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Hugo Weaving Doesn't Want To Play Red Skull Again In Any More Marvel Movies

by Kevin Jagernauth
October 16, 2012 10:40 AM
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Hugo Weaving Captain America: The First Avenger

You might have heard a minor geek uproar over the interwebs yesterday. It seems someone has dared to say that if they had a choice, they'd prefer not to feature in any more Marvel movies. And that man is Hugo Weaving.

Chatting with Collider, the actor -- who played the villainous Red Skull in "Captain America: The First Avenger" -- confirmed that like pretty much every other actor involved with those comic movies, he signed a multiple-picture contract. However, he's not keen on reprising the role, though obviously he will if he's asked. "I think the tendency, with those films, would be to probably not bring a villain back. They might for 'The Avengers,' but I didn’t think I’d be in 'Captain America 2 or 3.'  I don’t think Red Skull will be there," he pondered. "And it’s not something I would want to do again. I’m glad I did it. I did sign up for a number of pictures and I suppose, contractually, I would be obliged to, if they forced me to, but they wouldn’t want to force someone to do it, if they didn’t want to. I think I’ve done my dash with that sort of film. It was good to do it and try it out, but to be honest, it’s not the sort of film I seek out and really am excited by. As an actor, to do all sorts of different films is great. It stretches you in different ways. But, I increasingly like to go back to what I used to always do, which is to get involved with projects that I really have a personal affiliation with."

So in short: he did it, realized it wasn't quite his cup of tea, and he'd prefer to move on. According to some, this is high treason. But we like the actor's honesty, and frankly, is anyone itching for Red Skull to return? Wouldn't we rather see Captain America or The Avengers (or whoever) face off against other foe? We suppose Weaving might be called up for kind of flashback work, but again, other than the hardcore fanbase, we're not sure anyone is going to miss Weaving if he never comes back to the Marvel universe.

And while it might seem that Weaving is a picky guy, never discount the power of the paycheck. He admits that his work on the "Transformers" franchise voicing Megatron is the kind of thing he can knock out in a couple of hours, and oddly enough, he's never even met the director of the films. "That’s a weird job for me because it honestly was a two-hour voice job, initially...It was one of the only things I’ve ever done where I had no knowledge of it, I didn’t care about it, I didn’t think about it. They wanted me to do it. In one way, I regret that bit. I don’t regret doing it, but I very rarely do something if it’s meaningless. It was meaningless to me, honestly. I don’t mean that in any nasty way," he said, adding: "But, my link to that and to Michael Bay is so minimal. I have never met him. I was never on set. I’ve seen his face on Skype. I know nothing about him, really. I just went in and did it. I never read the script. I just have my lines, and I don’t know what they mean. That sounds absolutely pathetic! I’ve never done anything like that, in my life. It’s hard to say any more about it than that, really."

Weaving says he hasn't been contacted yet about the next installment, but if he is, it doesn't seem like the work is too laborious. Krusty The Klown would be proud. 

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  • andrew | October 16, 2012 11:47 PMReply

    People not familiar with comics may have a hard time understanding, but there is a lot of potential for Red Skull to return with really fun, cataclysmic results (in the context of the universe of the stories), considering the direction they decided to go with in these films. They basically set it up for him to return and be a really huge baddie, possibly teamed up with someone. I'd be disappointed if the character at the very least didn't return.

  • Else Harbeau | October 16, 2012 2:19 PMReply

    A lot of irate fanboys are acting as though the Marvel superhero franchise is somehow artistically on par with Lord of the Rings and the Matrix films... I would argue they're not even close. (Weaving has, in fact, said that the exhaustion involved in and and limited aspects working on the Matrix sequels are a primary reason he's reluctant to sign on for similar, multi-picture deals.) The Hobbit, like Lord of the Rings, is really a small role with a few scenes (if that) per movie... it's the actors playing major characters who had to spend a year on set. Weaving got his scenes done in a few weeks (or did you not read his statements to that effect in the same interview?) . Also, there's a difference between playing a genre villain with a substantial character arc for the first time in one's career, as Weaving did in The Matrix trilogy, and then being expected to play increasingly reductive variations on that theme for the rest of that career.

    Weaving has no problem working with prosthetics or taking on ambitious roles-- just look at Cloud Atlas, the film he WAS ACTUALLY DOING INTERVIEWS TO PROMOTE. He's just sick of the typecasting and of people fixating on the most limited roles of his career. I think the months of delays in his signing a contract for Captain America were due to this multi-picture issue; he was probably assured off the record that they weren't planning to return his character in the first few sequels. I'm not sure why there's such a fuss now, as the actor has been making similar statements for a year (and much longer about the Transformers films)... I guess the "news" had to filter down to comics blogs before certain fans heard. Weaving has also said he prefers acting in Australian indie projects with substantive characters since... oh, the early 80s, in pretty much every interview he's ever done. I suspect he does the occasional blockbuster to help finance the Australian projects, and in some cases to work with certain directors he admires. (His next project to shoot, Healing, has been in development since 2005 as its director worked to get funding. Incidentally, it is scheduled to be filmed at the same time as the first Captain America sequel.)

  • HA | October 16, 2012 3:38 PM

    Marvel superhero films not on the same level as matrix? Don't make me laugh. I can understand LotR, but the matrix movies outside of the first film are trash of the highest quality.

  • mike_m | October 16, 2012 1:19 PMReply

    "I would be obliged to, if they forced me to, but they wouldn’t want to force someone to do it, if they didn’t want to."

    Sure he not want to do it, but if they ask, he shouldn't have to be forced as he did sign the contract, that is the deal and he agreed to do.

  • JD | October 16, 2012 12:49 PMReply

    Weaving's a good actor, but I'd definitely miss the character more then the specific actor....Berk makes a very good point about Weaving's other film series work, so I suspect there's something else he's not mentioning. Maybe he didn't like wearing the prosthetics? Anyway, the Red Skull is a terrific element within the Marvel Universe, and he's not really dependent on any one particular actor. Release Weaving from his contract and recast it with Udo Kier or Arnold Schwarzenegger or something.

  • berk | October 16, 2012 2:06 PM

    Snark aside, I think it has less to do with makeup and more to do with the positive working environment with the Wachowskis and Peter Jackson. Marvel has gotten a reputation as being cheap taskmasters with their fingers in every aspect of production and unless actors are seeing a big financial return like Downey Jr., they are probably fine with moving on. Besides, the Red Skull is easily replaceable as the character has inhabited clones of himself and Steve Rogers, robots, and recently a Russian general who was a big villain in the Winter Soldier story which is the basis for the sequel. Plus there is always the other 70 years of bad guys Cap has fought.

  • berk | October 16, 2012 12:32 PMReply

    Says the man who played the same characters in 3 Matrix movies and 6 Lord of the Rings movies.

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