In this day and age, it’s becoming increasingly annoying that actors in comic book movies are being cast in mystery roles– kept under wraps for fear of spoiling parts of the movie. It makes a certain amount of sense, as these are adaptations from existing stories, but it can prove frustrating to fans who want a better idea of what the movie is about and to those that then spend additional hours contemplating and speculating as to the nature of these roles. Well, at least in one case, worry no more. ‘Captain America: Civil War’ is still not due until May, but at least one mystery has been solved: Martin Freeman‘s part.
Over the past year, much time has been invested into sussing out his part, with all involved with the film sworn to secrecy but willing to drop tantalizing clues.
First, ‘Civil War’ (the comic book) writer Mark Millar stated:
“The character is not a super-person, it’s somebody who’s… well, I don’t want to spoil it for anybody but he’s not going to be in costume…Once you get to see it, it’s so obvious. All I’ll say is, he’s not the Red Skull.”
Then Freeman himself offered a bit more insight, saying:
“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.”
Well, the answer is here at long last!
Yep, Martin Freeman is officially playing one of the roles that many fans had previously guessed, Everett K. Ross, a U.S. State Department employee whose job it was to escort visiting dignitaries. He just happened to be an expert on the African nation of Wakanda, the Marvel Universe’s sole source of the indestructible metal Vibranium. Wakanda is, not coincidentally, governed over by the Black Panther, a super hero who will be debuting in ‘Civil War’ (played by Chadwick Boseman) before spinning off into his own movie in 2018. (Also, Captain America’s shield is made of Vibranium.)
Already, in 2015’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, the character Ulysses Klaue was introduced, played by Andy Serkis, an actor most known for his motion capture performances. In the comics, Black Panther’s arch enemy Ulysses Klaw is composed of pure living sound, so rendering him in MoCap once he gains his powers would make sense and casting the world’s leader in MoCap performances makes even more. (Serkis has performed as Supreme Leader Snoke in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘, Caesar in the ‘Planet of the Apes’ movies, Golum in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ series, King Kong in the 2005 remake, and of course, the least lifelike of all fashion editor Richard in ’13 Going On 30′.)
Having Serkis and Freeman in ‘Black Panther’ means that the pair will be having a mini-‘Hobbit’ (redundant) reunion.
In the comics, the character of Everett K. Ross is used as, ahem, comic relief, as his creator Christopher Priest confessed he was inspired by two of the whitest sitcom characters ever, Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) from ‘Friends’ and Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) from ‘Family Ties’. In ‘Black Panther’ (the comic), he is also used as the audience-identifying character, an average person thrust into extraordinary situations involving super humans.
Freeman’s strength has always been playing an everyman. His big break was portraying Tim, the lead on the original version of ‘The Office’ (Jim in the American version, played by John Krazinski). And he’s parlayed that into playing a stream of Joe Average characters like Bilbo in ‘The Hobbit’ series, Watson on ‘Sherlock’, Arthur Dent in ‘The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’, porno stand-in John in ‘Love Actually’ and many more.
Just a personal musing but, Marvel lost their major likeable everyman when Agent Phil Coulson was killed off in ‘The Avengers’. And ever since Marvel Studios (who produce the movies) broke away from Marvel Entertainment (who handle the TV shows and comics), the ties between the two have noticeably weakened. Despite his being resurrected for the ABC TV series ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, there has been no move to bring Coulson back to the Cinematic Universe. Nor has there been ANY reference to the TV shows in the movies. Could Ross be the new Coulson?
What do you think? Will Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross make a good addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? (Just to make it easy for you, the answer is YES, Martin Freeman as anybody is a marvelous addition to anything!) Ahem, but sound off with your opinions in the comments section below!
‘Captain America: Civil War’ directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and starring Chris Evans,Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Daniel Brühl, Emily Van Camp, Martin Freeman, Chadwick Boseman, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, and William Hurt opens in theaters on May 6, 2016.
‘Black Panther’ directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman, Andy Serkis and presumably Martin Freeman arrives on February 16, 2018.
Source: Movie Web