When the Red Skull vanished at the end of ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’, it was done in such a way that it would be possible for him to return. But after he didn’t resurface for several movies, most assumed they’d seen the last of the renegade Nazi. But then he popped up in a surprising new role in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, but a lot of things had changed. He was no longer the Nazi leader with enhanced Super Soldier abilities. He was now a floating specter and the guardian of the Soul Stone in the realm of Vormir. And he was played by a different actor.
Hugo Weaving portrayed the villain in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’, but when the character returned in ‘Infinity War’, he was played by ‘The Walking Dead’s Ross Marquand, a performer noted for his ability to mimic other celebrity voices, including, apparently, that of Weaving. But it seems that Marvel Studios did approach Weaving, but he declined because they wanted to slash his salary.
Speaking to Time Out, he disclosed:
“Oh, yeah. I loved playing that character Red Skull – it was a lot of fun. We were all obliged to sign up for three pictures: I was thinking [Red Skull] probably wouldn’t come back in ‘Captain America’ but he may well come back as a villain in ‘The Avengers’. By then, they’d pushed back on the contracts that we agreed on and so the money they offered me for ‘The Avengers’ was much less than I got for the very first one, and this was for two films. And the promise when we first signed the contracts was that the money would grow each time. They said: ‘It’s just a voice job, it’s not a big deal’. I actually found negotiating with them through my agent impossible. And I didn’t really wanna do it that much. But I would have done it.”
To be honest, The Red Skull is slathered under so much makeup that it’s hard to tell who is underneath. And there were so many characters — and as a result, so many actors — in ‘Infinity War’, it’s actually understandable that Disney tried to cut corners where they could.
So, Marquand assumed the role and returned in ‘Endgame’.
Were you disappointed that Hugo Weaving didn’t reprise the role of The Red Skull? How did Marquand measure up?