‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ directors promise ‘edgy’ sequel

Jan. 30, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
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Chris Evans, left, as Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson (Falcon) in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” arrives in theaters April 4 with the promise of bringing to the screen the famous 2005 comic book storyline by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting that inspired the name of the Marvel sequel.

Star Chris Evans and fraternal directing team Anthony and Joe Russo also looked back to certain cinematic landmarks to help bring a contemporary resonance to the superhero tale.

Marvel “told us that they wanted to do a ’70s thriller, and we grew up on ’70s thrillers,” Joe Russo said in an interview with Hero Complex last year. “We’ve seen ‘The French Connection’ 50 times, studied it frame by frame.”

Although Anthony and Joe Russo are best known to a certain swath of fans for their groundbreaking work on the subversive cult comedies “Community” and “Arrested Development,” they were able to put their cinephile side to use with their first large-scale action film, working from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Joe Russo on the set of "Captain America: The Winter Solider." (Zade Rosenthal)

Director Joe Russo, center, with Anthony Mackie and Chris Evans on the set of Marvel’s upcoming sequel “Captain America: The Winter Solider.” (Zade Rosenthal)

“They wrote an excellent political thriller that’s sort of hybrided in that superhero universe,” Joe Russo said. “It excited us … as guys coming in to a series of films, that was a really exciting opportunity to come up with something so fresh.”

The new film certainly will feel like a departure from Joe Johnston’s 2011 film “Captain America: The First Avenger,” with its World War II-era focus that chronicled the beginning of Steve Rogers’ transformation into the Marvel icon. The sequel, which is set after the events depicted in 2012′s “The Avengers,” sees Evans’ hero having 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.

VIDEO: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ trailer

Yet even as he bonds with a military man named Sam Wilson (Mackie) — who has a superhero alter ego of his own: 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.

Using movies such as Robert Redford’s “Three Days of the Condor” as creative guides (Redford appears in “Winter Soldier” as high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. official Alexander Pierce), the directors said they aimed to essentially place Steve Rogers inside his own political thriller. Marrying two seemingly disparate film genres was deeply appealing.

Behind the scenes of "Captain America: The Winter Solider." (Marvel)

Behind the scenes of “Captain America: The Winter Solider.” (Marvel)

“That’s the fun of it, that’s the challenge,” Anthony Russo said. “That’s one of the things we loved about working on shows like ‘Arrested’ and ‘Community,’ the tone of the shows, you have to think of yourself as a scientist and you’re taking different test tubes and mixing things together – sometimes they explode and it’s really combustible and interesting and exciting to watch, and sometimes they fizzle. That was the process on this as well. One of the things that really drew us to the project was the ability to experiment, cross-stitching genres together…. There’s a lot of drama in the film, it’s a very edgy movie.”

“We’ve always looked at that as a road to how you find freshness in storytelling,” Joe Russo added. “Bringing together incongruous elements and figuring out how do they mix and what do they make when you put them together.” (Things appear to have worked out well for the directing team — word surfaced this week that Marvel is reportedly planning to bring them back to direct another “Cap” movie.)

In a separate interview on the set of the film last year, star Evans said he welcomed the opportunity to inject more real-world drama into Steve Rogers’ screen saga.

“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.”

Click here for a detailed report from the set of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

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Comments


2 Responses to ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ directors promise ‘edgy’ sequel

  1. capfan says:

    This actually sounds good. I was somewhat bummed that Joe Johnston didn't get the directing gig for the sequel, but I didn't want to dismiss the movie because of that. I think the Cap could be an interesting character in these modern times.

  2. David says:

    Captain America is wise and true to freedom and what is right and wrong in a world. To him everything is largely black and white figuratively speaking. That's why he's one of my favorite characters. But only the original Steve Rogers version worked for me. I dislike the modern versions – they are all broken versions of him. I like the falcon and black widow and I love a good noar and mystery. As long as it's well done, I'll be happy with it.

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