‘Captain America': Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in ‘Winter Soldier’

Jan. 10, 2014 | 10:05 a.m.
captainamerica wintersoldier1 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans, left, as Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson (Falcon) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 4 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 3 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 7 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America), left, and Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 9 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 8 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 12 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 10 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, left, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 14 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, left, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 16 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce, left, and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 13 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 11 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 15 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 17 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier 18 Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

captainamerica wintersoldier set Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Directors Anthony Russo, left, and Joe Russo on the set of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Marvel)

captain america Captain America: Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in Winter Soldier

Chris Evans on the set of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

Among the massive metal containers that lined the scorched asphalt of a Carson shipping yard, directors Joe and Anthony Russo sheltered beneath a portable canopy while Captain America and the Falcon battled one seriously amped-up adversary in the relentless July heat. The trio punched, ducked and dodged blows until the forthright hero, star-spangled shield in hand, took a hit and tumbled over a thin metal rail, falling several stories to the ground.

The filmmakers called “Cut,” actor Anthony Mackie called for an umbrella, and stunt man Sam Hargrave stood up from the mats that helped him land safely, mopping sweat from his brow as he prepared to do the scene once more. He was aiming for a slightly different trajectory on the next descent, hoping that when audiences watched the epic fight that concludes “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” the action would look as realistic as possible.

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America) in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

That’s not to imply, however, that Chris Evans, the star of Marvel’s latest comic book adventure, has been taking it easy in Cap’s new solo adventure, which arrives in theaters April 4. Even if the 32-year-old actor was sitting out that one particular scene, he’d weathered plenty of blows during the busy film shoot.

FULL COVERAGE: Winter movie sneaks

“I’ve been more hurt on this movie than I ever have,” Evans said. “I haven’t broken a bone, but you get hurt. There was a bunch of fight sequences on this movie where you’re like, ‘Wow, I just destroyed my knee today doing the same roll four or five times,’ but nothing that ice and Advil can’t fix, I suppose.”

With a $170-million budget, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” has no shortage of fight scenes, but it’s not just physical confrontations threatening Steve Rogers this time around. In the new film, based on a famous 2005 comic book storyline by writer Ed Brubaker and illustrator Steve Epting, the unfailingly good guy with a moral compass that points only north also is wrestling with the knotty realities of modern politics.

“For Steve, it’s about what is right,” the actor said. “He’s relatively acclimated to the modern day — it’s not tech shock anymore, he’s not just like, ‘What’s a cellphone?’ It’s more about, given his situation, given the company he works for, what are we doing that’s the right thing? How much privacy, civil liberties are we willing to compromise for security? It’s pretty crazy how relevant it is right now.”

Captain America was first introduced to comic book readers in 1941, when it was World War II, not drone strikes and widespread government surveillance, that dominated headlines. Co-created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, the character began life as a pint-sized patriot and was transformed through a super serum into an unstoppable soldier who often battled the Axis powers.

His origins were retold on the big screen in 2011’s box office hit “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and Cap also found his way to present day near the end of that film. The international espionage organization S.H.I.E.L.D. recovered his body from the Arctic, where he’d been frozen in suspended animation for decades after his plane had crashed into the ice and snow, and Evans’ hero turned out to be a key player in Marvel’s 2012 blockbuster “The Avengers.”

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America), left, and Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Marvel)

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America), left, and Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” (Marvel)

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” takes place months after the events depicted in “Avengers.” In the script by Christopher Markus and Stephen Mc-Feely, Steve has remained in the employ of S.H.I.E.L.D., occasionally teaming with Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, or Black Widow, on key missions. (Robert Redford also stars as a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. officer, Alexander Pierce.)

Yet even as he bonds with a military man named Sam Wilson (Mackie) — who has a superhero alter ego of his own as the Falcon — Cap finds himself with few people he can trust as his past quite literally comes back to haunt him in the form of a close friend turned enemy.

“Meeting Mackie’s character, he used to serve, now he works at the VA counseling guys who come home with PTSD — they connect on that level,” Evans said. “I think they’re both wounded warriors who don’t bleed on other people. Cap has no one to bleed on. I think Mackie knows how to handle people like that. … Sometimes when things are bad, trusting a stranger is the way to go.”

VIDEO: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ trailer

The first of two ambitious comic book-based films Marvel is set to release in 2014 — the oddball space adventure “Guardians of the Galaxy” opens Aug. 1 — “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” sees the studio aiming for a more adult approach. Marvel movie chief Kevin Feige said the goal with the sequel was to make a superhero movie in the style of a 1970s political thriller.

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, left, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Marvel)

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, left, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” (Marvel)

Feige saw the approach as an effective way of dramatizing the cognitive dissonance a character from the 1940s would experience living in today’s more cynical climate.

“We loved that idea of embracing the conflict that Steve has had in the comics from the moment he thawed out and woke up in the mid-’60s,” Feige said. “Imagine that, going to sleep in the 1940s and waking up and you’ve got the JFK assassination and MLK and RFK and Woodstock and Watergate. Clearly, we’re not doing any of that stuff, but we’re embracing the tone of those comics.”

The Russo brothers, writer-directors best known for comedies including “You, Me and Dupree” and “Welcome to Collinwood” and episodes of cult favorite TV series “Arrested Development” and “Community,” were hired to direct.

Although the pair might seem like an out-of-left-field choice, Feige said their selection is in keeping with Marvel’s filmmaking philosophy: “You don’t have to have directed a big, giant visual-effects movie to do a big, giant visual-effects movie for us. You just have to have done something singularly sort of awesome.”

Directors Anthony Russo, left, and Joe Russo on the set of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Marvel)

Directors Anthony Russo, left, and Joe Russo on the set of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” (Marvel)

The movie was shot in Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, and back on the Southern California set in July, Evans, who was then preparing to make his directorial debut with an East Coast romance called “1:30 Train,” praised the Russos for their facility with character and for their decision to shoot much of the movie using handheld cameras.

The naturalistic approach complemented Steve’s abilities, the actor said, noting that Steve “doesn’t fly, he doesn’t shoot lightning or anything like that; it’s this very meat-and-potatoes approach to super powers.”

Evans also said he felt as though he’d been invited to contribute more ideas to the sequel, even if the workload was far more substantial than the last time he picked up Cap’s shield: “‘Avengers’ was so great,” the actor reminisced with a grin. “If you’re not in a big fight sequence, guess what? You got two weeks off.”

– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

RECENT AND RELATED

A movie poster for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Marvel)‘Captain America’ and more must-see movies of 2014

‘Winter Soldier’ trailer teases intrigue

FULL COVERAGE: Winter movie sneaks

‘Captain America 2’ movie poster revealed

‘Captain America 2’: Chris Evans marches into D23

Marvel’s ‘Cap 2,’ ‘Age of Ultron’ at Comic-Con

Marvel Experience touring attraction first look

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: Marvel debuts photo

‘Ant-Man’ casting: Paul Rudd to star in Edgar Wright film

Comments


2 Responses to ‘Captain America': Chris Evans fights evil, and the present, in ‘Winter Soldier’

  1. webslinger48 says:

    In the comics, the return of Bucky was had impact because he had been gone for 100's of issues.

    In the movies, it has been one movie.

    Not the same thing.

  2. guest christopher says:

    They should have kept Joe Johnston as director, he nailed the character and the tone the first time out. I do like the new Captain America, and Chris Evans is great in the role. Why no mention of Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barns (the winter soldier) ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Close
E-mail It
Powered by ShareThis