While we know who will be playing the primary Biggus Baddus in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron – James Spader as rogue artificial intelligence Ultron – Joss Whedon clearly wants to give Earth’s Mightiest Heroes a bit more of a challenge. As a result, Thomas Kretschmann is joining the cast as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker.
In the comics, Strucker was a German soldier disfigured by facial scars who became one of Hitler’s top men during his rise to power. He tangled with both Captain America and Nick Fury, and joined Hydra, becoming instrumental in its evil schemes.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Strucker will once more be causing trouble for Samuel L. Jackson’s Fury and Chris Evans’ Cap, though its story doesn’t specify whether he’ll be seen in flashback to World War II, or will (more likely) be a troublemaker in the present day. Between The Winter Soldier and this, we bet Steve Rogers will be getting sick of his past coming back to haunt him.
Kretschmann joins a cast that includes the returning regulars Jackson, Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson plus franchise newcomers Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver). Don Cheadle also looks set to join the fun as James Rhodes.
Johansson recently talked up Whedon’s script for the sequel, saying, “It doesn’t lose that exciting comic-book aspect that people enjoyed in the first film, but it’s smart and it feels like the next instalment. It doesn’t feel like a rehashing, it feels like these characters are moving forward, plot lines are moving forward.”
The Avengers: Age Of Ultron will be out on May 1, 2015.