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The Russo brothers talk politics, stealth suit and more for Captain America: The Winter Soldier

08.13.2013

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

If I had to pick one film I wasn't that impressed with from Phase 1 of Marvel's cinematic universe, it would have to be CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. I don't think the movie is bad, but in my opinion it's the weakest film so far from Marvel. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER looks like it's going to be a huge improvement over the first though, and directors Joe and Anthony Russo recently talked to IGN at Disney's D23 Expo, who shared some new details about the upcoming film.

The "Winter Solider" comic book arc is very dark, and that's one of the big reasons why Joe Russo and his brother Anthony were interested in directing CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER:

Joe: Brubaker’s run, to me, is – we’re big comic book fans – that’s one of my favorite books ever in comics. I think it’s amazing. I thought the way he brought that character back, the sort of post-modern dent that he put on it was genius and as a director, it’s a gift to have a villain who is so close to the hero emotionally. Really motivates the hero, and provides really interesting surprises.
And then the other big thing that really drew us to the project was Marvel’s desire to take Captain America and merge him with a ’70s political thriller. It gave the storytelling a real bite, a real texture, a real verite quality. And we felt like… we’re living in complicated times. And similar to the ’70s you can find some real overt political tones that you can play with that really resonate to an audience.

Anthony Russo goes on to say that since Captain America is such a morally strong character it can be difficult to "crack" him, but that's why Winter Solider is in the film:

The thing about Captain America is he’s such a strong character; so morally grounded, he’s a hard character to crack, because he’s so stalwart. So to have a villain who is his former best friend, it’s such a complicated, difficult relationship for him to be in, that’s one way you get to a character that’s as tough as Cap.

Captain America concept art

S.H.I.E.L.D. obviously plays a huge part in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, but can they be trusted? It's necessary for an operation like S.H.I.E.L.D. to keep secrets, and Joe Russo says that is one of the things that is going to cause conflict between Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. in the upcoming film:

Like any covert organization, there’s only so much information they will parse out to their employees, and the people at the top know the most information. So Cap and Nick Fury have a little bit of a conflict in this film: Cap feels like he’s left in the dark, and that Nick doesn’t always operate in the truth, and for Cap, who’s got a strong moral center, that’s a complicated position to be in. He’s not quite sure whether he likes his new employees or whether he wants to stay with them. That’s really the crux of the film.

Joe and Anthony Russo then went on to talk about Captain America's new stealth suit, and teases that the superhero might be making multiple costume changes:

Anthony: The first look he has in the movie is what we refer to as ‘the stealth suit,’ which is his uniform that he wears now as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s a suit that he goes on covert operations in… it’s dark, stealth-like, it’s based on military styling and designed for body protection. We wanted to do a very grounded version of what the uniform could be for a man who’s the greatest soldier in the world, now, today
Joe: It’s really reflective of what kinds of missions he would have to go on working for a covert agency like S.H.I.E.L.D. And then whatever other uniforms may appear in the film are a surprise, and we’ll save that for the viewing of the movie.

Joe Russo was then asked about the powerful women in the film (Scarlett Johansson is back as the Black Widow and Emily VanCamp has been cast as Sharon Carter a.ka. Agent 13), and how they will be used in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER:

Well, it’s really an introductory film for Sharon – for Agent 13. For Black Widow, it’s a very strong relationship with the two of them in this film. Chris and Scarlett really play off eachother very well in the film; they are paired up, it’s definitely a two-hander. What we loved about the relationship is Cap has a very strong moral code, she does not; he operates in the truth, she doesn’t. So that creates conflict between the two characters, it creates an interesting ‘Odd Couple’ pairing and for us, the journey that they go on together is the heart of the movie.

Like I said, I'm not a big fan of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, but I'm loving everything I've seen so far from the sequel. Part of me wishes Red Skull would be back because I feel like that character got screwed over quite a bit in the first film, however adding Winter Soldier to the mix is certainly going to make things a little bit more personal for Captain America, and it should be very interesting to see how he (and S.H.I.E.L.D.) handle the situation.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER starring  Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Toby Jones, Hayley Atwell, and Robert Redford is in theaters April 4th, 2014.

Extra Tidbit: How do you see things playing out between Captain American and S.H.I.E.L.D. in the new movie?
Source: IGN

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