Everyone was surprised to see The Red Skull back in a Marvel film when he appeared in Avengers: Infinity War. What was even more surprising was that, despite the voice, it was not Hugo Weaving in the role but The Walking Dead star Ross Marquand. Now, Marquand is finally speaking on how him securing the role came together.
Marquand was at San Jose Fan Fest where he was asked about his role as the Red Skull. Marquand said that when Marvel reached out, they initially only asked if he could do impressions of Weaving:
“Last year, last October, [Marvel Studios] reached out to my manager and they said, ‘Does Ross do a Hugo Weaving impression?’ They didn’t mention what the project was at first, for security reasons, and I said, ’I’ve never really tried to do Hugo, but I’ll give it a whirl.’”
“And I said, ‘Well, which Hugo are we talking about? Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert, Australian? Are we talking about Agent Smith? Are we talking about Lord of the Rings? Because those are vastly different Hugo Weavings.”
Marvel never relented on the secrecy at first, only saying if he could do Weaving in a German accent. That’s when he realized what role he was being asked for:
“I couldn’t really give much information at first” in the name of secrecy, but they said, ‘Well, try Hugo Weaving with maybe a German accent.’ I was like, ‘Oh, Red Skull? Okay!’ So I watched Red Skull, the clips a bunch of times, and I just realized that it’s essentially Agent Smith with a German accent.”
Then, slipping into his Hugo Weaving-as-Red-Skull-voice, Marquand impersonated Weaving’s Hydra leader who battled super soldier Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers in Marvel Studios’ 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger.
“And then we got there and it was like the easiest day of shooting, it was like six, seven hours of very lovely people working their asses off.”
Marquand’s Red Skull, as fans will remember, is as a ghost doomed to serve as keeper of the Soul Stone on the barren planet of Vormir. Thanos and Gamora travel there to retrieve the stone for Thanos’ infinity gauntlet.
“After the dots were applied to the face and you put on the motion capture suit and the head cam — it took like six, seven hours — we were out of there, it was great. Very easy day of shooting.”
When asked if he’ll reappear as the character in future Marvel Cinematic Universe entries, Marquand answered, “I don’t know, I honestly don’t know, yeah,” before crossing his fingers.
Avengers: Endgame hits theatres on April 25, 2018.