Starring alongside Chris Evans in the upcoming film Captain America First Avenger, Hugo Weaving plays Caps arch enemy Red Skull. Everyone knows the story of Steve Rogers aka Captain America but not many know who this Red Skull is and how he came to be a super villain, so I thought I would find out what I could and shed light on this characters dark past.
Long time enemy of Captain America, and considered by S.H.I.E.L.D to be one of the greatest threats to humanity, Red Skull (Johann Schmidt) wasn’t always this force to reckoned with. Johann was born in a small village in Germany, his mother (Martha) died shortly after childbirth and his father (Hermann) blamed Johann for the death of his wife and soon after tried to murder him. After his father failed to kill Johann he committed suicide causing Johann to become an orphan, forced to live on the streets as a beggar and a thief struggling to survive with his hatred for humanity growing each day.
In his teens Johann got a job as a bellhop in a major hotel, while there he served the room of Adolf Hitler himself. Happening upon Hitler scolding one of his officers, Adolf joked that he could make a better officer out of this bellhop. Looking closer though Hitler sensed a darkness within, and soon after decided to recruit Schmidt.
Whilst training up Johann, Hitler was displeased as to how the drill instructors were treating him and decided to bring him up as his right-hand man. Upon completion of his training Hitler presented Schmitt with a new uniform and the Red Skull mask. Working his way up Johann eventually got promoted to head of Nazi terrorist activities with an additional role in external espionage and sabotage. After Johann began wreaking havoc throughout Europe, the US army decided to counter this by creating “project rebirth” which subsequently created Captain America (Steve Rogers).
Whether they will keep much of his back story in the new film, or not mention it whatsoever, or rewrite it entirely is a mystery. Whatever they do with his character though they have kept his image spot on, maybe even improving on the look.
Captain America hits theaters on July 22nd 2011.