Hugo Weaving isn’t a stranger when it comes to playing characters from comic book adaptations, and he certainly isn’t a stranger when it comes to the wider geek-friendly community. With iconic roles such as Agent Smith in the Wachowski’s Matrix trilogy, and V in their Alan Moore adaptation of V for Vendetta (…it received a somewhat mixed response – but there is no doubting Weaving’s talent at being able to express emotion whilst wearing a mask), he has also played Elrond in Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and voiced Megatron in Michael Bay‘s Transformers (which is actually not bad in comparison to the sequels) and finally, he’s played the red-faced power-hungry Nazi Red Skull in the first installment of Captain America: The First Avenger (in which he turned in a great performance).
Back in 2012, after the release of Captain America: The First Avenger, he was quite vocal about his reluctance to return to the role when speaking to numerous media outlets while out doing promotional duties. In particular, when speaking to The Escapist he elaborated on his experience portraying the character of Red Skull (*cough* Hail Hydra *cough*):
“I think I’ve done my dash with that sort of film,” Weaving said. “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.”
Weaving did acknowledge that if Marvel did ask him to come back, that he was contractually obliged to do so, but wasn’t too worried about the situation:
“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.”
He also didn’t think that Marvel had any plans to bring the character back (…however, considering the villainous Red Skull is up there with the likes of Doctor Doom and Magneto in the Marvel Comic Universe, this is slightly surprising coming from Weaving). This is what he had to say:
“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.”
Now that there has been talk of a return of Red Skull in Captain America: Civil War, as although he may have disintegrated touching the Tesseract at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, that doesn’t necessarily mean he died. After all, this is a comic book inspired universe. He could have somehow returned to Earth in a new body, with the intention of seeking revenge on Captain America.
But, although Weaving still has no interest in returning to the role of Red Skull in Captain America: Civil War, he hasn’t completely ruled it out, as reported by ComicBookMovie. Here is what Weaving had to say on reprising his role:
“I have not really changed my opinion about not wanting to do another Captain America,” Weaving explained. “It was fun to do. It was a very great thing to do in many ways, but I suppose my focus is more likely to be elsewhere, but who knows.”
It is interesting to note the disclaimer at the end of the quote; the diplomatic never-say-never, so to speak. Therefore, it seems Weaving hasn’t completely ruled out his returning providing the backdoor clause that:
“It’s always good to keep your your options open and your mind open [as] …certain circumstances do change.”
Captain America: Civil War could do just fine without the inclusion of Red Skull as Captain America is already taking on Iron Man, the United States Government and an unknown foe played by Daniel Brühl (which many believe to be Baron Zemo). So, it could become slightly overkill adding another villain into an already tumultuous conflict. Also, Frank Grillo has taken to Twitter recently and also spoken about Marvel wanting him to return to the third film – announcing that he was summoned to go in for a body scan so that his costume would “fit like a glove.” Also, Weaving has stated that he has not heard from Marvel and with a 2015 production looming for Civil War, they are leaving it a bit late it they do intend to ask Weaving to return, especially knowing about his reluctance to come back.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6, 2016.