Starring Chris Evans, the Captain America sequel takes place shortly after events seen in The Avengers, as Captain America lives quietly as Steve Rogers and tries to become a regular part of society in Washington, D.C. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of new ally the Falcon to battle against their common enemy, the Winter Soldier.
Also starring Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson, the film was co-directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo. The filmmaking duo decided that bringing the military-based character of Captain America to life required the real-world appeal of a political thriller in order for the story to be relatable to audiences. Producer Kevin Feige knew early on the Russo brothers would be a great match for the film because they could really take it to the limit. “We generally outline the story and essentially know the story we want to tell, but we want someone to come in and elevate it,” explains Feige, adding that he also wanted this film to be unlike any other Marvel movie. “It’s got the humor [and] it’s got action, but, at the same time, we see characters exploring their situations in a much deeper and richer way than we’ve done in the other films.”
In the end, the Russo brothers made a film that will take audiences on a wild ride. “You can’t have a thriller without stakes,” says Joe Russo. “Stakes are emotional. Stakes have to play real, especially in a political thriller, which has contemporary themes to it. You have to play as real as possible to relate to the audience, otherwise you are losing a layer or texture. You can’t really call yourself a political thriller unless you are topical. So it was important on that level that we ground the movie because you have to make the audience care.”
To that end, the lead characters in The Winter Soldier are both strong and complex. “You want to introduce characters as they are relevant to the storytelling in those two hours, and to your experience of that movie, and to the experience of the universe up to that point,” says Russo. The newest character in this film is Falcon. Played by Mackie, the character required a strong actor that could live up to the role. “We wanted Falcon to be part of a team with [Captain America], not a sidekick,” Russo explains. “In order to do that, you need an actor who can hold the screen opposite all these other great actors who are in the film. And you need someone who can flush that character out with limited screen time in a very three-dimensional way. And that’s Mackie. He’s just an incredibly accomplished actor.”
With both new and familiar characters and amazing high-stakes action sequences, audiences will surely be on the edge of their seats as the legendary Captain America is tasked with saving the world. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will have a wide release in theaters on April 4, 2014.