SPOILER WARNING: This article contains key plot details about Avengers: Infinity War.
If you’ve been to the theater to see the latest of the MCU’s mega-hits, you might have noticed something a little strange with one of Avengers: Infinity War’s big cameo reveals.
That’s right, when Thanos seeks out the second-to-last stone for his gauntlet, he meets Red Skull on a remote planet called Vormir that’s out in the interstellar boonies. But that’s not Hugo Weaving behind the Hydra leader’s makeup.
Instead, the trip through time and space via Tesseract changed the very DNA of the Captain America: The First Avenger Nazi, who disappeared in his film’s finale. He’s played in this movie by The Walking Dead’s Ross Marquand, who’s also an accomplished impressionist. One of the reasons why Weaving was replaced, in such an interesting return to the MCU, seems to have been the actor’s choice — or at least his preference.
In interviews as far back as 2012, Weaving was self-criticizing his performance as the villain and reconsidering whether he would ever do a comic book movie again. He was also feeling disillusioned with his Transformers work as Megatron, so it could’ve just been a whole change of heart on genre films in general. Asked if he would return as Red Skull, the actor previously said in an interview with Collider that he thinks “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... 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."
He added: "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 Weaving doesn’t seem too keen to return, but with The First Avengers screenwriters returning for Infinity War, it makes sense that his ambiguously disposed-of villain would pop his red head back up. However, they needed someone with an incredible Hugo Weaving impression to pull it off. Enter Marquand, TWD’s Aaron and stellar Weaving impressionist. What was once just flavor on the actor’s reel landed him a part in one of the biggest superhero movies ever — and saved Weaving from having to reprise a role he wasn't too eager to revisit.