Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo are continuing to make the press rounds for Marvel's Phase Two Blu-ray release on September 9. In doing so, the filmmaking duo continue to drop new tidbits about their impending sequel Captain America 3.
The brothers are returning to direct, with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely currently writing the screenplay, the same team behind Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. When Robert Redford was revealed to be a villainous character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, some thought he may be a present-day version of Red Skull, a character who hasn't been seen since escaping in Captain America: The First Avenger.
In an interview with Screen Rant, when asked if Red Skull could make a return to the MCU, Anthony Russo wouldn't offer any specific story details, he did hint that anything is possible in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"We can't really comment specifically in terms of where we're going with it, just because we don't want to spoil anything for anybody. But certainly, look. That's the great thing about the Marvel universe, is anything is possible. All these characters exist. And as we've seen on the publishing side, there's very inventive, creative ways to make characters relevant again and surprising ways to make the characters relevant again. He's a great character. Whether or not he finds his way back I can't really say."
"Here's the thing. The think we love about Bucky is he's a really complicated character; very tragic, complicated character. Here's a guy, when you look at him, is he the world's worst assassin or is he the longest serving POW in history? You could look at him as one of two things. Either he's innocent by reason insanity or the equivalent of that, in terms of not being responsible for his actions because he was brain controlled, or he's a monster. It's a very complicated place. It's a hard place to move forward from that. In relationship to Cap, it's like is Cap ever going to be able to access the guy he used to be?"
Joe Russo added that their jobs as filmmakers is to keep raising the stakes by bringing in a bigger villain each time around, while commenting on Bucky's identity issues.
"And if he can't, well who is Winter Soldier? Is he Bucky Barnes anymore or is he somebody knew? So those are all really interesting questions to ask with him. It's our job on the next one to outdo the villain from the last one. But because that's a mandate of ours, it's always something we put an incredible amount of focus on. The stakes aren't high enough. The audience doesn't feel those stakes. If the characters aren't in jeopardy continually throughout the film, then you lose a certain narrative momentum to the movie. As we said, you can only define the hero against the villain. So the greater the villain, the greater definition you get out of your hero."
"You have to work really hard to deliver something different, and exciting, and challenging. That's what we're in the middle of on Cap 3 right now, pushing really hard to make sure that what we deliver is something that's gonna be different from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We're more grounded in the world of Winter Soldier than Winter Soldier was grounded in First Avenger. The difference between First Avenger and Winter Soldier is that seventy years has elapsed between the two movies. Cap was waking up in a world that was a million miles away from the one he came from. That gave us a narrative motivation to push the tonal and stylistic content of the world forward. We don't have that same time elapsed here. It's the world Cap woke up in still, even though it's several years later and some other significant events have happened. At the same time, we are pushing Cap to a place he hasn't been before."
"Bucky's such a heartbreaking character. Is he one of the world's worst assassins? Or is he the world's longest-suffering POW? He's been brain-controlled, so is he responsible for his actions? Is he innocent, by reasons of insanity? It's a rich, philosophically complex human identity and relationship. And it becomes an important question for Cap, a guy who's lost everybody in his life now."
"We do have a subtitle. We're not going to release it yet. We will shortly. We've got a fantastic draft script in our hands. We're very happy with it. [Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely] are back writing the sequel. They're incredible writers. They did an amazing job with what is basically a first draft. We're excited to get to work on the draft and keep making it better.
When asked if they plan on using characters from the comics that haven't been seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet, Joe Russo teased that Cap's universe will keep expanding.
"It's always exciting to put Cap in a situation where he's dealing with other characters because part of his super power is his morality, and there's an inspirational quality to his character. So it's nice to have characters around him that he can inspire. Leadership is also a key component of his, and you can't lead unless you have other characters around. But he's also got an expanding universe - Winter Soldier, Agent 13, the Falcon - so there's already a universe that's expanding around him. It's exciting to mix that up, and we may or may not have a few tricks up our sleeve, but that's about all we can say without spoiling the story for anybody."
"We always react and adjust to the material, and part of Marvel's secret formula is that you keep working all the way until the time you deliver the movie for exhibition. You keep working to make it a better film. Things change as you work. So we will definitely be watching cuts of Avengers: Age of Ultron. We talk to [Avengers director Joss Whedon] when we can. We talk to [Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige] when we can, just to get insight into what they're doing, and what direction they're headed, so it'll definitely impact us, without question, from a narrative standpoint. From a tonal standpoint, perhaps. It's hard to say."
"We've seen what everyone else has seen that was at Comic-Con. We saw that incredible two minutes of footage from it. It looks like the biggest movie ever made, so we're very excited for it. We have read the script. It's incredible. I think Joss is going to blow people away with this one."
At various points in the comic books, different characters took up the Captain America mantle, including The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). When asked if they would be open to another character playing Cap, Joe Russo had this to say.
"We would absolutely be open to it, if it is right for the narrative. The thing that people have to remember is that this is the Marvel cinematic universe, it's not the publishing side, and it's a medium that's much more compressed. You get two hours to tell a story. Certain characters have been in the comics for 40 or 50 years, and so we have to make choices that service the Marvel cinematic universe, and that doesn't necessarily mean that publishing can influence those choices we make because we may not have the time to get the story to the place that publishing did. Without question, we're open to every- and anything that makes for an exciting story."
When asked if they would ever consider developing another property for Marvel, Joe Russo mentioned Secret Wars, which the director revealed was one of his favorite comics in a separate interview earlier this week.
"we would be more than happy to work on more Marvel properties. We love them all. It's interesting because there's a lot of them being explored at the moment. I think I mentioned to someone yesterday that the Secret Wars was a big influence on me when I was a kid. I love the notion of crossovers. It's certainly a complicated environment in respect to characters being spread out amongst different studios, and there's a lot of politics involved to try to get characters to cross over. But for me as a comic-book fan, that would be something I'd want to see on the screen one day."
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