By Darren Franich
March 12, 2010 at 10:15 PM EST

Image Credit: Marvel Entertainment; Ed Millington/Retna LtdBy now, we’ve all heard that the casting race to play Captain America has narrowed to three eerily handsome actors. But what about the Red Skull, Cap’s archnemesis, the devious mastermind who loves national socialism and hates America? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hugo Weaving is in final talks to play the Skull in the 2011 film.

Weaving has a great track record when it comes to blockbuster franchises: His malevolent Agent Smith was the only part of The Matrix that stayed awesome in the sequels, and his voice performance as Megatron in the Transformers films hits a similar register of deliciously pure evil.

Playing the Skull will either require a red mask, a mountain of red makeup, or a lot of facial motion-capture CGI. Fortunately, Weaving already managed to carve a fascinating character from behind a mask in V for Vendetta. Also, you have to admit that Weaving and the Skull share a certain cranial similarity. Don’t laugh: Between Lord of the Rings and The Matrix, that’s one of the most lucrative foreheads in history.

The Red Skull’s a weird mix of villain tropes – an evil genius, a combat supersoldier, a grotesque science freak, and a Friend Of Adolf. I’m pretty confident that Weaving will be able to find the right mix of over-the-top evil and magnetic charisma. What do you think, readers? Will we all be disappointed by anyone but Christoph Waltz as the Skull?