Red Skull Infinity War

There are a lot of surprises in Avengers: Infinity War, and I’m not just talking about which characters live or die. Below, learn which surprising MCU character ended up being recast for Infinity War. And, of course, beware of spoilers.

SPOILER ALERT

I made that spoiler alert above as big as possible, so please don’t yell at me! Okay, now that that’s out of the way: midway through Avengers: Infinity War, a Marvel Cinematic Universe character we haven’t seen in a long time makes an appearance. It’s Red Skull, the big bad from Captain America: The First Avenger. Red Skull is revealed to be the guardian of the Soul Stone, and he’s also wearing a pretty cool cloak and hood combo to boot.

If you were wondering (as I was) if Red Skull in Infinity War was played by original Red Skull actor Hugo Weaving, here’s your answer: nope.

The Red Skull Infinity War Actor

Ross Marquand, who has appeared on The Walking Dead, took over the part for the latest Marvel sequel. Here’s the actor at the Infinity War premiere, playing coy (h/t Heroic Hollywood).

There were multiple reasons why Red Skull’s appearance in Infinity War seemed so surprising. For one thing, everyone assumed he was probably dead – it looked like he was destroyed at the end of The First Avenger (although a recent Infinity War tie-in comic suggested otherwise).

Another big reason folks weren’t expecting to see Red Skull: Hugo Weaving, who played the character in First Adventure, was adamant about never returning. When asked if he’d ever return to play Red Skull, the actor said:

“I [signed a multi-picture deal] for Captain America. I think the tendency, with those films, would be to probably not bring a villain back. They might for The Avengers, but I didn’t think I’d be in Captain America 2 or 3. I don’t think Red Skull will be there. And it’s not something I would want to do again. I’m glad I did it. I did sign up for a number of pictures and I suppose, contractually, I would be obliged to, if they forced me to, but they wouldn’t want to force someone to do it, if they didn’t want to. I think I’ve done my dash with that sort of film. It was good to do it and try it out, but to be honest, it’s not the sort of film I seek out and really am excited by. As an actor, to do all sorts of different films is great. It stretches you in different ways. But, I increasingly like to go back to what I used to always do, which is to get involved with projects that I really have a personal affiliation with.”

I have to say, Marvel did a very good job keeping Red Skull’s Infinity War appearance under wraps. When the character showed up on the screen in Infinity War, several members of my audience gasped. I, too, was surprised, and wondered if Marvel and Disney had maybe, just maybe, talked Weaving into returning for a super-quick cameo. But I suppose that since Red Skull is a character buried under makeup (and also CGI), it wasn’t necessary to get Weaving to come back.

Avengers: Infinity War is now playing in theaters everywhere.

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