Though Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and his super-powered cohorts will already have their hands full with the sentient, near-invincible cyborg Ultron (James Spader) in 2015′s Avengers: Age of Ultron, director Joss Whedon is adding another antagonist to make life even more difficult for the superhero team.
According to Hitfix, Marvel is currently searching for a physically imposing, Caucasian male in his 40s or 50s to portray HYDRA leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. Their confirmation comes on the heels of an initial report from Latino Review.
In the comics, Strucker was a seemingly immortal Nazi leader who showed up repeatedly over the years to menace S.H.I.E.L.D. head honcho Nick Fury and the Avengers. A brilliant mind and skilled swordsman, Strucker often proved himself to be a formidable opponent.
HYDRA previously showed up in Captain America: The First Avenger, when the titular captain (Chris Evans) battled Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) for control of a Cosmic Cube that proved essential to the plot of The Avengers. The direct sequel to that film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, hits theaters next April, so we can likely expect at least a cameo in that film to set up Strucker’s role in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Hitfix describes Strucker’s role in the sequel as follows:
In “Age Of Ultron,” Baron Von Strucker is the initial threat, the guy they’re fighting at the start of the film. He does not have a major ongoing role in the film, but he is responsible for bringing Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch into contact with the Avengers in the first place, since they start the film working either with or or the Baron. If you look at this like a James Bond movie, Von Strucker’s the bad guy they’ll take care of in the pre-credits sequence before they move into the main story. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch have a complicated journey in this film, and the question of whether they’re good or bad is one of the big things driving the movie overall.
Marvel previously cast Aaron Taylor-Johnson as speedster Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as his sister, the reality-manipulating Scarlet Witch. Today’s an unusually lucrative day for Avengers scoops – it’s rare that a character and his role in the story are both revealed at once, but the past few hours have seen confirmation of Strucker’s involvement as well as elaboration on his instrumental role in uniting Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch with the rest of the Avengers.
Latino Review adds that Marvel has already narrowed their scope to two actors for the part: Marton Csokas and Dougray Scott. It has not been confirmed that either actor has even been approached about the role yet, but both actors do fit squarely into the casting call descrption. Csokas was previously seen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and as the lead character in DirecTV’s original series Rogue. Meanwhile, Scott is best known for his roles in Mission: Impossible II and the Netflix original series Hemlock Grove.
Are you excited to see Whedon expand his cast of characters with Baron von Strucker? Sound off in the comments section!
Avengers: Age of Ultron drops May 1st, 2015.