Powers Boothe (Sin City, Deadwood, Nashville) has joined Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a recurring role as Gideon Malick, a notorious man whose loyalties remain a mystery. Boothe previously appeared in Marvel's The Avengers as a member of the World Security Council. While Marvel wouldn't say much more about Gideon Malick, it's possible that he could actually be the next Red Skull. Here's what Jeph Loeb, Executive Producer/Head of Marvel Television, had to say in a statement regarding the casting.

"Gideon is incredibly menacing and in him we have a character that even the stone-cold Grant Ward would fear. Only someone of Powers' caliber could deliver the type of ominous and powerful performance we needed."
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In the aftermath of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s battle with Jiaying and the Inhumans, Director Coulson will search the world for more powered people and will face threats unlike the world has ever seen. However, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will soon find out they're not the only ones tracking down these new Inhumans. It isn't known when Powers Boothe's Gideon Malick will first appear on Season 3 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but we'll keep you posted as soon as we have any updates.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is Executive Produced by Joss Whedon (Marvel's The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot co-writers, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog), Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias); and Jeph Loeb (Marvel's Agent Carter, Marvel's Daredevil). Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET on ABC. For more information on the series and the other exciting Marvel Television projects, stay tuned to Marvel.com.

There are no characters named Gideon Malick in the Marvel Comics, but there is a Gideon from the X-Force comics. It seems unlikely that Powers Boothe is playing this character, though, since 20th Century Fox holds the rights to that comic book property. However, there is another intriguing possibility for who Gideon Malick may really be. There is a Marvel character named Albert Malik, who was the second person to take over as the Red Skull. Albert Malik was a Soviet spy during the later half of the 20th Century. Stalin's successor Gregori Malenkov had pulled Malik from his operations in Algeria and outfitted him as the new Red Skull following the disappearance and presumed death of the original Nazi operative. Malik continued to operate until the modern age, apparently laying low when the original Red Skull returned after years spent in suspended animation. Even if Gideon Malick isn't Red Skull, he could have ties, or possibly be related to Albert.

Red Skull was previously played by Hugo Weaving in the 2011 MCU movie Captain America: The First Avenger. It's worth noting that the MCU is no longer under the purview of Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, although he still does control the TV division, which is lead by Jeph Loeb. While TV shows like Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel's Agent Carter are still a part of the MCU, it's possible that the TV division may be trying to distance itself from the movies, although that has not been confirmed. If that is the case, the small screen side of things may very well be establishing their own take on The Red Skull. Do you have any theories about the mysterious Gideon Malick? Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which returns next week with Devils You Know, airing Tuesday, October 20 at 9 PM ET on ABC.