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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Arnim Zola from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Arnim Zola.

HYDRA created a world so chaotic that humanity is finally ready to sacrifice its freedom to gain its security. Once the purification process is complete, HYDRA’s new world order will arise. We won, Captain. Your death amounts to the same as your life. A zero sum.
~ Zola explaining HYDRA's plan.
I am afraid I have been stalling, Captain. Admit it. It's better this way. We are, both of us, out of time.
~ Zola's last words to Captain America.

Arnim Zola is a recurring antagonist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing as the secondary antagonist of the 2011 superhero film Captain America: The First Avenger, the overarching antagonist of its 2014 sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a posthumous antagonist in the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War and a mentioned character in the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame. A variant of him also serves as a minor antagonist in What if... Captain Carter Were the First Avenger The first episode of the marvel anthology series What If...?.

He is a Swiss Nazi scientist who aids Red Skull to organize HYDRA in his quest to conquer the world with the Tesseract. After Red Skull's defeat, Zola is pardoned and recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D., but instead joins forces with Alexander Pierce and rebuilds HYDRA after its dissolution, allowing the organization to survive into the 21st century and pose a threat to the Avengers through its many undercover operatives.

He was portrayed by Toby Jones, who also played the Dream Lord in Doctor Who, Lanfranco Cassetti in Agatha Christie's Poirot, Aristides Silk in The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Culverton Smith in Sherlock and Gunnar Eversol in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Biography

Captain America: The First Avenger

Zola is a Nazi scientist who works with the Red Skull to harness the Cosmic Cube's power (known in the film as the Tesseract). When HYDRA was organized he became his second in command and personal scientist. After HYDRA forces found the Cube, Schmidt asked Zola if he could study its power, and he accidentally discovered how to transform its energy into advanced laser ammunition.

He designed advanced weapons for HYDRA when they became separated from Nazi Germany and was valued enough by the Red Skull to help him escape by giving the scientist access to his personal automobile when Captain America raided the base, thus enabling Zola to also deliver it to safety in the process. He later staged an ambush for Captain America and the Howling Commandos onboard a train, in which Bucky Barnes lost his life, but was eventually captured and interrogated by Chester Phillips, Phillips noting that his lack of the cyanide pills normally used by HYDRA agents to prevent capture suggested that he did not want to die personally.

In exchange for sanctuary after Phillips sent a fake letter confirming that he had provided the Allies with information, Zola told them everything he knew about HYDRA and revealed that Red Skull's plans were of world domination.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Zola as he appears in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Zola returns in a minor, yet important role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where Captain America and Black Widow find him in an abandoned S.H.I.E.L.D. base and it is revealed that he uploaded his consciousness into a supercomputer before receiving a terminal diagnosis in '72, leading to his physical death.

Zola reveals that, when S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded, he was recruited to work for them, but at the same time, hoping to finish up what the Red Skull has started, Zola rebuilt HYDRA within S.H.I.E.L.D. and that they had been secretly been manipulating the world for many years to the point where humanity was willing to give up its freedom. Under the orders of U.S. Secretary of Defense Alexander Pierce (who is a high-ranking member and current leader of HYDRA), Zola designed an algorithm to be implemented by the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarriers designed by Project Insight that would wipe out several million people on planet Earth - the only ones that could do anything to stop HYDRA from establishing a "new world order".

However, their conversation comes to an end when S.H.I.E.L.D. launches a missile attack pinpointed on Rogers' location, as Zola has been distracting them to allow the launch to happen. Whilst Rogers and Romanoff barely make it out alive, Zola presumably dies in the missile explosion.

Captain America: Civil War

It is also revealed that he was the true mastermind behind Howard and Maria Stark's deaths, by planning out an automobile "accident" on Long Island, which took place in 1991. It was also revealed later in Captain America: Civil War that the assassin responsible for the accident was none other than Bucky Barnes, who was, at that time, being brainwashed by HYDRA operative Vasily Karpov.

Avengers: Endgame

In Avengers: Endgame, when the Avengers travel back in time to collect the Infinity Stones and undo Thanos' genocide, Tony Stark/Iron Man and Captain America travel back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. base in 1970 to retrieve Pym Particles and the Space Stone. While there, Tony happens upon his father Howard, searching for Zola, wanting to ask him important questions.

Captain America: Super Soldier

Arnim Zola (Video Game).

Arnim Zola makes an appearance in the video game; Captain America: Super Soldier as one of the main antagonists. The game takes place during Captain America's time in WWII, fighting the armies of HYDRA. Throughout most of the game, Zola is seen as a human. But around the middle of the game; Zola acquired a robot body. He told Captain America that he transferred his mind into a robot body to be immortal. Captain America fights Zola around four times in the game, and every time, Captain America fight Zola in his robot body. At the end of the game, after Captain America defeated the Sleeper, it turns out that Zola didn't transfer his mind into a robot body, but instead, he uses a video camera on his face placed it on the robot.

Gallery

Images

Videos

Trivia

  • Zola was intended to appear as a minor/cameo antagonist in Ant-Man. The cameo would reveal that he was in fact still alive, and had acquired the robotic body his comics counterpart had. However, this was cut in the concept phase.

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           3A873E09-1637-46A0-AFBC-B3AEAA0799B7.png Cinematic Universe Villains

Movies
Iron Man
Iron Monger | William Ginter Riva
Ten Rings: Raza Hamidmi Al-Wazar | Abu Bakaar | Ahmed | Omar
The Incredible Hulk
Strategic Operations Command Center: Abomination | Thunderbolt Ross | Kathleen Sparr
Others: Samuel Sterns | Tough Guy Leader
Iron Man 2
Whiplash
Hammer Industries: Justin Hammer | Jack | Hammer Drones
Ten Rings: Ten Rings Agent
Others: Senator Stern | Anton Vanko
Thor
Loki Laufeyson | The Destroyer
Frost Giants: Laufey | Grundroth | Hailstrum | Raze | Jotunheim Beast
Others: Jasper Sitwell
Captain America: The First Avenger
HYDRA: Red Skull | Arnim Zola | Heinz Kruger | HYDRA Lieutenant | Velt
Nazis: Adolf Hitler | Roeder | Hutter | Schneider
The Avengers
Loki Laufeyson
Chitauri: The Other | Leviathans
HYDRA: Gideon Malick | Jasper Sitwell
Others: Georgi Luchkov | Thanos
Iron Man 3
A.I.M.: Aldrich Killian | Eric Savin | Trevor Slattery | Ellen Brandt | Sweat Shop Agent | Ponytail Express | Maya Hansen | Extremis Soldiers
Others: Vice President Rodriguez
Thor: The Dark World
Dark Elves: Malekith the Accursed | Kurse the Strong
Marauders: Duhg | Kronan Marauder
Others: Loki Laufeyson | Jotunheim Beast | The Collector
All Hail the King
Inmates: Trevor Slattery | Herman | White Power Dave
Ten Rings: Jackson Norriss | The Mandarin
Others: Justin Hammer
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
HYDRA/STRIKE: Alexander Pierce | Winter Soldier | Brock Rumlow | Jack Rollins | Jasper Sitwell | Russo | Senator Stern | Arnim Zola | Wolfgang von Strucker | List | Scarlet Witch | Quicksilver
Others: Georges Batroc | Ferdinand Lopez | Gerald Durand
Guardians of the Galaxy
Kree Empire: Ronan the Accuser | Nebula | Korath the Pursuer | Sakaaran Mercenaries | Exolon Monks
Yondu Ravager Clan: Yondu Udonta | Kraglin Obfonteri | Horuz | Vorker
Chitauri: The Other
Others: Garthan Saal | Eson the Searcher | Moloka Dar | Monstrous Inmate | The Collector | Dark Elf | Thanos
