Red Skull Actor Says He Didn’t Return Because Marvel Was Impossible

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Seven years after his debut in Captain America: The First Avenger, Red Skull finally returned via a surprising cameo in Avengers: Infinity Warwhich revealed that the former HYDRA leader had become the guardian of the Soul Stone on the planet Vormir. The villain then reappeared in the same capacity in Avengers: Endgame.

The Walking Dead star Ross Marquand did a great job as the character in both of these movies, but fans have always wondered why original actor Hugo Weaving didn’t come back. And now, he’s finally explained why.

In contrast to all the talk of him not enjoying playing the part, Weaving clarified in an interview with Yahoo! that he “loved” being Johann Schmidt. He even originally signed up to portray him three times, as he would’ve done if he had returned for Infinity War and Endgame. However, renegotiations over how much the star would be paid for his roles in those films is what resulted in him ultimately deciding to relinquish the part, leaving Marvel to recast him with Marquand.

“Oh, yeah. I loved playing that character Red Skull – it was a lot of fun. We were all obliged to sign up for three pictures: I was thinking [Red Skull] probably wouldn’t come back in Captain America but he may well come back as a villain in The Avengers. By then, they’d pushed back on the contracts that we agreed on and so the money they offered me for The Avengers was much less than I got for the very first one, and this was for two films. And the promise when we first signed the contracts was that the money would grow each time. They said: ‘It’s just a voice job, it’s not a big deal.’ I actually found negotiating with them through my agent impossible. And I didn’t really wanna do it that much. But I would have done it.”

The Russo brothers revealed in 2018 that Weaving had been asked back for IW, but declined to go into details about why things didn’t work out. Now we know the reason, and their reluctance to discuss contract negotiations in public makes sense in hindsight.

Weaving and Marvel might not have been able to agree on terms for these movies, but could they in the future? Well, We Got This Covered has reported that the studio still has plans for the villain, but would Marquand be invited back for a larger role or would they try landing Weaving again? It’s possible the split he speaks of above soured their relationship too much, but you never know. In either case, Marvel found a more than capable replacement in Marquand and the Red Skull‘s in safe hands no matter what happens.

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