7 Characters Daniel Brühl Could Play In 'Captain America: Civil War'

Marvel announced last week that Inglourious Basterds star Daniel Brühl would be joining Captain America: Civil War. That in itself is big news, because Brühl is a great actor and we're always happy to see him. But what really got fans buzzing was Marvel's decision not to offer any hints whatsoever abut his role. That opened the door to a whole lot of guesses, some more out there than others, and we got to wondering whether Marvel might be keeping his character a secret for a reason.

Officially, the studio has said only that Brühl would appear in Captain America: Civil War and that they're excited about his "ability to deliver intense, nuanced performances." However, the trades soon reported that Brühl would be playing a villain (though maybe not the main villain), and that he could return in Doctor Strange as the big bad for that film. So who is Daniel Bruhl playing in Captain America: Civil War, really? Hit the jump for our best guesses.

Baron Mordo

Baron Mordo

Baron Mordo is one of the most popular guesses for Brühl's role, and he does seem like one of the more likely ones. As one of the earliest and best known members of the Doctor Strange rogues gallery, he would be an obvious choice for the Doctor Strange villain. Which, of course, would fit with reports that Brühl will play a big bad role in the Doctor Strange standalone. Karl Mordo is a Transylvanian nobleman who is already studying under the sorcerer known as the Ancient One when Stephen Strange shows up for training. The two become enemies when Mordo plots to kill the Ancient One, and Strange works to stop him.

The question is what Baron Mordo would be doing in Captain America: Civil War. Mordo doesn't really have that much to do with Captain America or the Civil War in the comics. Still, it wouldn't be impossible for Marvel to find some excuse to bring him into the big-screen adaptation of that story, especially since Brühl is reportedly not the main villain of Captain America: Civil War. This might be a good way for Marvel to set up the magic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since Captain America: Civil War opens just six months before Doctor Strange.

Baron Zemo

Baron Zemo

Another very popular guess going around is Baron Zemo. His name may sound similar to Baron Mordo's for the uninitiated, and indeed some have theorized that the trades simply mixed up Zemo and Mordo. However, the two are actually quite distinct. Baron Zemo is mainly a Captain America villain, meaning he doesn't quite mesh with the rumor about Brühl playing the main antagonist in Doctor Strange. But the Doctor Strange casting is still unconfirmed by Marvel, anyway.

There are actually many Baron Zemos in the comics, but the two best known are Heinrich Zemo and his son Helmut Zemo. Heinrich is a prominent Nazi scientist who was eventually killed in a battle with Captain America. Helmut went after Captain America to avenge his father, and eventually took over the Baron Zemo mantle. Though Helmut Zemo is ultimately a villain, he's somewhat morally ambiguous. His motivations are less purely evil compared to other villains, and he sometimes poses as a superhero. He's pretty popular as Cap villains go. It wouldn't be surprising if Marvel wanted to work him in.

During the Civil War, Baron Helmut Zemo plays both sides. Iron Man asks Zemo to recruit villains to the pro-registration side, which Zemo has already been doing; meanwhile, Zemo also goes to Captain America and gives him a key that will break him out of a superhuman prison. We're not sure how Zemo could fit into Doctor Strange, but again, the MCU plays by its own rules.

Red Skull Captain America

Red Skull

Yes, we've already had one Red Skull in the MCU, played by Hugo Weaving, and yes, that character disintegrated at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger. But very few deaths are permanent in comics. In the books, he is able to project his consciousness into another man's body. Maybe in the movies, that body will turn out to be Daniel Brühl's. The guy already has experience playing Nazis, after all.

While the Red Skull does not play a large role in the Civil War itself, he is instrumental the major event that takes place immediately afterward: the death of Captain America. The Red Skull, in the body of Aleksander Lukin, orders Crossbones and a hypnotized Sharon Carter to assassinate Captain America. We've already heard rumors Chris Evans might pass the Captain America mantle to one of his co-stars once his contract is up. If that turns out to be true, it'd make sense for Marvel Studios to bring back Steve Rogers' archnemesis to finish him off.

(Of course, it eventually emerges in the comics that Captain America isn't really dead. As we said, very few deaths are permanent in comics. But that's another story for another time.)

Doctor Faustus

Doctor Faustus

Having Brühl play Captain America villain Doctor Faustus in Captain America: Civil War would make sense on a number of levels. Like Red Skull above, he's not a huge part of the Civil War itself, but if Marvel Studios wants to include the death of Captain America, Faustus is a key player. He's the one who brainwashes Sharon Carter into helping carry out the assassination. Doctor Faustus also happens to be Austrian, and the German Brühl already has the Austrian accent down cold thanks to Rush.

Faustus doesn't really have any superpowers. What he does have is a genius-level intellect and an uncanny knack for manipulating people, plus gadgets, props, chemicals, etc. to get the job done. Though he's not generally associated with Doctor Strange, the fact that he's just a really smart guy with no superpowers might actually make it easier for him to make the leap from a relatively grounded political thriller like Captain America: Civil War to a more fantastical adventure like Doctor Strange. If indeed Brühl is going to be in Doctor Strange, that is.

Dormammu

Dormammu

This one really only makes sense as a guess if the rumor that Brühl will reappear in Doctor Strange as the primary antagonist turns out to be true. That's a big if, since Marvel has confirmed no such thing — they've only revealed that Brühl will be in Captain America: Civil War. The same should be said about our Baron Mordo guess above, but at least Baron Mordo is a human. It wouldn't be that weird for him to pop up in a movie about Earthling politics.

Dormammu, on the other hand, is a mystical being of pure energy who rules the Dark Dimension. He's among the more prominent Doctor Strange villains, but not exactly someone who'd jibe with the more realistic tone of Captain America: Civil War. But hey, he does have human associates and enemies. Perhaps he'll stop by to deal with one of them before going on to antagonize Doctor Strange for real in his standalone.

Spider-Man Civil War

Spider-Man

This one is highly unlikely, first and foremost because Marvel Studios would have to get the Spider-Man rights back from Sony first (or at least strike a deal to borrow him for a little while). Nor does it fit with reports that Brühl will play a villain in both Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. That said, Marvel hasn't actually confirmed Brühl is playing a baddie. And Sony's Spider-Man franchise is floundering badly enough that we even wondered if the recent Marvel event might include an announcement about the studio winning back the rights.

Moreover, Spider-Man plays a huge role in the Civil War storyline in the comics. Essentially, he's caught between the pro-registration forces led by Iron Man and the anti-registration forces led by Captain America. Spider-Man starts out in favor of the act, and even goes as far as to reveal his identity to the public. After he makes some unsettling discoveries, however, he switches over and becomes a staunch opponent of the act.

For his part, Kevin Feige has ducked questions about the possibility of Spider-Man appearing in Civil War. "Anything that wasn't specifically and obviously revealed today is either not true at all, or is still rumor until it is worked out," he said at the Marvel Studios event last month," he said at the Marvel event last month.

MODOK

M.O.D.O.K.

It's not gonna happen. But Christopher Markus can dream.