Marvel Studios has announced that veteran character actor Hugo Weaving will play the key role of The Red Skull in The First Avenger: Captain America, which begins production next month in London.  Introduced in Captain America #1 in 1941, the original Red Skull was George John Maxon, an American industrialist turned Nazi saboteur, but the character in the movie has been identified by Marvel Studios as Johann Schmidt, who was actually the second Red Skull in the comic continuity.  Schmidt, a German orphan who survived a harsh upbringing, was working as a bellhop in a Berlin hotel when he was chosen by Hitler for special training that the Fuhrer supervised himself.

Weaving joins a cast that so far includes Chris Evans and Hayley Atwell (see “Hayley Atwell Joins Cap Cast”).  Weaving is perhaps best known for his work in the Matrix Trilogy (Agent Smith), V for Vendetta (V), and Lord of the Rings (Elrond).  Weaving has also provided the voice of Decepticon leader Megatron in Michael Bay’s two live-action Transformers movies.