While the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War will pit Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) against one another, there will, in fact, be a far more nefarious villain lurking behind the scenes. And German actor Daniel Bruhl will be playing him. Who exactly will Bruhl be playing, you ask? Thanks to a casting call from MovieCastingCall.org, it seems the Inglourious Basterds star will be the iconic villain Baron Zemo.
Marvel originally confirmed that Bruhl would be part of the cast back in November, but declined to specify the part. Many — ourselves included — had speculated that Bruhl would be playing the part of Baron Zemo in the sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Considering that in the original Civil War comic, Red Skull was involved behind the scenes — and Hugo Weaving doesn’t want to reprise his role — it makes sense that Kevin Feige and company would look to another famously evil Nazi character from the Marvel Universe.
For those of you who don’t know, Baron Zemo, who first debuted in The Avengers #4 in 1964, was a sadistic Nazi scientist who created weapons of mass destruction for Hitler’s regime. After he was killed by his own hand during a standoff with Captain America, his son, Helmut Zero, adopted his father’s villainous identity and spent years terrorizing the Avengers before reemerging as the leader of the Thunderbolts, a group of supervillans posing as superheroes. For more info on what this might mean for a Thunderbolts film, check out this conversation between Brian Walton and I:
The casting call also suggested that Captain America: Civil War will draw from the original Civil War comic series and focus on the fight between Captain American and Iron Man over the Superhuman Registration Act, a piece of legislation that would cause all superheroes to register themselves with the government. In the original series, Spider-Man played a pivotal role, but rights issues will keep Peter Parker out of the story for now; rather, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is expected to fill that role, and make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the process. Sorry, Spider-Fans — there’s still hope for Infinity War.
All of this, of course, will set up the epic sequel Captain America: Zemo Dark Thirty that will lead to an international manhunt for the magenta-masked madman. I would also settle for an adaptation of Under Siege or, at the bare minimum, the seeds that could one day blossom into a James Gunn-directed Thunderbolts movie. All questions will be answered when Captain America: Civil War debuts on May 6, 2016.
What do you think of Bruhl playing Baron Zemo? Are you ready for Civil War? Let us know in the comments below.