The Marvel Cinematic Universe has an interesting history when it comes to its depiction of villains. They’ve been known to waste iconic comic book antagonists in small, underdeveloped roles, but with each new movie, we collectively hold our breath to see if this trend will end.
In the case of Captain America: Civil War, the role of antagonist falls to Baron Helmut Zemo. Heir to a dynasty full of power-mad Nazis, this brilliant young German will somehow factor in to Captain America’s ideological conflict with Iron Man. If you have concerns over balance, you're far from the only one.
There’s been so much made of the ridiculous scope of the movie, specifically which characters will appear and who they will fight alongside, that the role of the villain has been largely forgotten about. Zemo hasn’t been seen in any materials, leaked or official, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of his role in the story.
As one of Captain America’ most famous villains, Zemo is steeped in comic book history. Looking at his past we’ve gathered all of the relevant facts before he appears on the big screen, and speculate as to how they could shape his cinematic character. With Civil War on the horizon, it’s time to brush up on your knowledge of Baron Zemo and how his evil machinations could impact the MCU.
10. Daniel Bruhl Is Playing Him
Having an incredibly talented actor like Daniel Bruhl onboard to play Zemo instantly gives the character a lot of credibility. Bruhl is undeniably a star on the rise and while Inglourious Basterds brought him into the spotlight, Rush cemented him as an actor to watch. That’s to say nothing of the fact that he’s a German actor playing a German character, affording the character a deal of authenticity.
We can praise Bruhl all day but the fact still remains that Marvel has a habit of wasting good actors in their villain roles. From Mickey Rourke to Hugo Weaving, plenty of acclaimed actors have seen their roles chopped down and underdeveloped.
But there’s still a lot to be hopeful about here. Marvel has surely heard the criticisms against their villains over the years and maybe this will be the time that they finally give Bruhl the requisite chance to shine. We certainly all know what he could do if afforded that chance.
At the very least, it’s a nice change to have a much younger villain than usual.