After taking on Red Skull, Arnim Zola, and Baron Strucker, Baron Helmut Zemo will be the next adversary Captain America battles on the big screen. Zemo, played by Daniel Brühl, will be one of several antagonists appearing next year in Captain America: Civil War, but Marvel hasn’t divulged his exact role in the film. Given his status in the comics, many assumed he would be the main villain, but that hasn’t been made clear until now. Despite reports last year that Crossbones would be Captain America: Civil War’s primary antagonist, it now appears that particular honor belongs to Zemo.
Elizabeth Olsen, now well known to audiences as Scarlet Witch, confirmed this with French outlet Premiere, and she also explained why Baron Zemo is a more unique villain compared to Avengers: Age of Ultron’s eponymous antagonist. Olsen said:
Daniel Brühl is an incredible actor and he's playing the main villain in it. And he's incredible! It's a movie about people as opposed to robots this time. So it's darker and it's allowed to be darker because it gets more in the mindset of humans rather than machines.
It was reported last month that the conflict between the superheroes in Captain America: Civil War will spark following an incident involving Crossbones. It was originally reported that the villain's explosive vest going off would result in civilian casualties, although with last month's D23 footage shwoing him alive following a fight with Cap, it remains to be seen what the incting incident actually will be. Regardles, eventually new legislation will be drafted to police the world’s superhumans. No doubt Zemo will step in to take advantage of this new status quo and enact his evil plan while everyone’s attention is diverted. It also wouldn’t be surprising if Zemo either was in cahoots with Crossbones to make all this happen, or is working with politicians behind the scenes to make sure the Avengers and other superhero teams are under their thumb.
Following in his father Heinrich’s footsteps, Helmut Zemo has been a recurring adversary for Captain America and his allies since the 1970s. One of his more recent accomplishments was revealing Bucky Barnes’ dark past as the Winter Soldier to the public. It’s possible Brühl’s Zemo will have something similar planned for Steve Rogers. While the Star Spangled Avenger is having a disagreement with Tony Stark, Zemo may try to tarnish Steve’s reputation, or drive a wedge between the people he is close with. On the other hand, maybe Zemo’s after something more traditional, like world conquest or becoming exorbitantly wealthy, and this Civil War will help him accomplish those goals.
You can check out what Olsen has to say about the 2016 blockbuster in the video below.
We’ll find out what nefarious scheme Baron Zemo is plotting when Captain America: Civil War is released on May 6, 2016.