Massive spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War! Do not read on if you haven't seen the movie
After 10 years and 18 movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to an epic head with The Russo Brothers' Avengers: Infinity War. The epic blockbuster brought together just about every character in the shared universe in the battle against Thanos and his Black Order. While there were a ton of MCU favorites for the Brothers to juggle, the two time Captain America directors even managed to throw in a few surprises. Perhaps the biggest was the villain Red Skull, who was Cap's nemesis way back in Captain America: The First Avenger. Red Skull's return was an exciting and heartbreaking moment in Infinity War, but fans may have noticed that actor Hugo Weaving was no longer playing the character.
Avengers: Infinity War united all of the MCU's biggest heroes, and therefore brought together its massive ensemble cast of A-listers. Sometimes this was done by using body doubles, but Hugo Weaving is the one actor who seems to have turned down a role in the blockbuster. While no official reason has been released, Weaving didn't seem super happy with his short tenure in the MCU. Instead, The Russo Brothers actually brought Walking Dead actor Ross Marquand (aka Aaron) into the movie to play Red Skull.
While not a huge name, bringing Ross Marquand onto Infinity War as Red Skull is a pretty inspired choice by The Russo Brothers. Aside from his role on AMC's apocalyptic drama, Marquand has recently gone viral for his spot on celebrity impressions. Since he's able to jump into other actors' voices so easily, it would make sense that he's been chosen to play Hugo Weaving's MCU character. And given the extensive makeup that goes into the character's red skin and scarring, casual movie fans likely went through Red Skull's scenes without realizing a change of actor was made.
Hugo Weaving not returning for Infinity War should't come as a surprise, as he's already expressed disinterest in reprising his role. In an interview with Collider 2012, Weaving said:
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. 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.
While Hugo Weaving could have been contractually obligated to film a role in Avengers: Infinity War, it seems the Russo Brothers decided against this. After all, what type of performance could they get from an actor who literally doesn't want to be there?
Red Skull surprisingly appeared at the end of Infinity War's second act, when Thanos was attempting to acquire the Soul Stone. Red Skull was revealed to be the keeper of the stone, explaining his mysterious disappearance in The First Avenger. It was a relatively small feature, but was one of the bigger surprises in the film's runtime.
Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.