Marvel Studios is in talks with Toby Jones (Infamous) to star as one of the secondary villains in the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger (or whatever they are calling it these days). He would play Arnim Zola, an ally of Red Skull and the Nazi Party who could be a very worthy adversary for Captain America, who will be played by Chris Evans.

Zola was a character introduced by Jack Kirby in Captain America #208 (April 1977). He’s not a character with any unique superpowers, but is a mad scientist of sorts who specializes in genetics and the manipulation of brain patterns. He essentially discovers a way to imprint someone’s brain pattern onto a clone’s brain.

Here is a more detailed account of his exploits, courtesy of Wikipedia:

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. Zola also used these skills to form a new body for himself, surviving through the war and into modern times. The Red Skull also financed some of Zola’s experiments, allowing Zola to produce such creations as Primus, Doughboy, and Man-Fish. This association led to Zola’s first confrontation with Captain America in the jungles of Central America. Zola has since continued his experiments at various times and locations around the globe. Often, his crimes against humanity bring him into conflict with various heroes, from Captain America to Deadpool.

As you can see, Zola is a mean little nerd. And Jones is a very talented character actor who certainly has the chops needed to make such a character both interesting while also making it feel grounded in reality. The touchy area that Marvel is getting into is that as they open up doors to new heroes and villains, they are getting into some of the more fantastical territory of their universe. As you can see above, Zola’s character is out there. Bringing him to life in a way that fits in the universe established in Iron Man will be a challenge. Luckily, they’re about to sign an actor who can help them take that all-important first step.


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