It was recently confirmed that Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, The Wolf Man) was to play the Red Skull opposite Chris Evans’ Captain America. Today news is out that Toby Jones (The Mist, Infamous) is to play the evil Nazi scientist, Arnim Zola. Joe Johnston’s film is shaping up to have a great cast of actors.
Arnim Zola was a biochemist during World War II who became one of the first human genetic engineers in history after finding papers and equipment used by the offshoot race of humanity, the Deviants. He found a ready home among the Nazi party, who saw his actions as the ability to ensure the existence of a master race.
One of his first accomplishments was the creation of a brain pattern imprinting device, which would allow someone’s mental essence to be projected into a cloned brain. Zola presented such a gift to Adolf Hitler, creating the Hate-Monger.
Born with a frail, dwarfish body, Zola used his scientific skills to genetically fashion a new stronger body for himself. Having done so, Zola used the mind-transferrance technique he devised to project his mind into the cloned brain of his new body, a brain that he situated in the chest cavity where it would be more protected. Since the brains of all of his genetic creations were grown from cells of his own, he can mentally project his intelligence into any of his creations.
As you can see from the figure by Bruce Ross above, he looks sort of like Krang from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon from the 80s. I don’t think he will have that look in the Captain America film (well at least not at first) and will probably be a normal human mad scientist until some kind of accident or maniacal scheme. To be honest I think it is great that they have Zola involved as it may well give the necessary reason for the Red Skull to survive into the present day. However, it does mean that we may well see Toby Jones crop up in other Marvel Studios films and I could see him in The Avengers having created some kind of crazy looking army of genetic freaks.