Marvel Studios' Phase Three is ready to begin with Captain America: Civil War, in which two of the franchise's biggest heroes will face off against each other: Captain America and Iron Man. Civil War will bring together most of the current line-up of the MCU (minus Thor, Hulk, and the Guardians) and will also introduce newcomers Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland).
The trailers and TV spots have already shown the characters from both teams, the return of The Incredible Hulk’s Thunderbolt Ross, and Brock Rumlow’s transformation into villain Crossbones. However, there’s one villain that hasn’t been shown either in trailers or photos: Daniel Brühl’s Baron Zemo. The mystery surrounding Zemo’s look and involvement in the plot makes fans wonder if he will get the screentime and importance that a character like this deserves.
Speaking to Total Film (via CBM), Brühl shared he was carefully instructed by Marvel to not reveal any details about his character – as per the legendary Marvel secrecy. According to Brühl, Zemo is a mysterious character, which is why he has been kept under wraps.
“I was really told not to because there are so many secrets in the film. And also my character’s quite mysterious, so I’m really scared to say too much. The things I’ve mentioned in interviews before were already too much – and I thought it was nothing!"
He can’t give any details on how his character falls into the Sokovia Accords conflict, but he did say that Zemo is “not a guy who’s mean and sinister” and is in fact “very clever – a very smart guy who does everything out of a very understandable reason and motivation”. Brühl also confirmed Zemo is the mastermind behind the conflict, stating:
"Some of the things that happen in the film, and why they happen, are because of him. He is orchestrating things that happen throughout the film. I think that’s something I can say, goddam it!"
In the comics, Baron Zemo is a high-ranking Nazi scientist whose buzzbomb ended the war for Captain America and Bucky Barnes, seemingly killing both. When Captain America came back, so did Zemo, who had been hiding in South America since the fall of the Nazis. Zemo wears a hood that is permanently attached to his flesh as a consequence of an accident with one of his creations: Adhesive X, an extremely strong adhesive that fell over him when Captain America threw his shield to release it from its vat.
Zemo formed a villainous counterpart to the Avengers called Masters of Evil. Later on his son, Baron Helmut Zemo, took his place under the identity of Citizen V and led a team of undercover villains called The Thunderbolts.
Whether Brühl is playing the father or son is unknown, but since he has history with Captain America, it's easy to see why he will be heavily involved in the conflict. Also, his inclusion in the MCU opens the possibility of seeing the Masters of Evil or The Thunderbolts at some point. As for his look on the big screen, Brühl has previously shared he will not be wearing Zemo’s purple mask, so there’s another surprise to expect when watching the movie.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016;Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017;Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans– July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Source: Total Film (via CBM)