Ha… so after all the hoopla about who should play Cap, Bucky, the Red Skull and Peggy Carter, you figured Marvel had pulled all the rabbits out of the magic hat, right? Not so. The LA Times got wind that they’ve just announced that Toby Jones will be playing Arnim Zola in THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA. This character actor has a had a lot of good roles, but the one that will be most relevant to genre fans is Dobby the Elf from the HARRY POTTER movies. No, he didn’t ACTUALLY play the tiny creature. He voiced it.
Odds are, you probably haven’t heard of Arnim Zola before. In short, he’s an evil Nazi eugenist who endures into present times through a freakish bio-mechanoid body. Even though he’s really one of the more obscure villains in Marvel’s pantheon (although he’s got one of Jack Kirby’s more bizarre designs), I think his casting inclusion here is a mark that we’re in store for something unique with the Cap movie. See, while there haven’t been many, there have been a few superheroe movies set during World War II (Joe Johnston’s own ROCKETEER and, I want to say, SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW). What we haven’t seen is a shared universe superhero movie, with scores of heroes and villains in addition to the main character. I was really expecting this Cap movie to be stripped down, but the inclusion of Bucky, the Invaders and, now, Arnim Zola makes it look like Marvel’s making this a lot closer to the comics. At this point, I really wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Red Skull’s flunkies Baron Von Strucker and Baron Zemo will show up in this, too.