A little over a month from now, Phase 2 of the shared Marvel cinematic universe will officially commence with the release of Iron Man 3. Production of Thor: The Dark World the next entry in the sequence leading to The Avengers 2 in 2015 – is already underway, leaving only Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier to start shooting.

While both of those movies are well on their way toward rolling camera, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has seen a flurry of recent activity. After the interesting news late last week that Robert Redford was interested in joining the production, we now have received a casting update that will please fans of the Captain America comics and – oddly enough – mixed martial arts.

Latino Review has shared the scoop that MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre has been chosen to play the larcenous Batroc the Leaper in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He joins two other confirmed villains for the project – Crossbones (Frank Grillo) and the returning Arnim Zola (Toby Jones).

St-Pierre (a.k.a. GSP), a native of French-speaking Quebec, is a multi-title-winning favorite of the UFC circuit. He is a practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, and kyokushin kaikan. He currently holds the UFC’s Welterweight Championship title.

Batroc first appeared in 1966 and has remained one of the Marvel Universe’s most enduring (and endearing) villains. A French mercenary in peak human physical condition, Batroc has regularly opposed Captain America (despite having no superpowers to speak of). Known for his garish outfit, awesome facial hair, and overall sense of joi de vivre, Batroc has a strict code of honor that has seen him turn on his more vile employers. Batroc’s track record of failure against Captain America is so extensive that it has become a running gag. Nonetheless, the character is well-liked by fans and has been consistently shown as a canny, ingenious fighter.

St-Pierre has very little professional acting experience, having appeared only in MMA-themed, low-budget titles such as Never Surrender, Death Warrior, and Hell’s Chain. As such, it’s not a great leap (ugh) to assume that Batroc’s role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier will almost entirely be a physical one. If Batroc is indeed only appearing in the movie to engage in an acrobatic fight sequence or two, this will probably not be a problem.

At the same time, it’s somewhat disappointing that we probably won’t see the grinning, scenery-chewing Batroc of the comics pages. Given that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is being positioned as a somewhat darker, more politically minded follow-up to the pulp adventure of its predecessor, this isn’t terribly surprising.

At the very least, St-Pierre’s presence on the cast guarantees at least one serious hand-to-hand fight scene. Here’s to hoping that the movie’s production designers decide to keep the mustache.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier will leap into theaters on April 4th, 2014.

Source: Latino Review