Though it was rumored months ago, Marvel Studios has officially announced that actor Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith in The Matrix, among others) has been cast as the main antagonist, the Red Skull, in Joe Johnston’s upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger.
The news doesn’t come as much of a shock, even without the rumors. Weaving has made himself known as one of the top character actors to play a marketable villain since his work in The Matrix, and has even reprrised his badassery in Michael Bay’s Transformers films as Megatron. Also, director Johnston just finished and released The Wolfman for Universal, which cast Weaving as one of the main characters.
In the film, the character is said to be an updated version of the villain we know from the comics. In this incarnation, Johann Schmidt is drafted into the Third Reich and given the codename “The Red Skull.” In the comics, Schmidt is given the name due to an accident that caused his head to be…a red skull. Whether or not they will actually put Weaving in tons of makeup has yet to be announced.
The film also stars Sebastian Stan (Hot Tub Time Machine) as Bucky Barnes, Hayley Atwell (The Prisoner) as Peggy Carter, and Chris Evans as the titular Captain America. Captain America: The First Avenger is currently set to hit theaters on July 22, 2011.