While promoting his latest film, Stalingrad, Thomas Kretschmann dropped some information about his role as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Or at least about his role beyond The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
“I have a multi-picture deal which means I will not only appear in [Age of Ultron], but they’re planning with me for a longer period of time,” Kretschmann said in an interview with B.Z. Berlin. “I don’t know details yet, they’re keeping their cards close to their chest — top secret!”
von Strucker appears in the opening scene of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and is quickly apprehended by our heroes, but he does not die. He doesn't wear that tacky green HYDRA uniform in the movie, but he does sport a trademark monocle, which is incredibly exciting because we simply have not had enough monocled villains in movies during my lifetime. It's a small part in the blockbuster sequel, but the character's connections to HYDRA make him a natural for Captain America 3 and other possible spy-oriented Marvel movies.
Or he could never show up again. I've been doing some interviews with people behind the scenes at Marvel and what's been interesting is learning how, while there is a plan, they're very open to playing with things and changing concepts around. The Marvel way seems to be to sign someone up for a bunch of movies and use them if there's a reason, not simply shoe-horn them in whenever possible.