Captain America: The Winter Soldier Co-Director Discusses Sequel
Posted 07.25.12 by Ryan
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo seemed like unusual choices when Marvel hired the siblings to helm their upcoming sequel, Captain America: The Winter Solider, last month. Known mostly their more recent work in television sitcoms, directing shows like Arrested Development and NBC's Community, Anthony reminded The Huffington Post at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour this week that he and his brother actually made their start in features.
There's a little-known side to my brother and I, which is, we didn't start out as comedy directors. We started out in the mid-'90s — we made this credit card movie that made the festival circuit in '97 [Pieces], that Steven Soderbergh saw at the same time he [was showing] Schizopolis on the festival circuit. He loved our movie and offered to produce something for us, so we went into a cycle of writing — we wrote three scripts, only one of which was a comedy. That was [2002's] Welcome to Collinwood, and when he formed his company with George Clooney, he wanted to make something with us, so we showed him these three scripts and he picked Collinwood, and from that point forward, we were comedy directors. And we've loved doing it, but we've always had another side to ourselves.
People in the industry know that, because they've seen scripts that we've done, they've seen things that the public at large hasn't seen. So I think it is more surprising to people on the outside, but people on the inside get it a little more, because it is in our wheelhouse.
Russo said that he and his brother are "comic book geeks from a young age" and that Marvel eventually hired them after "a series of meetings over a long period of time" because they felt the brothers "understood the brand really well and the characters really well." As indicated in the title, the Russos have inherited a story for The Winter Soldier created by comic book writer Ed Brubaker where Cap's (Chris Evans) sidekick Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) returns from a supposed death as an assassin named, aptly, the Winter Soldier. Cap won't be fighting his former friend alone, there's also Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, which was recently cast with actor Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). Russo says that the sequel will have a "darker, edgier sensibility" that will have Cap "grow as a character."
Well, we like the [story]. I can't talk too much about specifics, that's the way Marvel handles things. I can say in general that there's sort of a darker, edgier sensibility at work there that we found appealing, and that is going find its way into Captain [America] in the modern day.
I mean, we're trying to grow him as a character, and certainly he's come a long way, from where he started in pre-World War 2 to where he is in modern-day America. So the character has room for growth because of that huge journey that he's been on, Number 1. Number 2, part of the appeal of these movies is the ensemble. Captain America isn't the only character in the film, there are other characters that are perhaps lighter in nature.
In order to tell his story, that means flashbacks to Cap's WW II history will likely be utilized.
Certainly Cap has this complicated history. We're making the movie for first-time viewers, not just for fans, so, because Cap does have this complicated history — he was this skinny guy who became a super-soldier, he was born back then and he's living [now] — in the storytelling, you need to convey that to an audience who doesn't know Cap's story.
As for whether Sharon Carter, the granddaughter of Cap's love interest, Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell in last year's Captain America: The First Avenger), will appear in the sequel, Russo could not reveal, nor could he talk about whether other The Avengers characters will show their faces. "Marvel would shoot me if I answered," joked Russo.
One thing's for sure: The Winter Soldier will open on April 4, 2014. Russo said that production will begin early next year.