‘The Avengers’ Movie Could Have Featured The Red Skull

Published 3 years ago by

Red Skull The Avengers The Avengers Movie Could Have Featured The Red Skull

Even as close as a few weeks prior to the theatrical release of The Avengers, it was unclear what villains may appear in the film to antagonize Earth’s Mightiest. We knew rather early that Tom Hiddleston would be suiting up as Loki once again after bringing the character to life in Thor the year prior, but rumors offered varied possibilities for who his “army” could be in the film and what other villains could make surprise appearances.

One of those rumors – thanks to merchandising – was that of the Red Skull, and it seemed plausible that Marvel may have wanted to bring back Hugo Weaving to play the unique looking character even for a brief scene in the film. Like Loki, Red Skull is one of the more prominent villains of Marvel Comics and certainly of the Marvel cinematic universe to date. As it turns out, that was actually a consideration early on in development.

At Comic-Con 2012, writer Zak Penn co-hosted a panel to talk about his upcoming comic series Hero Worship (co-written by Scott Murphy) and during the presentation, he touched upon his work on writing the earlier drafts of The Avengers and the differences between writing comics and screenplays.

“As a writer, you have so little control over the product that gets up on screen. What you see in this comic book is what we wanted to put there — in a comic book, you can actually blame us for everything that’s in it. That’s our fault”

Penn is likely deflecting some blame and referencing the less-positively-received comic book related film works – he wrote X-Men 2X-Men: The Last Stand, The Incredible Hulk and we know two of those didn’t have the smoothest productions. As for The Avengers, long before Marvel Studios was formed as a fully functional self-financed studio, Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige signed Penn to begin working on a script for The Avengers movie as far back as 2003, years before Iron Man even got the greenlight.

“At the time, there was no Marvel Studios, so it was kind of like a pipe dream. My job was to keep revising the draft… for about four or five years, that’s what I did. The story was basically the same, but it kept shifting. Then, once Joss (Whedon) came in, he took over from there.”

It’s been clear that Marvel has always had plans – or at least well thought-out ideas – of how they could tell an interconnected stories over multiple projects, spanning several years into the future. Over year ago, we heard they had planned up to 2017, and that’s really been the only way to secure talent with multi-picture contracts to have characters showing up in each others’ films. The cameos in each movie, Loki continuing is villainous path from Thor to The Avengers and the Avengers team-up itself are all examples of Marvel planning ahead with ‘big picture’ mindset.

avengers wallpaper loki 570x320 The Avengers Movie Could Have Featured The Red Skull

And while Loki was always going to be the featured baddie for The Avengers, Penn admits that there was “some discussion” of including the Red Skull. For all we know, that could have been something director Joss Whedon changed when he was brought in for The Avengers. He completely rewrote The Avengers script, helped with the story of Captain America: The First Avenger, and shot the post-credits scene himself for Thor. Penn does say that if he knew he could have used Thanos in his script, he would have loved to have explored that option as well.

Including Loki and his extraterrestrial army allowed Marvel to take their brand name characters and use them to launch the franchise into the cosmic side of the Marvel Comics universe, and it worked. Had they gone with Red Skull instead (assuming they wouldn’t use both in one movie), it’d be a tough sell trying to introduce Guardians of the Galaxy years later – something we knew they were keen on and can do now.

With Captain America: The Winter Soldier including flashbacks, could we see the return of the Red Skull despite Hugo Weaving’s desire to focus less on blockbuster-type films? Could he show up in The Avengers 2?

The Avengers was directed by Joss Whedon and stars Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014 and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: CBR

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  1. I think red skull wished for immortality the end of captain America

    • He might have, but it looked like he wished to be a god. After all, Red Skull’s deepest desire was to be a god, and the cube probably realized this and granted his wish by sending him to Asgard or a similar realm.

      He’ll probably show up again in the next Cap America movie, Thor: TDW, or Guardians of the Galaxy in some sort of role/cameo.

  2. No reason in the world that the Red Skull can’t be in The Avengers 2. Eventually he’s going to have to return from where ever the Cube took him to.

    • That was my thought when he disappeared, no way is he dead, he’s either been sent somewhere or he’s somehow ‘in’ the cube itself, but not dead.

      Would be great to bring him back, and I hope Hugo Weaving will agree to play him again.

    • It all depends on the story for Avengers 2.

      It is too bad he wasn’t in the first one because it would have made perfect sense. Red Skull was found by Thanos and became his unwitting pawn.

  3. I absolutely cannot except that Red Skull could be dead. He has to pop up in some other movie. Not Iron Man 3. Thor 2 would be out of place. Maybe Captain America 2 in flashbacks or post credits scene. Not Ant Man or Guardians of the Galaxy. Maybe not Avengers 2 since Thanos will more than likely be the villain.

  4. I was always seriously expecting Red Skull to show up in the Avengers. I guess I wasn’t the only one thinking about it…

  5. I would assume that the incomplete super soilder serum would have added side effect of imortality, like wolverine’s healing factor.
    As for how he could have been included in the avengers, Loki makes a reference to “what dark magic did the all father have to conjure to get you here?” or something like that. And we can assume that red skull still had some tesseract bullest on him when he teleported to asgard at the end of captian america. this also gives him decades to learn of the tesseract’s true power via those bullets. ergo… Odin (or Thor himself) Made a dark deal with red skull to send Thor back to earth. the consequences of this deal could be a part of the plot of the next chapter of marvel movies.

