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Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull is in Full Effect

Entertainment Weekly scored the first proper photograph of the Red Skull as he appears in Captain America: The First Avenger, the forthcoming Marvel Studios film based on the classic superhero created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. Played by Hugo Weaving, the Red Skull is the Nazis’ answer to America’s super soldier Steve Rogers (although it’s really the other way around), and he looks seriously awesome — insofar as a thoroughly evil Nazi can look awesome.We’ve been teased for months with glimpses of the Red Skull in all but his full-on live-action visage, first in the form of Minimates and then as a licensed Halloween costume from Disguise.

Along with the great picture of Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull, Entertainment Weekly scored an interview with The First Avenger director Joe Johnston, who offers some insight into the character of Captain America:

Yeah, for Steve Rogers [fighting the Red Skull] is a very personal thing. At one point he says, “I don’t like bullies, I don’t care where they’re from.” He makes a complete physical transformation to a perfect human specimen. But inside he doesn’t change at all. It must be tempting to go back and say “I’m going to get that guy who beat me up in high school.” He does get revenge in the film, but on the Nazis – not on people who maybe picked on him. Before he gets the injection, the doctor tells him: “Whatever happens, stay who you are.”

Naturally, we’re all curious about Marvel Studios’ fairly experimental cinematic universe, which will truly solidify with the release of Joss Whedon’s Avengers film, which of course has Chris Evans reprising his role as Captain America. Johnston had some thoughts on that as well:

Because this was a period film, because this was the origin story, I didn’t have to worry about the Avengers which was a present day story. We have present-day bookends and bring Cap back at the end and then I basically hand him off. And The Avengers is its own thing.

The fact that they are all so different is what will make it exciting. You bring these elements together and they all have different outlooks and come from different worlds. I think there is an opportunity for conflict within the group. There’s gotta be. It’s not the Boy Scouts. [Laughs] There’s going to be rivalry and certain amount of infighting and conflict. Like I say I’m going to be there as an audience member like anybody else.

Captain America: The First Avenger opens July 22.

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