It’s no secret that the MCU is not known for their great villains. For the most part, the villains are our heroes' “call-to-action”, serving as an obstacle in the heroes' journeys rather than three-dimensional characters in their own right. Most of the MCU villains meet the same fate: they fight our heroes, and then they die. Kevin Feige, the Lord Commander of the MCU, has spoken on this topic several times, and the answer is always the same: “A big criticism of ours is that we focus on the heroes more than the villains, I think that’s probably true. I don’t think it will always be true”.
The latter half of his statement is intriguing, and it feels like he is talking specifically about Thanos in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. But this statement does open the conversation for the few villains that are still alive in the #MCU to make triumphant returns. More specifically, it fans the flames of hope that fan-favorite villain, Red Skull, will finally return to the MCU. And if a recent comment by Samuel L. Jackson is any indication, #RedSkull might be coming back to the MCU sooner than we thought.
Samuel L. Jackson Accidentally Hints At The Return Of Red Skull
During a recent interview with Hot 97 led by Ebro Darden , Samuel L. Jackson spoke on a wide variety of subjects, one of which was the possibility of Nick Fury making an appearance in Black Panther. Jackson responded in his patented fashion, and had this to say regarding Fury appearing in Black Panther:
“No. They're not letting my black ass go through Wakanda. I was trying. I asked. I was like 'What do mean?"
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It’s not surprising that Jackson’s request was denied, because the higher-ups at Marvel Studios have specific plans for their films and they stick to them – it’s a large reason why they are so successful. Jackson continued to explain that Nick Fury is still around in the MCU, but he may have let slip the return of a character we haven’t seen in a while:
"You didn't see me in Civil War, I’m still out there trying to figure out what, you know, The Skull is going to..."
It’s worth noting that Jackson was cut-off before he could continue explaining what he meant by “The Skull”, but Darden was trying to get all his questions in before they ran out of time. But given Samuel L. Jackson’s casual nature during this interview, he could have easily let something slip that he wasn’t supposed to.
Is The Red Skull Coming Back?
Samuel L. Jackson using the term, “The Skull” has definitely raised some eyebrows. The term has been used in the comics to refer to the Red Skull, but he could have also been referring to Hydra, who use a skull as their logo. But we have never heard of Hydra being referred to as “The Skull” in any of the MCU films, so that seems unlikely. Indeed, there aren't many skull-like entities in the MCU that Jackson could possibly be referring to; it could perhaps be a very off-the-wall reference to Thanos, but "The Skull" seems like an odd way to refer to a villain famed for his lumpy, purple flesh.
If you look at all the possibilities, “The Skull” referring to the Red Skull is the best fit. We know he’s out in the MCU somewhere, but we don’t know where. Most of us assumed after Red Skull was pulled into the Tesseract at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, he was sent to a different planet, or maybe even became a servant of the Mad Titan Thanos.
It’s just as likely that Red Skull stayed on Earth, and has been slowly recovering his strength and resources. Being the super spy that he is, Nick Fury could have caught wind of Red Skull’s plans, and decided to track him down quietly instead of getting the Avengers involved — who were a bit busy during Captain America: Civil War anyways.
When it comes down to it, Samuel L. Jackson could have used the term “The Skull” to refer to several things. We won’t know what he really meant until Nick Fury returns in one of the MCU films. But his comment was very intriguing, and led to fan speculation, which is one of the best parts of waiting for comic book films to premiere. We must wait a while before we find out if Red Skull will ever make his return to the MCU, but until then, you can catch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in theaters on May 5, 2017.