There seems to be a good deal of excitement right now about “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” due in large part to the news that Marvel has already signed Anthony and Joe Russo for a third film in the series.
While I’m not sure I agree with the champagne-pouring exaltations on Twitter that seem to believe this proves “The Winter Soldier” is the greatest movie ever made, I do think it’s a vote of confidence that Marvel feels like they made the movie they set out to make. Until something is finished, you don’t really know if it works, if it feels like a “movie” all the way through. I’ve seen things at various points in the process that looked good but that just didn’t add up when they were all put together, and that’s one of the most important things I feel like I’ve learned.
If Marvel and the Russos are already working on a storyline for the third film, I’m excited. I’m sure the Russos know everything that happens during “Age Of Ultron” and that they’re picking up from the new status quo that exists at the end of that film. They’re essentially making a sequel to both “Winter Soldier” and “Age Of Ultron,” one of those quirks of working in the Marvel system right now.
Another quirk is that even though “Iron Man 3” was last summer, in terms of Marvel continuity, “The Winter Soldier” takes place at pretty much the same time as that movie. I remember at the time having a conversation with Kevin Feige and asking him about where S.H.I.E.L.D. was when Tony was having his troubles in the second half of “IM3,” and he said, “They were busy. When you see ‘Winter Soldier,’ you’ll see exactly where S.H.I.E.L.D. was and what they were doing. It makes sense.” So we’ll see some events here that are happening concurrent to a film from a year ago. And then when we catch up in “Age Of Ultron,” some major events have obviously gone down, and some definite time has passed.
Remember, “Age Of Ultron” opens with Baron Von Strucker working with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, and the Avengers make a strike against them. Does that mean we’re going to find out about H.Y.D.R.A. during “Winter Soldier”? Is there a chance we’re left at the end of “Winter Soldier” with some pretty definite clues but at the start of a long process that then concludes when we catch up in “Age Of Ultron”?
We’ve got two Marvel movies due this year, and I’m equally excited about both. If this turns out to be correct, I’m glad to see Marvel rewarding the filmmakers they trust by having them back to do it again.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is in theaters April 4, 2014.