Zemo remains one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s truly great villains and, despite boasting no superpowers, he was successful in his quest to tear The Avengers apart in Captain America: Civil War.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier saw him freed from prison to lend Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes a hand during their quest to stop the Flag Smasers. For actor Daniel Brühl, the Disney+ series also served as a chance to deepen the character, donning his comic-accurate mask and showing the villain’s humorous side in that unforgettable nightclub scene.
Rumours continue to swirl that Zemo will be enlisted for 2025’s Thunderbolts movie and Brühl addressed the speculation during an interview with Screen Rant.
“It’s always a delicate subject matter of what can you say? What can you not say? It’s such a complex universe, as you know, that I only understand maybe 1% of it. There’s certain opportunities for you, there’s certain constellations where you might be part of more than in others. But it’s all a big if and a question mark.”
“But again, if that would have been one of the projects for Zemo. I wouldn’t be shooting here in Australia with Ron Howard’s. And [if] destiny brings Zemo back sometime again, I would probably not say no.”
Thunderbolts already features a great many characters so there may not be room for Zemo. That’s a missed trick on Marvel Studios’ part, though we find it hard to believe he won’t eventually show up elsewhere in this shared world.
During the same conversation, Brühl was asked about delving into a new side of the Baron in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and seemed to cast doubt on the possibility of being asked to reprise the role in Thunderbolts.
“I guess it was nice with that Zemo guy because he was so surprising and different. Also, the second time around I was invited to explore the sense of humor in that character, which I relish and enjoy so much. So again, it was a surprise, I was invited to surprise the people. So I guess that if he shows up again, you really need to carefully think what is this crazy little guy up to this time around?”
“So if the right opportunity would come, I wouldn’t say no, obviously. But for now, I’m into other things that I’m very happy with because that might have collided. I think they’re shooting [Thunderbolts] right now, so the destiny and fate always. I strongly believe in that. You just follow the path that you are offered to follow.”
If nothing else, we’d imagine the movie will feature a cameo from Zemo, even if it’s just in a post-credits scene which sets the stage for another version of this team to assemble. In the comics, Zemo led a version made up of villains pretending to be heroes.
Thunderbolts is set to be released in theaters on July 25, 2025.