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ultron | Ultron Sentinels
HYDRA: Wolfgang von Strucker | List | Scarlet Witch | Quicksilver
Red Room: Madame B | Black Widows
Chitauri: Leviathans
Others: Ulysses Klaue | Thanos
Ant-Man
Yellowjacket
HYDRA/Ten Rings: Mitchell Carson | HYDRA Buyer
Others: Winter Soldier
Captain America: Civil War
Helmut Zemo
HYDRA: Vasily Karpov | Winter Soldier | Josef | Winter Soldiers
Hero Mercs: Crossbones
Others: Thunderbolt Ross | Scarlet Witch
Doctor Strange
Zealots: Kaecilius | Lucian Aster
Others: Karl Mordo | Dormammu
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Ego
Sovereign: Ayesha | Sovereign Admiral | Zylak | Sovereign Chambermaid
Yondu Ravager Clan: Yondu Udonta | Kraglin Obfonteri | Tullk | Oblo | Taserface | Gef | Retch | Halfnut | Brahl | Vorker | Narblik | Huhtar
Others: Nebula | Abilisk | The Grandmaster | Thanos
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Bestman Salvage: Vulture | Tinkerer | Shocker #1 | Shocker #2 | Randy Vale
Others: Mac Gargan | Aaron Davis
Thor: Ragnarok
Berserker Army: Hela Odinsdottir | Skurge | Fenris Wolf
Sakaaran Guards: The Grandmaster | Topaz
Fire Demons: Surtur | Fire Dragon
Others: Loki Laufeyson | Thanos
Black Panther
Erik Killmonger | Ulysses Klaue | W'Kabi | Linbani | Linda | Dave
Sambisan Militants: Sambisan Captain
Others: M'Baku | Winter Soldier | Helmut Zemo | N'Jobu
Avengers: Infinity War
Black Order: Thanos | Ebony Maw | Proxima Midnight | Corvus Glaive | Cull Obsidian | Nebula | Outriders | Chitauri | Leviathans
Others: Red Skull | The Collector | Loki Laufeyson | Winter Soldier | M'Baku | Scarlet Witch | Thunderbolt Ross
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ghost
Sonny Burch | Uzman | Anitolov | Knox | Stoltz
Others: Bill Foster | Elihas Starr | Thanos
Captain Marvel
Kree Empire/Starforce: Yon-Rogg | Minn-Erva | Korath the Pursuer | Att-lass | Bron-Char | Ronan the Accuser | Soh-Larr | Supreme Intelligence
Skrulls: Talos | Norex
Others: Thanos
Avengers: Endgame
Black Order: Thanos | Ebony Maw | Proxima Midnight | Corvus Glaive | Cull Obsidian | Nebula | Outriders | Sakaaran Mercenaries | Chitauri | Leviathans | Chitauri Gorillas
HYDRA/STRIKE: Red Skull | Alexander Pierce | Crossbones | Jasper Sitwell | Jack Rollins
Others: Loki Laufeyson | Winter Soldier | M'Baku | Scarlet Witch | Kraglin Obfonteri | Dark Elves | Thunderbolt Ross | Akihiko | Loki Laufeyson (Variant L1130)
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Mysterio's Crew: Mysterio | William Ginter Riva | Victoria Snow | Gutes Guterman | Janice Lincoln | Doug
Elementals: Molten Man | Hydro-Man | Sandman | Cyclone | Elemental Fusion
Skrulls: Talos
Others: Obadiah Stane | J. Jonah Jameson
Black Widow
Red Room: General Dreykov | Taskmaster | Black Widows
Others: Thunderbolt Ross | Valentina Allegra de Fontaine
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Ten Rings: Mandarin | Death Dealer | Razor Fist | Gao Lei
Others: Dweller-In-Darkness | Abomination | Trevor Slattery

