Although we’ve known for almost two months that Hugo Weaving would be playing the Red Skull in The First Avenger: Captain America, Marvel has confirmed it today with an official announcement.

Weaving was the first actor confirmed in talks with Marvel Studios for a role in the Captain America movie and entered negotiations before the rumor frenzy for the title role hit its peak. Weaving joins Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes.

Here are the key parts of the press release:

Marvel Studios announced today that Hugo Weaving has been cast to star as Johann Schmidt aka the Red Skull in the studio’s highly anticipated movie CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER opposite Chris Evans and Hayley Atwell.  In the early comics, Johann Schmidt was drafted into loyal service of The Third Reich and renamed “The Red Skull”.  The character will be updated for the feature adaptation.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America.

Weaving was last seen in THE WOLFMAN and his voice is very recognizable as Megatron from TRANSFORMERS and TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN as well as Noah the Elder from HAPPY FEET.  His other film credits include starring in V FOR VENDETTA, THE MATRIX franchise, and THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy.

Weaving’s powerful voice and presence on screen, even with his face concealed, makes him a fantastic choice to play the Red Skull opposite the star-spangled Avenger in the Captain America movie.

The press release points out that the character will be updated for the adaptation and I’m curious what differences we’ll witness from the translation from page to film. I’m sure the look of the Red Skull’s actual face won’t be as extreme as we see in the books, but I wonder how they’ll handle the practical effects if they go that route.

Director Joe Johnston, who worked with Weaving previously on The Wolfman, is helming The First Avenger: Captain America off a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

What are your thoughts on the cast of Captain America so far?

The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes