Thomas Kretschmann joins "Avengers: Age of Ultron". The 51-year-old actor who plays Abraham van Helsing on NBC's series "Dracula" will play secondary villain Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in the sequel to be written and directed by Josh Whedon.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kretschmann strikes a deal for multiple films to play the former Nazi soldier who becomes one of the leaders of terrorist organization HYDRA. The villain is allegedly an antagonist for both Captain America (Chris Evans) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
Back in December, HitFix reported Strucker "is the initial threat, the guy they're fighting at the start of the film. He does not have a major ongoing role in the film, but he is responsible for bringing Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch into contact with the Avengers in the first place."
The sequel is due in U.S. theaters on May 1, 2015. Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner are all back to reprise their respective roles. James Spader is tapped to play the main baddie, Ultron.
Don Cheadle is expected to reprise his "Iron Man" role as Col. James 'Rhodey' Rhodes, and Cobie Smulders will return as Agent Maria Hill. Aaron Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen are set to portray Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch respectively.
The plotline is still kept under wraps, but Johansson says in a new interview with Parade magazine that the script "is dark and it's dry." She explains, "It's got this amazing one-liner, glass-cutting sense of humor. Obviously the script is very cerebral. It doesn't lose that exciting comic book aspect that people enjoyed in the first film, but it's smart and it feels like the next installment."