  6. um actually , we already know that Weaving doesnt want to reprise his role as Red skull from the interviews he gave last year, but I think we have already seen the Red Skull and he was in Avengers, hear me out before you dismiss this, The Committee is only seen in the Shadows so we cant see their faces, but true Marvel Fans and mainly Cap Fans, know that The Skull returns in modern times as Dell Rusk, the Secretary of Defense, whom would have fit perfectly with the Shadow Committee. This would also be a perfect way to link “Winter Soldier” with “the Fist Avenger” and allow Rusk to Activate his Winter Soldier who has been on “ice” on and off for the last 70 years allowing him to stay relatively the same age as he was when he had fallen off the train.

    • Interesting take. I’d buy that.

    • Very Believable

    • Becomes a US Senator? A congresman?

      How about the Shadow Committee?

      I like that. :D

    • The bright spot in this is, considering the full face make-up, all they need to do is find an actor that can match Weaving’s general voice ans particular cadence. Technically they already have him in Ian Bliss (you may remember him from The Matrix where he played Bane and did an excellent job of mimicking Agent Smith)

    • How did he get back to earth though?

      • The same way all the other aliens got to earth, through that portal.

        • … oh yeah ;)

    • I mention the Hugo Weaving-Blockbuster issue in the post with a link to the interview where he discusses it.

  7. Should be glactus

    • Should be, but Fantastic Four s**t the bed with that one…

    • Don’t think marvel has the rights to galactus

  8. at first I thought he was the second villain for Avengers (film)

  9. Red Skull is the most boring villain in Marvel movies. Captain America and him are just fighting for the sake of fighting in The First Avenger. The stakes could have been a lot higher. If he has some charisma like Loki, it’s tolerable but Red Skull is character is pretty flat in The First Avenger, which is the worst movie from Marvel franchise.

    • Worst movie from the marvel franchise is hulk. Then second place is between Cap and Iron man 2

  10. I think it’s possible that the Red Skull returned to earth when the invasion occurred.
    He was obviously teleported away by the cube in TFA and seeing as how the cube opened a portal for the Chitauri, it’s more than likely that the Red Skull made a deal with the Other when he arrived there (everyone just assumes he was teleported to Asgard, but how do w know that? – IMO it’s more plausible that he was teleported to the Chitari’s homeworld)

    …I dunno, I’m just hoping we’ll see more of him in Cap2.

  11. I always thought it would have been cool if Red Skull had been standing beside Thanos at the end of The Avengers.

  12. I don’t care if he returns in The Avengers 2 or in a sequel to Captain America. I just hope Hugo Weaving reprises the role. Pay the guy a good load of money if needs be.

  13. They should borrow the Red Skull to play Skeletor!

  14. Unfortunately, Hugo Weaving’s experiences with Captain America: TFA & with Marvel Studios have turned him against big budget movies. They are gonna have to recast the role.

    • I have the solution to this problem……considering the full face make-up, all they need to do is find an actor that can match Weaving’s general voice ans particular cadence. Technically they already have him in Ian Bliss (you may remember him from The Matrix where he played Bane and did an excellent job of mimicking Agent Smith)

    • I read an interview where Weaving said he’s tired of big budget movies and constantly playing the villain, and feels that he wants to do smaller independent films and theater performances for a while, but I don’t recall him saying Cap:TFA (or Marvel Studios) has turned him off from doing more big budget flicks…
      Where’d you read that?

      • I mention this in the post too, seems a lot of peeps are missing that part.

        • Thanks Rob, I checked out the link in this article and it was indeed the interview I was talking about.
          Weaving only said he’s tired of big blockbuster flicks… he never mentioned Cap:TFA or Marvel Studios being the reason for him wanting to move to other things.

  15. Sorry if I spawned the whole Weaving not wanting to do another Marvel, pic not my intention. I personally think Weaving is a great character actor, and a great Skull, as far as how did he get back, that irrelevant, first of you dont know that he was sent anywhere by the cube what if he was sent to a when, like the future. I think that this would be a great way to move him to the present day with out it seeming redundant.

  16. I was hoping Red Skull would reappear sometime in The Avengers, and when the first post-credits scene came, I was hoping the mastermind would be revealed to be Red Skull, but of course, it was Thanos.

    Anyways, I think it would be cool if Red Skull was transported to a different realm, and ends up being the orchestrator behind all the events of Thor 2 (whatever they may be), and the mastermind behind the main villains (whoever they may be.) It would be great if they’d reveal Red Skull, and it would especially blow viewers’ minds seeing the main Cap villain as the main Thor villain, and the whole shared universe would be even more tied together than before. Then Red Skull could be working with Thanos in Avengers 2. (Apparently that actually happened in the comics? Never read them, but I think someone on this thread mentioned it.)

  17. He does appear in The Avengers (2012) at the end when the Chitari’s second commander is talking to the Supreme Commandef, which when he turns and grins to the screen, turns out to be Red Skull

  18. I hope the Red Skull returns. Aside from The Avengers my favorite Marvel movie is Captain America, it’s so good. Since Thanos will also appear in The Avengers 3 why not make the Red Skull the main baddy?

  19. I like your thinking.