March 12, 2010 / 5:09 AM / in 8 years

"Matrix" bad guy eyes "Captain America" villain

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Australian actor Hugo Weaving, who played bad guy Agent Smith in the “Matrix” franchise, is in talks to join the “Captain America” movie as the villainous Red Skull.

The Marvel Studios project remains in search of the actor to play Steve Rogers, Captain America’s alter ego. It will be directed by Joe Johnston, who recently worked with Weaving in “The Wolfman.”

In the Marvel comics, Red Skull has been Captain America’s archenemy since 1941, when he engaged in espionage and sabotage as Hitler’s right-hand man. In his final battle with the superhero, he was buried under the rubble of a bombed building but — as would occur later with Captain America — fell into a state of suspended animation. Both were revived in modern times. The character was the villain in the low-budget 1990 “Captain America” movie.

Weaving is also known to genre fans as elf ruler Elrond of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

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