While the selection process for the title role in The First Avenger: Captain America winds down, we now at least have what may become the first official casting addition for Marvel’s World War 2 era epic.

According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog, actor Hugo Weaving is in final talks to play the lead villain know as the Red Skull in the Captain America origins film.

The ball started rolling for the production of Captain America last month when director Joe Johnston was doing press for his the long-delayed release of The Wolfman which also stars Hugo Weaving. In interviews and Q&A sessions, Johnston revealed several major details about the Captain America film and casting process of the title character, notably that the Red Skull would be the feature villain of the movie as expected.

While not yet finalized, we can expect an announcement regarding Hugo Weaving’s involvement to be made soon and hopefully that will come with news of who they select to play Steve Rogers as well. Speaking of the star-spangled Avenger, as far as we know, the final candidates for Captain America currently include Wilson Bethel, Mike Vogel, Garrett Hedlund and Chris Evans but it’s very possible there are others still reading for the part or being considered.

We all know Mr. Weaving for his trademark voice and dominating screen presence as a villain in The Matrix trilogy and a hero in Lord of the Rings, and many comic book fans had him as a favorite for the villainous role of Sinestro in DC Entertainment’s Green Lantern. Mark Strong got that role instead and Marvel Studios gets to take advantage with Weaving’s talent.

Weaving is no stranger to taking on roles where his face is concealed and where the audience is subject only to his voice. We saw this in V for Vendetta and more recently as the voice of Megatron in both Transformers movies.

For me this is a great choice of an actor to join the Captain America cast and it fits in line with Marvel’s strategy of choosing a relative unknown as the lead to be surrounded by a supporting cast of known and experienced actors.

If you’re looking for my guess at who they are leaning towards for Cap, there’s an obvious interest in Garrett Hedlund who hadn’t even tested for the part and that no doubt comes from the higher ups at Disney who have him as the lead in Tron Legacy.  That’s easy cross-marketing but I’ve not lost confidence that Robert Buckley is still involved in the process, possible to play the role of Bucky if not the Captain himself.

What are your thoughts?

Iron Man 2 opens May 7, 2010, Thor opens May 5, 2011 , 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

Source: THR