Avengers: Infinity War is still a long way from now and we're all the mad for it. Not in a bad way, it's just most Marvel fans are waiting patiently for footage to be released. The only footage we've seen so far is the small featurette released which only gave a bref glimpse into the movie. Between now and the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War, there's still a span of four more Marvel films to take place before the Avengers assemble for Infinity War. And within that time span, more pivotal events are set to happen in the MCU'. But each of the Avengers are going to be on their own until they reassemble in Avengers: Infinity War.
Even now, fans have tons of questions regarding Avengers: Infinity War. Seeing is how Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 1 was the only film to expand upon the cosmic side of the MCU despite everything currently happening in the MCU leading up to the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1. There's lots to speculate on and not a lot of answers for fans of Marvel wanting to know how the cosmic universe will play into the MCU. The questions on a lot of fans' minds have to deal with the Macguffin (powerful artifacts that contain immense amount of power which many individuals fight over) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Infinity Stones and Gauntlet in the MCU'.
The objects i'm referring to are that of the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet. Captain America: The First Avenger introduced the first Macguffin to the MCU by drawing into a cosmic force to play a role in the film, in the form of The Tesseract. The Tesseract contained unidentifiable types of energy which Red Skull's army used to power their weapons in Captain America: The First Avenger. But The Tesseract houses a more powerful item inside, the Infinity Stone. Since Captain America: The First Avenger, the MCU has introduced several other Infinity Stones, each playing an essential role in stand-alone features for both Thor and The Guardians of the Galaxy. Avengers: Age of Ultron saw the introduction of another Infinity Stone in the form of Loki's Scepter. That gives the MCU' a tally of four Infinity Stones which leaves the Infinity Gauntlet only missing two Infinity Stones to be complete.
The Infinity Gauntlet is comprised of six fittings for the Infinity Stones. In his comic-book run, Thanos has attained the completed Infinity Gauntlet and warped the Marvel universe altogether. And it looks like Thanos (Josh Brolin), of the MCU has been eagerly seeking out the Infinity Stones and Gauntlet which he could complete before the beginning of Part 1 of Infinity War. Accounting for Avengers: Infinity War still being a ways off, there's a lot of potential territory for which Marvel can expand upon with the cosmic side of the MCU being drawn closer to the more grounded world around the Avengers. That being said, Thanos is being set up for a major role later on in the MCU timeline, but the MCU has the task of putting together the stage for Infinity War by including all the prevalent players in the conflict. One individual of the MCU' who may be making a resurgence during the Infinity War event could be that of the Red Skull.
Where is the Red Skull?
The Red Skull hasn't been seen in the MCU since his sudden departure in Captain America: The First Avenger. It's unclear as to what happened to the Red Skull but his last moments in the film appeared to show Red Skull holding The Tesseract as a burst of its energy was released. The release of energy was never explained as Captain America was the only other person present when The Tesseract released said energy. The images depicted in the scene show the release of energy consuming the Red Skull, rather than creating a destructive effect on his physiology. But the release of energy from The Tesseract probably trapped Red Skull inside of it rather than destroying him. However, after taking a closer look at the scene. The scene in which Red Skull disappears, depicts him travelling through a light similar to that of Thor's transportation way, of the Rainbow Bridge. It's possible that the Tesseract energy created a Rainbow Bridge which transported Red Skull somewhere in the Marvel Universe; he could even be working for Thanos or another villain since he's dissipated. We won't know where Red Skull wen't until the Infinity Gauntlet is assembled, but it's most apparent that the Red Skull did not die in Captain America: The First Avenger.
The Red Skull has also been known in his comic-book history to have been trapped within the confines of time or other means to hold his living state intact, only to have him appear further along the timeline in future conflicts. The MCU has been creating a collective universe since the conception of Iron Man (2008), and has created a purpose for everyone and everything in the MCU which means that Red Skull's purpose in Captain America: The First Avenger was to plant the seeds for his role's reprisal in a future film. Nothing happens in the MCU just to happen which backs up the theory of Red Skull having a larger place in the MCU's future. If the events of Captain America: The First Avenger did conclude with Red Skull being trapped inside of The Tesseract, how is he going to get out?
Is the Red Skull trapped within the Tesseract?
We know that someone is going to have to break open The Tesseract to retrieve the Infinity Stone, and it is bound to happen with Thanos looking for the Infinity Stones to fit into the Infinity Gauntlet. Somewhere down the line, The Tesseract will release everything contained inside, possibly the Red Skull as well. It's all speculative for the moment but if the Red Skull is inside of The Tesseract and he's released, then the Avengers may have more to contend with in Avengers: Infinity War than just Thanos.
With the Red Skull being released from The Tesseract, that could place Red Skull in an opportune position for a villain like himself. As of right now in the MCU, the Tesseract is being housed in Odin's vault on Asgard. And in the end of Thor: The Dark World, Loki was masquerading as Odin which means he is in possession of The Tesseract/Infinity Stone. So either Loki or a servant of Thanos will likely attempt to free the Infinity Stone from the Tesseract housing it. When someone does release the Tesseract energy by retrieving the Infinity Stone inside, and if the Red Skull is inside as well, then the Red Skull could be in the presence of either Loki or Thanos, both of whom he could choose to align with, based on common goals of destruction. Those are some pretty distant setups, in the scenario that Marvel has been planning on including the Red Skull farther down the MCU timeline.
Hugo Weaving and his future as the Red Skull in the MCU'.
It is possible too that the Red Skull was transported to somewhere within the MCU during the events of Captain America: The First Avenger but such a presence would have made himself known anywhere in the Marvel Universe so it's unlikely that the Red Skull took a magic carpet ride somewhere else in the galaxy. Unless the Red Skull was destroyed by The Tesseract, then it is likely we'll see him in a future Marvel film.
The actor who plays The Red Skull, Hugo Weaving (above) only signed on for one Marvel film at the time of pre-production on Captain America: The First Avenger. The actor never clarified if he'd ever reprise his role and his silence may hint to him knowing that his character would have a future presence in the MCU. With technology spreading information the way it does, it'd be better for Marvel altogether to conceal the inclusion of a character like the Red Skull by only requiring an actor like Hugo Weaving to sign on for the initial part in the role which would be the introduction for a character but not his full involvement in the MCU. Hugo Weaving could easily sign on to reprise his role as the Red Skull in future Marvel films. And if that comes to pass, fans will immediately know why Hugo Weaving has signed on for more Marvel films; to reprise his role as the Red Skull.
It's possible for the Red Skull to reappear in the MCU and would make sense seeing is how the Red Skull was never given a definitive exit. Although the earliest we'll see the Red Skull return could be in Thor: Ragnarok. During Thor: Ragnarok, Loki will be on the throne of Asgard and in possession of The Tesseract which houses the Infinity Stone and possibly the Red Skull. It would be the earliest opportunity for the Red Skull to make his return, and would add another element of surprise to go along with Hulk/Bruce Banner also playing an essential role in Thor: Ragnarok.
[The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027) is slated for May, 2018 and [Avengers: Infinity War - Part II](tag:2390833) is slated for May, 2019.