Saturday, December 21, 2013

Baron von Strucker to Appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Super-duper-Latino scooper El Mayimbe gave us all a little early Christmas present yesterday afternoon when he shared a new rumor involving Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron which is due to land in theaters May 1, 2015. While a great deal of attention has been paid to DC's Batman vs. Superman film (shhhh...Justice League) and, very recently, Marvel's other 2015 film, Ant-Man, there hasn't been a lot of buzz around Joss Whendon's follow up to 2012's The Avengers. El Mayimbe changed all that yesterday with the announcement that traditional Captain America baddie, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, will square off against Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the Avengers' sequel. Follow the jump to dig deeper into the rumor, find out about the Baron and what it might mean for the direction of the film which already includes the titular villain, Ultron.

El Mayimbe did some digging to come up with this one. He started on the trail when he found out there was a Marvel Studio's breakdown making the rounds that states they are looking for a physically imposing, white male, 40-50 years old. After some work, El Mayimbe learned that the breakdown was for the role of Strucker. According to his sources, Strucker will be leading an organization, presumably Hydra, that will square off against the Avengers. The source also indicated that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be working for Strucker when the film begins, so it's likely that we'll see the Baron pretty early in the film as the Avengers will, again presumably, have their hands full with Ultron in the 2nd and 3rd acts. The folks over at HitFix confirmed just that with their source and say to expect Strucker to be out of the way before the main plot of the film begins.

Baron Strucker first appeared in the Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos series, but has deep ties to Captain America as well. A Nazi soldier in both World War I and II, Strucker worked closely with Adolf Hitler and the Red Skull. Strucker founded HYDRA, built their base of operations of HYDRA Island and oversaw the organization for decades. As you might expect for someone with 80 years of history, Strucker has had run ins with the majority of the main characters in the Marvel universe and even had a hand in the training of the Black Widow.

Strucker is a strategic mastermind and a physical threat. He has used serums created by the science division of HYDRA (eventually, A.I.M in the comics) to slow his aging process and keep him in incredible, physical shape. In addition to having fought two wars, Strucker is an excellent swordsman, having been a fencing champion as a young man. The Baron wears a gauntlet called the Satan's Claw which enhances his strength and is also capable of emitting an intense electrical charge. Strucker, like almost every comic character, has survived death and his latest incident has left him with the ability to release the Death Spore which kills all who come into contact with it.

The addition of Strucker to the mix is quite interesting and I would not count out the chance of him appearing in Captain America: The Winter Solider in an after-credits scene. The expectation is that in that film, it will be revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. is a corrupt organization and has been for some time. This lines up nicely with one of Strucker's storylines in which he revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D was, and always had been, run by HYDRA only to later find out that S.H.I.E.L.D. had always run HYDRA. Espionage at its finest!

El Mayimbe reported that actors Martin Csokas and Dougray Scott  have been associated with the role at this early point and, while neither of them do much for me, he was sure to say that neither had been as much as offered the role at this point. Strucker is similar in size to Captain America in the books, actually just about 15 pounds lighter, so you're talking about having someone 6'0 and around 175 pounds if you're going off of Chris Evans' stats. Scott fits that bill well while Coskas is quite a bit taller. Having said all that, I know it really doesn't matter. Daniel Craig comes to mind as fitting the bill for the part, but I'd doubt James Bond would come play at Disney.

With filming slated to start in March, it's possible they'll have the actor in place just in time to get a mid-credits scene filmed for the April 4th release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which Kevin Feige has said will be the film that ties into Avengers: Age of Ultron the most. Perhaps we're starting to see what he meant by that. I like this move by certainly is a change of pace from what most of us were expecting and shows they are going to continue to expand the roster in the MCU.