Hugo Weaving will play Red Skull in 'First Avenger: Captain America'.

The 'Matrix' actor - who has been linked to the role for several months - has finally been confirmed to play the main villain opposite Chris Evans' title character in the forthcoming Marvel superhero movie.

Red Skull - also known as Johann Schmidt - is a Nazi officer who was personally recruited by Adolf Hitler for intimidation and terror. He is named for the way he kills his victims, using the Dust of Death to leave them with parched red skulls.

The character was first introduced by Marvel comics in 1941, but movie bosses have promised he "will be updated for the feature adaptation".

The movie is set to be an origins story, focusing on the time when Steve Rogers - who becomes Captain America - is turned into a Super Soldier after participating in an experimental programme.

The movie is set to start shooting in the coming weeks and will also feature Hayley Atwell as Chris' character's love interest Peggy Carter and Sebastian Stan as his sidekick Bucky Barnes.

Joe Johnston is to direct from a script written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

'First Avenger: Captain America' is due for release in July 2011.