While Marvel Studios still has yet to announce their final choice for Captain America, they have revealed their choice to play the film’s villain. HeatVision reports that Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, Lord of the Rings) is in final talks to play the villainous Red Skull in The First Avenger: Captain America.
In the comic books, Red Skull is Johann Shmidt, appointed by Adolf Hitler as the “head of Nazi terrorist activities with an additional large role in external espionage and sabotage.” According to Marvel.com:
“Hitler gave Schmidt an unique uniform with a grotesque red skull mask, and he emerged as the Red Skull. His role was the embodiment of Nazi intimidation, while Hitler could remain the popular leader of Germany. … He was spectacularly successful, wreaking havoc throughout Europe in the early stages of World War II. The propaganda effect was so great that the United States government decided to counter it by creating their own equivalent using the recipient of the lost Project Rebirth, Steve Rogers, Captain America. The two counterparts soon clashed in what would be a series of engagements throughout the war, ending with a final battle that left the Skull buried under the rubble of a bombed building. Because he was immediately exposed to an experimental gas there, he remained in suspended animation for decades. Johann was eventually rescued in modern times by the terrorist organization, HYDRA. The Skull quickly subverted a cell to his own ambitions of world conquest and the death of Captain America. “
Discuss: What do you think about Hugo Weaving as Red Skull?
The five remaining contenders “in serious contention” for the role of Captain America are Mike Vogel (Cloverfield), Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), Wilson Bethel (Generation Kill, The Young and the Restless) and Chris Evans (Fantastic Four). In addition to John Krasinski, the list of actors who tested for the role, but are now out of the running includes Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl), Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights), Michael Cassidy (Privileged) or Patrick Flueger (Brothers). The offer for this role will be around $300k for this first film, bundled into the contract that requiremes a nine-film option that will include additional Marvel films. Director Joe Johnston previously stated that casting needed to be complete by March 1st 2010 (a date that has now passed) as filming is set to begin at the end of June in the UK.
- When the shortlist was released on February 24th, it was revealed that Marvel wanted each actor on a 30-day hold during the testing (so that the Ryan Reynolds scenario where he took a role as Green Lantern just as Fox was preparing to commit on an approach to Deadpool won’t be repeated. Fox later moved forward with Reynolds and Deadpool regardless).
- The film will be shot in 2D High Definition, with a visual style Johnston describes as “a bit different,” trying to interpret the visual style of the more recent comics “into a film in a way that I think hasn’t been tried before” [Collider]
- A possible synopsis leaked for the film:
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Born during the Great Depression, Steve Rogers grew up a frail youth in a poor family. Horrified by the newsreel footage of the Nazis in Europe, Rogers was inspired to enlist in the army. However, because of his frailty and sickness, he was rejected. Overhearing the boy’s earnest plea, General Chester Phillips offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a special experiment… Operation: Rebirth. After weeks of tests, Rogers was at last administered the Super-Solider Serum and bombarded by “vita-rays.” Steve Rogers emerged from the treatment with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. Rogers was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program. Three months later, he was given his first assignment as Captain America. Armed with his indestructible shield and battle savvy, Captain America has continued his war against evil both as a sentinel of liberty and as leader of the Avengers.