Television
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 1)
HYDRA/Centipede Group: John Garrett | Grant Ward | Ian Quinn | Raina | Edison Po | Jasper Sitwell | Deathlok | Debbie | Vanchat | Scorch | Kaminsky
Others: Camilla Reyes | Franklin Hall | Blizzard | Lorelei | Marcus Daniels | Christian Ward | Jakob Nystrom
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 2)
HYDRA: Daniel Whitehall | Grant Ward | Wolfgang von Strucker | List | Sunil Bakshi | Absorbing Man | Agent 33 | Blizzard | Kebo
Others: Jiaying | Gordon | Calvin L. Johnson | Raina | Alisha Whitley | Lash | Vin-Tak | Katya Belyakov | Christian Ward
Agent Carter (Season 1)
Johann Fennhoff | Dottie Underwood
Daredevil (Season 1)
Kingpin | James Wesley | Leland Owlsley | Vanessa Marianna | Turk Barrett | Christian Blake | John Healy | Bill Fisk
The Hand: Madame Gao | Nobu Yoshioka
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (Season 3)
HYDRA: Hive | Grant Ward | Gideon Malick | Kebo | Werner von Strucker | Giyera | Lucio | Hellfire | Alisha Whitley | Primitives
Watchdogs: Felix Blake | Holden Radcliffe | Aida
Others: Lash | Victor Ramon | Absorbing Man
Agent Carter (Season 2)
Whitney Frost | Dottie Underwood
Jessica Jones (Season 1)
Kilgrave | Will Simpson | Dorothy Walker | Audrey Eastman
Daredevil (Season 2)
The Hand: Nobu Yoshioka | Madame Gao
Others: Punisher | Elektra Natchios | Blacksmith | Turk Barrett | Kingpin
Luke Cage (Season 1)
Diamondback | Cottonmouth | Black Mariah | Shades | Turk Barrett
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (Season 4)
Eli Morrow | Holden Radcliffe | Aida | Lucy Bauer
Watchdogs: Anton Ivanov | Tucker Shockley | Ellen Nadeer | Hellfire
HYDRA: Dr. Leopold Fitz | Alistair Fitz
Iron Fist (Season 1)
Harold Meachum
The Hand: Madame Gao | Bakuto
Others: Jim Pierce
The Defenders
The Hand: Alexandra Reid | Elektra Natchios | Madame Gao | Bakuto | Murakami | Sowande
Others: Turk Barrett
Inhumans
Maximus
The Punisher (Season 1)
Punisher | Agent Orange | Jigsaw | Lewis Wilson | Blacksmith | Turk Barrett | Morty Bennett | Carson Wolf | Tony Gnucci | Lance | Paulie | Leo
Runaways (Season 1)
The Pride: Jonah | Leslie Dean | Tina Minoru | Robert Minoru | Geoffrey Wilder | Catherine Wilder | Victor Stein | Janet Stein | Dale Yorkes | Stacey Yorkes
Others: Frank Dean | Darius Davis | Detective Flores
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 5)
Kree Empire: Kasius | Sinara | Faulnak | Vicar | Tye
HYDRA: General Hale | Ruby Hale | Qovas | Werner von Strucker | Anton Ivanov | Absorbing Man | Dr. Leopold Fitz
Others: Grill | Samuel Voss | Graviton | Thanos
Jessica Jones (Season 2)
Alisa Jones | Karl Malus | Pryce Cheng | Dorothy Walker | Turk Barrett
Cloak and Dagger (Season 1)
Roxxon Corporation: Peter Scarborough | Terrors
Others: Detective Connors
Luke Cage (Season 2)
Black Mariah | Bushmaster | Shades | Turk Barrett
Iron Fist (Season 2)
Steel Serpent | Typhoid Mary | Turk Barrett
Daredevil (Season 3)
Kingpin | Bullseye | Vanessa Marianna | Tammy Hattley | Felix Manning | Rosalie Carbone
Runaways (Season 2)
Magistrate Family: Jonah
The Pride: Leslie Dean | Victor Stein | Janet Stein | Tina Minoru | Robert Minoru | Geoffrey Wilder | Catherine Wilder | Dale Yorkes | Stacey Yorkes
Others: Frank Dean | Darius Davis | Detective Flores | Topher | Anthony Wall/AWOL
The Punisher (Season 2)
Punisher | Anderson Schultz | John Pilgrim | Jigsaw | Eliza Schultz | Krista Dumont | Turk Barrett
Cloak & Dagger (Season 2)
D'Spayre | Mayhem | Detective Connors | Lia Dewan
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 6)
Izel | Shrike
Sarge's Squad: Sarge | Snowflake | Jaco | Pax
Others: Malachi | Atarah | Dr. Leopold Fitz | Id Simmons | Isaiah | Baal-Gad
Jessica Jones (Season 3)
Trish Walker | Gregory Sallinger | Dorothy Walker
Runaways (Season 3)
The Coven: Morgan le Fay | Cassandra | Bronwyn
The Pride: | Victor Stein | Janet Stein | Leslie Dean | Tina Minoru | Robert Minoru | Geoffrey Wilder | Catherine Wilder | Dale Yorkes | Stacey Yorkes
Magistrate Family: Jonah
Others: Anthony Wall/AWOL
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 7)
Nathaniel Malick | Sibyl | Luke | Abel | Wilfred Malick | Kora | John Garrett
Helstrom
Marduk Helstrom | Kthara | Basar | Magoth | Raum
WandaVision
Scarlet Witch | Agatha Harkness
Salem Witches Coven: Evanora Harkness
Others: Tyler Hayward | Skrulls
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
Winter Soldier | Sharon Carter | Baron Zemo
Flag Smashers: Flag-Smasher | Dovich | Gigi | DeeDee | Lennox | Nico | Matias | Diego
LAF: Georges Batroc | Louie
Others: Senator Atwood | Valentina Allegra de Fontaine
Loki (Season 1)
Loki Laufeyson's Variants: Loki Laufeyson (Variant L1130) | Sylvie Laufeydottir | Classic Loki | Kid Loki | Alligator Loki | Boastful Loki | President Loki | Glamshades Loki | Pokey Loki | Bicycle Loki
Time Variance Authority: He Who Remains | Ravonna Renslayer | Miss Minutes | Hunter D-90 | Minuteman 90018371
Others: Alioth
What If...? (Season 1)
Red Skull | Arnim Zola | Heinz Kruger | HYDRA's Champion | The Collector | Black Order (Ebony Maw | Proxima Midnight | Corvus Glaive | Cull Obsidian) | Ego | Yellowjacket | Brock Rumlow | Jack Rollins | Loki Laufeyson | Thunderbolt Ross | Whiplash | The Destroyer | Strange Supreme | Dormammu | Zombies (Iron Man | Captain America | Hawkeye | Falcon | Doctor Strange | Wong | Ebony Maw | Cull Obsidian | Hank Pym | Janet van Dyne | Happy Hogan | Sharon Carter | Scarlet Witch | Thanos) | Prince Killmonger | Ulysses Klaue

