LatinoReview revealed yesterday that Baron von Strucker will play a key role in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and even named some candidates for the role. It had been also reported the part would be more of way to open the film, and introduce Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver to audiences. Strucker could have a larger role in future films, including Captain America 3. He's one of Cap's more notorious villains and with more solo sequels post-Winter Soldier, we have to assume Strucker could be apart of future movies. Strucker's origins for the film haven't been confirmed, but has slowed aging allowing to fight Cap in both WWII and present day settings. Below is a bit of the character's history via MarvelWikia.
Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, a former Nazi officer, was one of the leaders of Hydra and an enemy of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers, and the interests of the United States of America and of the free world in general. He was physically augmented to be nearly ageless and was seemingly killed in the past to return to plague the world with schemes of world domination and genocide time and time again.
Baron von Strucker came from a line of Prussian noblemen who were all military leaders, and was recruited by the Nazi Party in the 1930s. Von Strucker rose through the ranks and became wing commander of the Death's-Head Squadron. Von Strucker fought Nick Fury, Captain America, the Invaders and several other wartime heroes, losing every time. Adolf Hitler was angered by von Strucker's many losses and ordered the baron's death. Finding an ally in the Red Skull, von Strucker was sent to eastern Asia to build a power base; this eventually led to the creation of the international terrorist organization Hydra.
There might have been hints to Baron Strucker's inclusion to the MCU back in Iron Man 3. Aldrich Killian mentions being apart of Advanced Idea Mechanics, a terrorist organization that is a splinter group of HYDRA and founded by Strucker. It's possible that the Baron was going to be the buyer of the Killian's extremis-tech, or was in fact the one paying for the whole experiment. There has been speculation that A.I.M. could come into play in Edgar Wright's Ant-Man.
Toby Jones will return as Dr. Zola in The Winter Soldier, although it hasn't been confirmed if he'll be in his robotic form which was hinted to in First Avenger. Perhaps, the character has links to Strucker in the film and could end up the puppet-master of both Zola and Bucky. There were teases to Zola brainwashing Bucky in the first movie, which might lead to him becoming Winter Soldier. We already learned that he'll be the boss of villainous twins Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Johnson), being behind Winter Soldier too wouldn't be a stretch. It might even be a great cliffhanger, as the film is expected to be the lead-in for Age of Ultron.
Frank Grillo plays S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Brock Rumlow in Winter Soldier, but will eventually become the villain Crossbones. He'll work with and be at-odds with Rogers in the film, leading him to take out the super soldier. It's unknown if this turn to Crossbones happens in the upcoming sequel, or is explored further down the line. Grillo has hinted about this transformation, but nothing is set in stone at the moment. I wouldn't be shocked to see him return apart of Strucker's team in Age of Ultron or future Cap installments.
WHAT I'D LIKE TO SEE IN CAPTAIN AMERICA 3
The likelihood of including Strucker is probably to resurrect HYDRA as a foil for S.H.I.E.L.D and Captain America. HYDRA has been one of the biggest launching grounds for villains and world domination plots. If we're going to have more Cap films, brining them back as a serious world threat ( something currently lacking in the MCU) would be a great way to continue Rogers' journey into present day. We don't really have a human threat compelling enough at the moment, it's been mostly cosmic and artificial origins (Thanos, Loki and Ultron). The Baron could be a way to give S.H.I.E.L.D an actual reason to exist, and give Rogers something worth battling between Avengers installments.
Let's face it, the villains of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D aren't worth Cap's time. Having HYDRA combine forces with A.I.M. and Roxxon could be a way to give the MCU real human adversaries. Not to mention including advanced military technology like drones, robotic-enhancements and other weapons could put S.H.I.E.L.D on their asses. Think of how overwhelmed they would be if the enemy was using tech similar to Elysium or Avatar.
Strucker's right-hand is Ophelia Sarkissian, better known as Madame Hydra. She's also known as Viper, and that angle of the character was used in The Wolverine, turning her into a mutant scientist. Fox didn't refer to her as Ophelia but only Ms. Green along with a blond look over, leading me to believe that the Madame Hydra-side of the character is still game for Marvel to use, as she was clearly more connected to Captain America than Wolverine in the comics.
