‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Red Skull Almost Had a Much Different Look

Marvel Studios concept illustrator Rodney Fuentebella has debuted an unused design for Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War, depicting the once Captain America villain in garb more resembling that of “a cloaked religious looking figure.”

The villain, cursed to serve as the spectral keeper of the Soul Stone on Vormir following his decades-ago defeat in Captain America: The First Avenger, was revived because “cinematically, he’s the first one to be obsessed with these Infinity Stones in the MCU and he clearly did not die at the end of First Avenger,” co-writer Christopher Markus said on the Infinity War commentary.

“The idea of where he might have gone is so tantalizing and much like being able to fill roles that would be there anyway with [Secretary Ross actor] William Hurt or [The Collector actor] Benecio del Toro, he fit this moment perfectly.”

Hugo Weaving, who was asked to return but declined for undisclosed reasons, was replaced by The Walking Dead star and celebrity impressionist Ross Marquand, who noted he based his imitation off Weaving’s Matrix villain Agent Smith “but with a German accent.”

“I loved playing Red Skull, I hope I can come back and play him again. We’ll see,” Marquand said at San Jose Fan Fest when asked if the former Hydra leader has a future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“That’s one of the characters that I drew the most as a kid. I would draw Sabretooth, I would draw Omega Red — a lot of Omega Red, surprisingly — Mephisto, and Logan [Wolverine], obviously. But Red Skull was probably one of the first characters that I learned to draw, so this is like the craziest, most amazing dream.”

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Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo have since said Red Skull is no longer bound to Vormir after guiding Thanos (Josh Brolin) to the coveted Soul Stone — which the Mad Titan unlocked by murdering beloved adopter daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) — and is now free to resume his own search for an Infinity Stone.

Avengers: Endgame opens April 26, 2019.