We’ve had our theories, our ideas and now we have the truth. Yes, Martin Freeman is definitely playing who you think he is in Captain America: Civil War.
Yes, the man behind Sherlock’s Dr Watson, The Office’s Tim Canterbury and Bilbo from, well, you know what, will be playing Everett Ross.
In an exclusive image from Empire, Freeman’s Ross can be seen with Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter – Steve Rogers' former neighbour – in action. Note the German SWAT team backing them up.
What’s more co-director Joe Russo is promising that the return to Germany will bring Chris Evans’ Rogers “full circle”, sending him back to where it all began; with undoubtedly emotional charged consequences for Captain America – as if fighting your former friend Tony Stark wasn’t devastating enough.
So who is Everett Ross? Or Everett K Ross as he’s occasionally known and why should you care about a lesser Marvel character?
Well, what’s significant is that he isn’t specifically a Captain America character. He’s actually more closely connected to Black Panther – another character who’s making his MCU debut in Civil War.
Ross’ first story was 1998's Ka-Zar Vol. 4 No. 17 where he was basically a faceless white guy in a suit. It wasn’t until the Blank Panther solo series later that year that he came to prominence.
Under the guidance of writer Christopher Priest – who instilled what was basically an audience surrogate with both a cynical and knowing charm; he basically served to guide the audience through their own misgivings about a standalone Black Panther title.
Other than being a white prism for audience members to see protagonist Black Panther through, he became a useful counterpoint to the Priest’s more political take on the lead – allowing him to occasionally out smart, out think and out threaten his more famous Marvel counterparts.
The move pushed Ross to an even more outlandish comedic role; example, he once accidentally made a deal with the devil in exchange for pants. Yep, he wasn’t known as the ‘emperor of useless white boys’ for nothing.
If you’re noting the interesting switch of racial politics with these two characters, then congratulations, you’re going to enjoy Priest’s run on Black Panther.
Other than that outstanding piece of work, Ross has made a few appearances in other titles he showed up in an issue of Uncanny X-Men and in later Black Panther comics, but each time in connection with T'Challa or the Black Panther mythology.
In fact, as far as Marvel’s many bureaucratic characters go, Ross has remained resolutely attached to Black Panther: So what does this mean for Captain America: Civil War and the wider MCU?
Well, we’re not going to get full disclosure until the release of Civil War but we imagine his true purpose will be to set up a future Black Panther movie and further appearance beyond that.
Everett Ross is traditionally the US government’s man in Wakanda while in Civil War he’s part of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre which as anagrams go, really isn’t a patch on the now defunct S.H.I.E.L.D – but we can imagine them being the ones to hold the reins on Captain America and Bucky’s fight for freedom.
That feature is scheduled for a July 2018 release, with Creed's Ryan Coogler directing. Civil War, meanwhile, will be released May 6.