Marvel Studios has been upping their game concerning supporting female characters with Widow, Pepper, Sif and Jane getting more action and screen time. They haven't given us a main female villain in these films yet. There were some minor female villains in Iron Man 3, which is a step in the right direction but it would be nice to the ladies also given the heavier roles. A character like Whitney Frost would have been perfect for Iron Man 3, and for all we knew Maya Hensen (played by Rebecca Hall) could have easily became that villain but turned out to be just another minor character. Frost could show up in Age of Ultron but is unlikely set for Iron Man 4 (RDJ has signed on for Avengers 2-3, but not another Iron Man sequel), other sequels might be set for Phase Three. Nothing at this point is ruling out Thor 3 (Hela, Amora The Enchantress) or Captain America 3 (Madame Hydra, Sin), two projects that very well might see female villains.
The character hasn't been brought up recently but she was in early drafts of The First Avenger, along with Strucker and Baron Zemo. I assume Sarkissian could show up in Age of Ultron, if not then Captain America 3, as you rarely see Strucker without her. The Avengers cartoon had Strucker as a primary villain on several occasions, which also included Madame as his second in command.
I'd love to see Eva Green (300: Rise of An Empire, Casino Royale, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For) or Ruth Wilson (Saving Mr. Banks, Lone Ranger, Luther) end up with the villainous role, as the two actresses are very capable of playing convincing villains. It doesn't hurt Green worked with possible Strucker candidate Marton Csokas in Kingdom of Heaven. Wilson had been my choice for Scarlet Witch but with Olsen now in the role, having Ruth still involved with the MCU is a must. Her role as Alice in Luther alongside Thor's Idris Elba, proves she's also able to play a strong villain, being apart of two Disney projects and linked as a candidate for Ms. Marvel could help her land in the MCU too.
It had been rumored that Baron Zemo would have an appearance in Winter Soldier, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Gods of Egypt, Game of Thrones, Oblivion, Headhunters) was linked as a possible candidate for the role. It's a possibility that Marvel was looking to cast Strucker and not Zemo at the time, as Nikolaj does fit the character description for Strucker (that was mentioned by LatinoReview). Zemo is still a great Marvel character since he has linage (like Union Jack) and has played both villain along with ally in recent incarnations. He could very well become the Loki character for the Captain America franchise if handled properly.
I've had a few actors on a wish-list to play Zemo, but after seeing Daniel Brühl take on powerful roles in films such as Inglourious Basterds and Rush (co-starring with Thor's Chris Hemsworth), I can totally support him for the role. Not to mention he's able to speak German, French and Italian, a talent that could be explored in a globetrotting adventure franchise like Captain America. Daniel could see his performance in Rush earn him an Oscar nomination, a key part of getting on Marvel's radar.
If Marvel is looking for more of a bruiser to play Zemo, my choice would be South African actor Sharlto Copley. The actor has taken on a steady stream of action roles in District 9 and The A-Team (alongside Rocket Raccoon's Bradley Cooper), not to mention playing a villains in Elysium and Oldboy. Copley is currently shooting Chappie which co-stars X-Men actor Hugh Jackman. Kruger has to be one of the best villains of 2013, seeing Sharlto take on more roles like him would be awesome.
Marvel has been hiring some rough and tumble actors for supporting roles in Winter Soldier, mainly Frank Grillo (The Grey, Warrior, Homefront, End of Watch) and Callan Mulvey (300: Rise of An Empire, Hunter) as S.H.I.E.L.D agents. It would be nice to see Union Jack finally come into play, as the character was hinted to back in Iron Man 2. I would assume that Joey Chapman would be the incarnation of the hero, since that was the UK racer mentioned in the Iron Man sequel. Giving Cap his own team like The Invaders could be a way to introduce another iconic heroes like Union Jack.
I've been dying to see Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom, 300: Rise of An Empire, Strike Back) take on a Marvel role, and Union Jack could be a perfect one for him. The Aussie badass was linked for roles in Guardians of The Galaxy and Star Wars: Episode VII, both Marvel and Disney see potential in the actor.