See Also
Ant-Man Villains | Avengers Villains | Black Panther Villains | Captain America Villains | Captain Marvel Villains | Cloak & Dagger Villains | Daredevil Villains | Defenders Villains | Doctor Strange Villains | Ghost Rider Villains | Guardians of the Galaxy Villains | Hulk Villains | Inhumans Villains | Iron Fist Villains | Iron Man Villains | Jessica Jones Villains | Luke Cage Villains | Moon Knight Villains | Punisher Villains | Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Villains | Spider-Man Villains | Thor Villains

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Comics
Absorbing Man | Adolf Hitler | A.I.M. | Aleksander Lukin | Anaconda | Arcade | Arnim Zola | Awesome Android | Baron Blood | Baron Wolfgang von Strucker | Baron Zemo | Batroc the Leaper | Black Talon | Black Mamba | Black Widow | Blitzkrieg | Blizzard | Boomerang | Boomslang | Bullseye | Cache | Constrictor | Cottonmouth | Count Nefaria | Cowled Commander | Crimson Dynamo | Crossbones | Dark Avengers | Death Adder | Doctor Faustus | Eel | Electro | Famine | Fer-De-Lance | Firebrand | Fixer | Flag-Smasher | Ghost | Grand Director | Grant Ward | Griffin | Grim Reaper | Grizzly | Heinz Kruger | Herr Kleiser | HYDRA | Hydro-Man | Iron Monger | Jack O' Lantern | Killer Shrike | King Cobra | Kingpin | Klaw | Korath the Pursuer | Korvac | Kraven the Hunter | Lady Deathstrike | Living Laser | Lizard | Lucia Von Bardas | Machinesmith | Madame Viper | Madcap | Magneto | Man-Ape | Mandarin | Master Man | Mentallo | Mesmero | Mister Hyde | M.O.D.A.M. | M.O.D.O.K. | Mole Man | Moonstone | Nightmare | Nightshade | Princess Python | Puff Adder | Punisher | Punisher (Earth-95126) | Quicksand | Rattler | Red Skull | Rhino | Ringmaster | Rock Python | Ronan | Roxxon | Säurespritze | Scarecrow | Scorpion | Secret Empire | Selene Gallio | Serpent Society | Shocker | Shockwave | Sidewinder | Silver Sable | Sin | Skeleton Crew | Slither | Slug | Super-Adaptoid | Superia | Super Patriot | Supreme Intelligence | Tarantula | Taskmaster | Terminus | Thanos | Titania | Titanium Man | Trapster | Typhoid Mary | Unicorn | Ultron | Vermin | Vulture | Whiplash | Whirlwind | Winter Soldier | Worthy | Wrecker | Yellow Claw | Zahnmörder | Zodiac

Movies
Captain America (1990): Red Skull | Valentina de Santis
Captain America: The First Avenger: HYDRA (Red Skull, Arnim Zola, Heinz Kruger, HYDRA Lieutenant, & Velt) | Adolf Hitler | Roeder | Hutter | Schneider
Heroes United: Iron Man and Captain America: HYDRA (Red Skull & Taskmaster)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: HYDRA/STRIKE (Alexander Pierce, Winter Soldier, Crossbones, Jack Rollins, Jasper Sitwell, Russo, Senator Stern, Arnim Zola, Wolfgang von Strucker, List, Scarlet Witch, & Quicksilver) | Georges Batroc | Ferdinand Lopez | Gerald Durand
Captain America: Civil War: Helmut Zemo | Thunderbolt Ross | Winter Soldier | Scarlet Witch | HYDRA (Vasily Karpov, Josef, & Winter Soldiers) | Hero Mercs (Crossbones)

TV Series
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: Winter Soldier | Flag Smashers (Flag-Smasher, Dovich, Gigi, DeeDee, Lennox, Nico, Matias, & Diego) | Sharon Carter | Baron Zemo | LAF (Georges Batroc & Louie) | Senator Atwood
What If...?: Red Skull | Arnim Zola | Heinz Kruger | HYDRA's Champion

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