Marvel confirms Weaving is Red Skull
As expected, actor Hugo Weaving was confirmed as the evil Red Skull in Marvel's upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger. Weaving rounds out the hero/love interest/villain trifecta for next year's big superhero film, joining Chris Evans (Steve Rogers aka Captain America) and Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter).
Weaving is a consummate villain/character actor, having played countless memorable roles in major geek movies beginning with Mr. Smith in The Matrix films and followed by Elrond in The Lord of the Rings films and the mysterious anti-hero V in V for Vendetta. Not as commonly known was his voice work as Megatron in Michael Bay's Transformers movies. Depending on how the script interprets the character, he might go virtually unrecognized again as Johann Schmidt aka Red Skull.
The original Red Skull was a nasty Third Reich agent in the early comics, but this Marvel press release contradicts earlier word that the film would stay WWII-focused.
The mysterious words of the release read: "In the early comics, Johann Schmidt was drafted into loyal service of The Third Reich and renamed "The Red Skull." The character will be updated for the feature adaptation."
I presume that to keep Captain America on the same time line as his Avenger buddies Thor and Iron Man, the story has been redrafted for modern times, although the specifics are not yet known. Red Skull has appeared in many incantations over the years, so anything should make sense easily while keeping with the laws of the Marvel universe.