Though it may have been overshadowed by the many Marvel Studios films to have followed in the time since, I believe that Captain America: The First Avenger still stands as a triumph for the brand. After all, not only was it a great movie to begin with, but it was the first flick featuring the Sentinel of Liberty that didn’t suck.
Speaking of which, I’m sure that I wasn’t the only person who wondered what became of the Red Skull after he was transported to parts unknown by the Tesseract near the end. Truth be told, I was hoping for The Winter Soldier to conclude with a twist revealing that he was Alexander Pierce, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Fortunately, one of comics’ oldest villains did indeed make a surprise return during Avengers: Infinity War in an unforgettable scene shared with Thanos and Gamora. But what may have caught some moviegoers off guard was that it was, in fact, Ross Marquand playing Red Skull instead of Hugo Weaving.
Of course, the original actor was offered the gig first, as in his own words, MCU Cosmic’s Jeremy Conrad heard the Russo Brothers say the following after an Infinity War screening held last night:
“Hugo Weaving was asked to come back for Red Skull.”
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To be honest, Weaving turning down the job doesn’t surprise me at all. In fact, I’m forced to recall what he said while speaking with Collider back in 2012:
“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.”
After digging up that quote, I’m somewhat grateful that the studio didn’t force Weaving to come back. As incredible an actor he is, you wouldn’t want someone working on a project they simply have no interest in. That said, viewers of Avengers: Infinity War were still witness to a long dangling MCU plot thread being wrapped up, regardless. As such, I’ll call it a win.