Martin Freeman has made quite a name for himself by virtue of playing some memorable characters like Dr. John Watson in BBC’s “Sherlock” TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy. His ‘everyman’ presence and subtlety in his performances have earned him many admirers and accolades for his work. It was indeed surprising when it was announced he’d appear in “Captain America: Civil War,” seeing as his “Sherlock” co-star Cumberbatch will star in another Marvel movie, “Doctor Strange.” Freeman’s role of a government agent has now been revealed.
Empire reports that Freeman is playing the Marvel Comics character, Everett Ross. In “Captain America: Civil War,” Freeman is part of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre (JCTC).
In the Marvel comics, Ross first appeared in “Ka-Zar” volume 4, #17 (September 1998), created by Christopher Priest and Kenny Martinez. Following his debut, he became a regular supporting character to Marvel’s Black Panther, starting with “Black Panther” Volume 3.
In Christopher Priest’s official website digitalpriest.com, he mentions how “Friends” TV series’ Chandler Bing character, played by Matthew Perry, inspired the character of Everett Ross. Ross became an audience surrogate, a fish out of water among superheroes; the odd man out character that Freeman very skillfully portrays to some extent in “Sherlock” and “The Hobbit” movies.
The reason for the creation of Everett Ross was also a racial issue, said Priest in an interview with Newsarama.com. “‘Black’ comic books traditionally do not sell well, another reason I was reluctant to take on Black Panther. Comics are traditionally created by white males for white males. I figured, and I believe rightly, that for Black Panther to succeed, it needed a white male at the center, and that white male had to give voice to the audience’s misgivings or apprehensions or assumptions about this character and this book,” Priest had said.
It remains to be seen how faithful Martin Freeman’s version of the character in the movie is to his comic book counterpart. It may be assumed that Freeman’s appearance in “Civil War” is an introduction of sorts for a more prominent role in the “Black Panther” feature to be directed by “Creed” helmer Ryan Coggler.
“Captain America: Civil War” releases on April 29, 2016 in Australia. Apart from Black Panther, the film will also introduce a new Spider-Man.