Red Skull made his surprising return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers: Infinity War, yet the studio brought in a different actor in Ross Marquand to play the role. In Captain America: The First Avenger, Hugo Weaving played the iconic villain. Turns out, there is a very good reason why Weaving was unable to reprise the role in Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and it all came down to contract negotiations with Marvel.
Weaving dishes on why he didn’t return to the MCU
Red Skull had a minor role in both Infinity War and Endgame. The character was basically the gatekeeper to the Soul Stone on Vormir, and there is no denying that Marquand (The Walking Dead) was a good fit for the part.
But back in 2018, Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo revealed that Weaving was asked to return to play Red Skull. The brothers did not say why Weaving backed out, but the actor recently opened up about why he turned down the role.
According to We Got This Covered, Weaving revealed that he originally signed on to play Red Skull in three different movies. Marvel told him that they had bigger plans for the villain and that his salary would increase with each film.
But when he started negotiating his return for Infinity War, Marvel backtracked and actually offered him less money than he made in Captain America. A frustrated Weaving eventually declined the offer and recalled that negotiating with Marvel was “impossible.”
“I actually found negotiating with them through my agent impossible. And I didn’t really wanna do it that much. But I would have done it,” Weaving explained.
Will Weaving return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Weaving obviously had issues negotiating a contract with Marvel, but that does not mean that he will never return as Red Skull.
In fact, the actor admitted that he loved being a part of the MCU and was looking forward to reprising the role. If Weaving and Marvel could ever get on the same page, it sounds like it would not take too much to convince him to return.
“Oh, yeah. I loved playing that character Red Skull – it was a lot of fun. We were all obliged to sign up for three pictures: I was thinking [Red Skull] probably wouldn’t come back in Captain America but he may well come back as a villain in The Avengers,” Weaving stated.
The only question is whether or not Marvel is done with Red Skull. Inside sources claim that the studio has bigger plans for the villain, so it is possible that his appearance on Vormir is not his last.
We also do not know if Weaving’s relationship with Marvel has gone beyond the point of repair. The actor is also very busy with other projects, so finding time to re-join the MCU could be a challenge.
What’s next for Weaving?
While fans would love to see Weaving reprise his role as Red Skull, Marvel is hardly the only studio he has turned down in recent years.
Weaving was set to return to The Matrix franchise as Agent Smith but was forced to back out of the project over scheduling conflicts.
The actor recently opened up about dropping out of The Matrix and revealed that he already had plans to work with the National Theatre when director Lana Wachowski offered him the part.
“I was in touch with [director] Lana Wachowski, but in the end she decided that the dates weren’t going to work,” he explained.
Although Weaving will not appear in the fourth installment, Keanu Reeves is expected to reprise his role as Neo. It is unclear what the film is about, but it is disappointing that Weaving won’t be a part of it.
Marvel directors talk about Red Skull’s cameo
When it comes to Red Skull’s cameo in Marvel’s Infinity War and Endgame, there is one plot hole that the Russo brothers recently cleared up.
Red Skull was the main villain in the first Captain America film, so Marvel fans naturally wondered what happened when the two met following the events in Endgame. At the end of the film, Cap traveled back in time to return the Infinity Stones to their original locations.
His travels would have eventually led him to Vormir, where he would have undoubtedly crossed paths with Red Skull. Unfortunately, that scene was never in the movie, but Anthony Russo recently opened up about how it may have played out.
“It was probably more awkward than you imagine it was,” he shared. “Red Skull felt slated because Cap didn’t recognize him.”
With Cap retiring at the end of the movie, we will probably never see him and Red Skull face off in the MCU ever again.
The next movie in Marvel’s lineup is Black Widow, which premieres May 1.