar to what you know of Zemo, a revenge character.

This new image came as part of a larger gallery, which was accompanied by various quotes from the Russos. You can explore the whole thing at the link above (and there’s some good stuff there), but here’s a sample from Joe Russo, talking about how the film will shatter the friendship between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark:

It’s super important to us that you have a very difficult time choosing who you’re rooting for. It doesn’t break down very cleanly in the movie. There’s a theme of brotherhood and rivalry between Cap and Tony that goes to some very complicated places.

Captain America: Civil War opens on May 6, 2016.

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