Our interview with Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo continues. We already covered some clues to possible titles for the fourth Avengers film, but in this installment we start talking about specific characters.
(If you haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War, now would be a good time to stop reading because even the mention of this character is a huge spoiler. Anyway, this was your last chance.)
In Avengers: Infinity War, Gamora leads Thanos to the elusive Soul Stone. When they arrive, attending to the Soul Stone is a character we haven’t seen since Captain America: The First Avenger: Red Skull. This is a much sadder and passive Red Skull than we are used to, banished to an alien planet to basically think about all the bad he’s done. Also different is the fact he’s not played by Hugo Weaving this time, it’s now Ross Marquand.
Ahead, Joe and Anthony Russo discuss the return of Red Skull and why he was important to the story – and also why Hugo Weaving didn’t return to the role.
What was the decision making process to bring Red Skull back?
Joe Russo: Somebody had to be the gatekeeper to the Soul Stone and somebody had to distribute the rules to Thanos and Gamora.
Anthony Russo: In a way that was credible and believable.
Joe Russo: Who felt credible to the audience. And a character who has been trapped – the Red Skull has been turned into this wraith who now guards the Soul Stone and distributes the rules to whoever shows up their trying to obtain it. It felt like there was more credibility than just a random character.
Anthony Russo: Somebody who has a history with the stones may seem like they have a little more authority in terms of their experience – especially a tragic experience.
Did Hugo Weaving not want to do it?
Joe Russo: You know, he made a statement a couple of years back that he was done with Marvel.
I didn’t even know for sure it wasn’t him until after.
Joe Russo: Well, Ross Marquand did an incredible job of capturing not only the essence of his voice, but the essence of the performance – a haunted figure who is now this imprisoned spirit.
Anthony Russo: And it’s a specific style of acting. Like, Josh Brolin couldn’t have been more thrilled by the opportunity of working in this very strange way. He remarked to Joe and me that he felt like he was in acting school again because this was all experimental and new. And some people are comfortable with that and some people aren’t.
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