As fans already know, the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie will contain just about every character and their mother (I’m looking at you, Agent Sharon Carter – let’s get that Peggy Carter connection officially established already!). Obviously, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but there are so many already-established characters in this film that fans have taken to calling it The Avengers 2.5 instead. We’ve also been told that there are new characters involved – and one of the biggest casting mysteries to date has been the question of what role Martin Freeman will play in the story. We’re happy to report that the wait is over.
According to new information as reported by an article in Empire, Freeman is playing Everett Ross, who works in the US government as the foreign liaison to the country of Wakanda. The connection to Wakanda, of course, is already brewing in the MCU; in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, audiences heard talk of the fictional African country as the sole source of the rare metal Vibranium, which Ulysses Klaue (played by Andy Serkis) was established to have stolen large amounts of (also in Age of Ultron). The country was also seen briefly on a map in the background of a conversation between Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and Tony Stark (plated by Robert Downey, Jr.) in Iron Man 2.
In the comics, Ross is somewhat of a slapstick character, often finding himself in odd situations and comedic exchanges. While it would make sense to utilize a comedic actor like Freeman in that regard, it is as of yet unknown if that will be the case. Freeman himself has previously spoken, albeit a bit vaguely, about his character in the film:
He works for the American government. He works in conjunction with the superheroes, and certain agencies that help to tame the superheroes’ power, I suppose. So you’re not quite sure which side he’s on. It looks a little bit like he’s playing one game when actually he’s playing another. It’s the kind of character I like because it’s ambiguous and because you don’t know whether he’s good or bad. I like that area that isn’t black or white, I like the grays, because I think there’s just more fun to be had in not playing one obvious line.
Also in the comic books, Everett Ross is not directly related to General Thaddeus Ross (played by William Hurt), who we will also be seeing in Civil War as one of the largest champions of the Sokovia Accords (the superhero registration act that triggers the whole Captain America/Iron Man hullabaloo).
In addition to the above picture of Freeman on set with the aforementioned Sharon Carter (played by Emily VanCamp), here are a few other recently-released images from the film. Captain America: Civil War opens on May 23, 2016.