All the way back in Phase One of the MCU, fans were introduced to one of the most ruthless villains Marvel has to offer. First appearing in Captain America: The First Avenger, Johann Schmidt aka Red Skull sought to bring a new world order. He was the main driving force behind the evil organization known as HYDRA - an entity that the audience still can't be entirely sure that they've seen the last of. As for Red Skull, however, the audience didn't see him again until his surpirse cameo in Avengers: Infinity War, and then again a year later in Avengers: Endgame, when he was serving as the keeper of the Soul Stone on Vormir. Despite the role he played in the third and fourth installments of the Avengers series, though, we never actually saw where Red Skull went after the Soul Stone was taken in either film. So, where is he now?
In an exclusive interview from Nerds4Life via ComicBook, actor Ross Marquand, who played Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, spoke about how the MCU may not have seen the last of Red Skull and that he may still be out for blood. Marquand had this to say:
"[Directors Anthony and Joe Russo] said once the Red Skull is released of the Soul Stone, once Thanos gets it (in Avengers: Infinity War) and then once Hawkeye gets it (in a different timeline in Avenegers: Endgame), he's essentially free. But if we think about it, there's all these different multiverses now. So in one multiverse, when Thanos frees him, he's free. I would imagine the first thing he would do if he still has a vendetta, or if any part of him still has ambition, would go back to Earth... Maybe he wants to enact revenge, maybe he wants to keep his diabolical plan going. Or maybe he doesn't care at all. I imagine when you're graced with infinite wisdom, you're also graced, or cursed, with infinite pain and suffering. So he's probably, I would imagine on one level, he's over it. He doesn't need to conquer anybody, because he's [unliving]."
When asked if he's been approached by Marvel to reprise the role, Marquand said, "I haven't, but I would jump at the chance to do it again... I think that role obviously belongs to Hugo, he is the person that originated it and I loved what he did with that. If his heart is in a different place and he no longer wants to return, I would truly again be honored to play that character again."
You can view the full Nerds4Life interview with Ross Marquand below.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Fans of the MCU saw right off the bat in Captain America: The First Avenger that Johann Schmidt (then played by actor Hugo Weaving) was a cruel and vicious leader, that would let nothing stand in the way of what he wants. It's important to remember that Red Skull was zapped up into the cosmos by the Space Stone all the way back in 1945, when the bulk of the first Captain America film took place. So, when he reappears in Avengers: Infinity War - and then once more in Avengers: Endgame, we see that Schmidt is in tattered clothing and seems extremely worn down from the years upon years of being slave to the Soul Stone. When Thanos received the Soul Stone in Avengers: Infinity War, that was the year 2018 on Earth in the main MCU timeline, so Schmidt would have spent roughly 73 years in space, alone, "guiding others to a treasure [he] cannot possess." The audience has only known Red Skull as a power-hungry maniac thus far, and the way that Red Skull chose to word that single sentence implies that he does in fact still desire the power of the Infinity Stones, so it would only make sense that once he is freed of his long life at the Soul Stone's servitude, he would resume his quest for that power. And if Red Skull was tied to Vormir for over 70 years, the only other place he's familiar with would be home - planet Earth.