Marvel’s Best Villain Actor Playing Fashion Icon In New Streaming Series

Daniel Bruhl, the MCU's Baron Zemo, is taking on the role of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, the man who saved Chanel, in a new series for Disney.

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

Daniel Bruhl as Baron Zemo

It’s not very often that a Marvel movie ends with the villain succeeding — but it does happen. The most well-remembered example is Thanos successfully destroying half of the universe at the end of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, but Baron Zemo, played by Daniel Bruhl, arguably achieved his goal two years earlier at the end of Captain America: Civil War. Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Disney will give Bruhl a much different role, that of German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld in the upcoming series Kaiser Karl

Lagerfeld, a fashion icon up until his death in 2019, is best known for bringing Chanel back into the limelight after the death of its founder Coco Chanel. However, Daniel Bruhl’s series will take place earlier than that. It will cover Lagerfeld’s career during the 1970s when he worked for the fashion brand Chloé and was directly competing with his rival Pierre Bergé, who founded the fashion label Yves Saint Laurent.

While Pierre Bergé was an absolute fashion powerhouse in France, it seems almost comical for Daniel Bruhl to take him on, considering that he successfully took on the Avengers in his one Marvel appearance. His master plan of driving an irreparable wedge among the avengers pretty much succeeded, with Tony Stark and Steve Rogers‘ relationship being so strained that they never fought together again until Avengers: Endgame – the last movie that either character appeared in (assuming neither is brought back through multiverse shenanigans). 

Of course, David Bruhl is known for plenty of other roles besides Baron Zemo — though most of his biggest roles are still far more action-packed than what you’d see at a Paris fashion house. He played the Nazi war hero Fredrick Zoller in Inglorious Basterds and the Austrian Formula 1 racer Niki Lauda in Rush. Most recently, he appeared in the Netflix adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front as the German politician Matthias Erzberger.

Sebastian Stan, Daniel Bruhl, and Anthony Mackie in Falcon and The Winter Soldier

That’s not to say that Daniel Bruhl hasn’t appeared in films and shows that are less action-oriented. One of his earliest starring roles was in Good Bye Lenin, a comedy about a man whose mother has woken up from a coma, and to keep her from dying of shock, he must prevent her from finding out that the nation of East Germany no longer exists. He played technology activist Daniel Berg in The Fifth Estate and an insurance executive in the 2006 film A Friend of Mine.

Unfortunately for fans of Baron Zemo, it seems that Daniel Brugh will continue appearing in drama films in the near future. He will play artist Bruno Bischofberger in the biographical drama The Collaboration and will play a disabled man in the drama The Movie Teller, based on a book by Chilean novelist Hernán Rivera Letelier. 

However, fans of Rush can rejoice since Daniel Bruhl will be appearing in another racing film. In 2 Win, currently in post-production, Bruhl will play a rally driver in a story recounting the fierce competition between Germany and Italy in the 1983 Rally World Championships.