Fanboy Wishes... Baron Zemo

If dreams could come true! An examination of one potential way for Marvel to bring the character of Baron Zemo to the big screen in a Captain America sequel...

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By Rhys - 2/14/2012


A Captain America sequel has been confirmed, and is now in an early writing stage. As per usual when a superhero film is being planned, there is one question on every fanboys mind: who will be the villain? As proven by flops such as Green Lantern, or hits like Thor, a superhero film is only as strong as it's villain. Although most of the weight falls on the actor playing the hero, it is undeniable that the choice, potrayal, and casting of the villain matters almost as much.

Screenwriters Chris Markus and Stephen McFeely expressed a desire to include M.O.D.O.K. as the the films primary antagonist. Whether you like the character or not, most people would be curious to see how M.O.D.O.K. might be adapted to the screen. I would like to see that too... but not in Captain America 2. When asked who is Caps best villain after Red Skull, there is one obvious answer: Baron Zemo. This article explores the ideal way to adapt Zemo to the screen, including character modifications, plot details, look, casting, and more!


Character:

In the comics, there are two Zemo's: Heinrich and Helmut. Although both good characters in their own right, for the film they would need to be merged into a single character. Similar to how in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Zemo would have the name and backstory of Heinrich, but also exercise traits of Helmut. In fact, Zemo's portrayal in A:EMH would be an excellent model for film. His inclusion in Caps past as well as the present, his personality, and his fighting style from the series would all offer a chance to build Zemo into one of the most intimidating an memorable villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Story:

Markus and McFeely suggested the possibility of mixing the 1940's and the present in the Captain America sequel. This is ideal to not only best demonstrate Caps state of mind, but also tie the Zemo to his past and future.

During WWII, Baron Zemo was one of the best scientists working for HYDRA. Although he is an excellent marksman and phenomenal sword fighter, his main contribution to the war was his mind. Constantly competing with the Red Skull for top scientist, Zemo pushed himself to the best of his abilities. When bored or stumped on an issue with any of his inventions, he'd target shoot or practice with his sword. He kept his mind, body, and skill with weapons always at their peak. Due to his constant defeats at the hands of Captain America, coupled with his rivalry with Red Skull, Zemo began wearing a mask his predecessors used to instill fear in their enemies.



Zemo was tasked by Hitler with his hardest challenge yet: creating the Infinity Formula. During an attack by Cap and the Howling Commandos, Zemo injected himself with the now finished Infinity Formula. While the Baron was occupied battling Captain America, the Commandos were able to steal what remained of the formula (opening the door for other characters in the MCU to use it). Then Cap smashed a vat of adhesive, spilling on Zemo and permanently bonding his mask to his face.

Now in the present, Zemo hunts down Captain America after hearing of his return. Together with Sharon Carter, Captain America has to thwart Zemo and his band of modern HYDRA agents seeking revenge.


Look:

The look is one of the most important aspects of a comic book character. Although film must try and reinterpret the look from the comic, it still must stay true to the original feel. The best look for Zemo's modern costume in the film would be similar to the elements presented here:



First, there is an unused concept image of Red Skull from Captain America: The Fist Avenger. With the color scheme changed to purple, an outfit similar to this would look astounding on film, while also staying consistent with the previous film. In the middle is an image of Helmut Zemo from the comics. Although the overall look is not right, the black-spots-on-white-fur would compliment the costume, while also resembling the comics. And last, the mask/headpiece design from A:EMH would have the best impact.


And finally...

Casting:

When casting Zemo, there are multiple aspects that must be considered. Skill, presence, physique, and voice are just to name a few. The actor needs to be a show stealer, needs to have a voice that can shine through a mask, needs to carry to weight of such a significant role, and (perhaps most of all) needs to rival Hugo Weaving's performance. While brainstorming, I came up with quite possibly the perfect man for the job... and his name in Benedict Cumberbatch.



Cumberbatch deserves a place in the Marvel Universe. He has more than proven himself as an actor, making him a fan favorite here at CBM.com. He has been suggested for many roles, and would excel in most of them. But, in the MCU, this just might be the place for him. He can play brilliant scientist, intimidating terrorist, and vengeful German all rolled into one. His voice is one of a kind, and would really establish him underneath his mask. Cumberbatch may not have the star power of Weaving, but neither did Tom Hiddleston...who (if you're unaware) gave one of the best performances as a Marvel villain.



So there you have it...how a daydreaming fanboy wishes Marvel might portray one of their best and most underused villains. A combination of these things could create a Baron Zemo that all fans can be satisfied with. Markus and McFeely, if you're reading, please take note!! We're counting on you to write an awesome sequel for Cap!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Sound off below...who knows, maybe you have better ideas than me!

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9 Comments
Rhys - 2/14/2012, 12:28 AM
HulkbusterNYC - 2/14/2012, 1:10 AM
I like your ideas Zemo would be a great villain for Cap2. Just because they're talking about bringing MODOK in doest mean there won't be a secondary villain or maybe a hint at Zemo for the third film if there is one. We also have Red Skull still roaming around the MCU as well.
CraptainAmerica - 2/14/2012, 4:58 AM
Great post. Great casting suggestion.

I would personally like to see Strucker emerge in the present day as the face of HYDRA with Zemo as his right hand man. They could have evolved into a modern day terrorist organisation and show that HYDRA didn't disband when the war ended.
MSPaint - 2/14/2012, 8:40 AM
Something like this would look great: http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww6/wico90_photos/Random/zemo.png
Paulley - 2/14/2012, 9:20 AM
Welll the in-canon Captain America video game featured Zemo castle, though Cap never met him his family history is explored and he escapes the castle now controlled by HYDRA determined to renew his family name..

so id like to see a back and forth story with 40's cap meeting the Zemo and then meeting his modern day decendent too..

but i guess we will have to wait and see
soundwave129 - 2/14/2012, 11:03 AM
I'd love Cumberbtach as Zemo, but I'm still hoping he'll get cast as Dr. Strange.
Orphix - 2/15/2012, 1:55 AM
I'd actually like to see Bucky return as a villain in some capacity.

At least it means a flawed character with a deep connection with Rogers.

Zemo is too similar to Red Skull in many ways. You would have to humanise him a bit. Make him a bit more empathetic. My big problem with the Red Skull was that he was just a Nazi...but even more evil!
Praetorian - 2/15/2012, 5:09 PM
I feel like having Zemo would be good but he does resemble Red Skull and would have to have something behind him to make him different, not just Hydra. And I feel like MODOK and AIM should be more of an Ant-Man thing
Ghostt - 2/15/2012, 5:15 PM
you just convinced me.

I havent seen him in comics for awhile, have they updated his costume so he doesn't look like...ahem...don't know how to say this without offending...ok, fine, so he doesnt look like the gay supervillain....?

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