While “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is nowhere near done making money hand over fist at the box office, we’re already thinking about Marvel’s future film slate, namely “Captain America” Civil War.” “Civil War” is loaded with Marvel superstars such as the titular hero, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon, Vision, Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man, plus with some heroes yet to be introduced to an eager public, the already confirmed Black Panther and, if rumors are to be believed, even your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Add that cast to a growing group of villains such as Baron Zemo and the returning Crossbones and you have one of 2016’s most loaded blockbusters.
But Marvel has added another player to this bursting film event. You can now add Martin Freeman in an as yet undisclosed role to this already huge cast. Fans fell in love with Freeman as Dr. John Watson on BBC’s “Sherlock”; they thrilled to Freeman’s adventures as Bilbo Baggins in the recently concluded “The Hobbit” trilogy; and they lapped up every minute of Freeman’s Emmy worthy performance on FX’s hit “Fargo.” But now Freeman turns his prodigious talents to the Marvel Universe. But who will Freeman play? There are many heroes and villains that this multi-talented actor could be perfect for, so join us as we postulate a few Marvel mainstays that Martin Freeman could be bringing to life in “Captain America: Civil War.”
One need look no further than Everett Ross, the American regent to Wakanda, to find an absolutely perfect role for Freeman. Ross served as the POV character, and comedic relief, in writer Christopher Priest’s acclaimed run on “Black Panther.” The liaison to Wakanda was always written with a dry, sardonic wit that could be perfectly suitable for Freeman’s similar comedic style. It wouldn’t be much of stretch to imagine that Ross, a long time government official, could be introduced in the politically driven “Civil War.” We all know Marvel loves its synergy and introducing Ross in “Civil War” could allow the studio to explore his character before shunting Freeman off to co-star in 2018′ “Black Panther” film.
In Geoff Johns’ short but acclaimed run on “Avengers,” newly introduced U.S. Secretary of Defense Dell Rusk immediately took an adversarial position to the Avengers. It doesn’t take a master detective to figure out Dell Rusk was an anagram for the Red Skull. The last time viewers saw the MCU’s Red Skull in “Captain America: The First Avenger” he fell through the Tesseract to parts (and possibly times) unknown. What is clear is the Red Skull plays a pivotal role in the climax of the comic book version of “Civil War.” Hugo Weaving, who originated the role for Marvel, has made it clear he has no interest in returning as the villain, so perhaps Marvel will opt for a new Red Skull, one hiding beneath that trusted and kind face of Martin Freeman, ready to strike at Marvel’s heroes in their most desperate hour.
Maximus the Mad
The Inhumans have played a role on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” but these fascinating metahumans are on their way to the big screen as well. What better place to introduce the adversary of the Inhumans, the trickster Maximus the Mad, than as a string puller in “Civil War?” Maximus is a Loki-like character, a complex being of genius and insanity as complex as he is dangerous. In other words, bringing Maximus the Mad to life would require an actor who can balance both drama and comedy. Freeman fits that bill and could bring the machinations of Maximus the Mad in Marvel’s biggest film event of 2016.
Another villainous possibility for Freeman is Baron Mordo, frequent adversary of Doctor Stephen Strange. The Black Panther is being eased into the Marvel Universe during the next installment of “Captain America” so perhaps Marvel will continue that trend of character building with the introduction of Baron Mordo, Strange’s most hated enemy. Mordo is a complex character, a man who could have been a hero, Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, but instead followed a path of avarice and lust for power. To nail that balance would require a greatly skilled actor to pull off, one like, say, Freeman. And just imagine the explosion of fan love if Martin Freeman’s Baron Mordo becomes the archenemy of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange. Many would be hard pressed to imagaine a cooler scenario than Sherlock and Watson going at it on the Astral Plane.
Henry Peter Gyrich
Henry Peter Gyrich is one of the Avengers’ greatest political rivals, a bureaucratic stiff who who has the best interest of his country at heart but whose approach to protecting his nation stands in the way of the Avengers and their mission to safeguard humanity. Gyrich’s Machiavellian machinations would fit neatly into “Civil War’s” politically-charged story. Freeman has the necessary acting chops to bring to life the character’s fascinating subtleties, such as his wrong-minded patriotism and dedication to an onerous political system that has a tendency to throw roadblocks in the Avengers’ path.
Now that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been revived in “Age of Ultron,” the super spy organization will need some new blood. While the MCU S.H.I.E.L.D. has seen some comic book stalwarts like Maria Hill join those agents created especially for live-action like Phil Coulson and Melinda May, there are still plenty more from the comics who could make the jump. Since his first appearance in 1967’s “Strange Tales” #163, Quartermain has been a staple S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. It would be very cool indeed to see Freeman take a more active role in “Civil War” and flex his heroic muscles as this classic S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
Yes, Spider-Man could be on his way to the Marvel Universe in “Civil War.” If Spidey is in fact arriving during the conflict, he’s going to need a villain — and what better villain than Norman Osborn? Considering fans have already seen two different Norman Osborns in two different Spider franchises, how can this one be different? Simple. Have an actor with the skills of the cerebral Martin Freeman step into the eventual Green Goblin’s loafers. In the comics, Norman Osborn played a major role in the post-“Civil War” Marvel Universe so it seems more than appropriate to introduce the newest cinematic Osborn in the film version of the story.
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