After many months of keeping it firmly under wraps, Marvel Studios has revealed just who Martin Freeman is to be playing in upcoming movie Captain America: Civil War, via Empire magazine. The Sherlock and Fargo actor is set to appear as character Everett Ross, who is lifted straight from the comic books and may yet feature in more standalone Marvel Comics Universe (MCU) movies, given who he links directly to.

Within the comics, Ross worked for the US State Department, for whom he escorted foreign diplomats across American soil – although his world got a little more dramatic when he was assigned to look after Wakanda ruler T'Challa, otherwise known to Marvel fans as Black Panther (portrayed by Chadwick Boseman in Civil War). Across the source material, he also dated Nikki Adams, an old flame of T'Challa – therefore with all these links, it seems likely that Freeman's part in the MCU would expand out from just appearing in Civil War. In this movie, he is reportedly a part of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre, an organisation that would probably be involved in keeping Cap, Iron Man and the rest in check.

The exclusive image from Empire was accompanied by the revelation that Freeman and co-star Emily VanCamp (above, left) are to play Ross and Sharon Carter (aka Steve Rogers' old neighbour from Captain America: Winter Soldier and, in some instances, the niece of his late love, Agent 'Peggy' Carter). Fans can also see a group of German SWAT officers in the snapshot, which ties in with co-director Joe Russo's promise that the story's return to Germany will bring Cap "full circle", sending him back to where he got his super-abilities in the first place. Such a plot device would certainly prove emotional for Rogers, on top of everything else that he's likely to be dealing with in the movie – but hey, Chris Evans did recently reveal how the film would focus on Cap's struggles.

Captain America: Civil War, the Russo brothers' second character-based instalment, is due to be released in UK cinemas on 29 April 2016. It reaches US screens on 6 May, and is to be followed in the MCU by Doctor Strange on 28 October (4 November in the US) and Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 on 28 April 2017 (5 May in the US). Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther are set to follow these releases.

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