At this year’s San Diego Comic Con, the Russo brothers (Community) were finally confirmed as the directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With this choice Marvel is clearly moving in the direction of more episodic stories like much of what we see in the comics. The Russo brothers might just be perfect for that feel. When asked what appealed to them about The Winter Soldier story arc Anthony Russo has this to say:
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.
A darker, edgier sensibility – Well that is pretty spot on for the Winter Soldier story. Ed Brubaker’s arc is anything but light and fluffy. The first movie was very much in the vein of the comic of the 1940s. However, now that Cap is in modern day and has gone through the events of The Avengers movie it’s time for him to grow up so to speak. The world needs to get darker and the stakes have to be raised for his personal journey.
A lot of questions have been brought up to whether or not Cap 2 would involve flashbacks to WW2. The montage scene in the first movie was very fun and many would like to see that part of the universe expanded. Anthony Russo’s response:
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.
So I think you can count on some explanation or flashbacks but not much. I think we should just go forward. We don’t need to constantly live in Steve Rogers’ past. Just head forward and develop him as a man out of time dealing with these new and bizarre experiences.
Next up is Anthony Russo’s statement about Marvel approached him and his brother about handling the special effects. Neither brother has been involved in such heavy SFX work so its interesting to hear how Marvel Studios handles such things:
They said to us early on in the interview process, “We don’t expect you to know anything [about special effects and so forth] — you don’t have to know everything about this stuff, because we’re here for that.” They’re very respectful of directors. They’re an amazing company to work with.
With the Ed Brubaker being the sole writer responsible for the Captain America run including the Winter Soldier will he be involved as some sort of consultant?
We’re actually going to have lunch with Brubaker soon. But no, they haven’t been involved. In the same way that they would develop a new comic-book series, they give its own space to develop. But certainly everybody is aware [of what's in the comics], has read everything, is aware of all their other material. But they do like each thing to be its own, organic process, which is nice.
I think you HAVE to have Brubaker’s input here. He knows the character inside and out, as he has been writing him for 8 years. Sadly, that run is coming to an end soon. The psychology of the Winter Soldier is the most important part of the story. A man used as a weapon and has no knowledge of his past is an excellent mirror for Steve Rogers own experience. Having the guy who came up with the idea on board is essential.
Lastly, the best part of The Avengers, minus the action, was the character interactions. So many elements put together to make one hell of a movie. Joss Whedon’s ability to have a super soldier, a billionaire genius, a demigod, and a monster in the same room and make it feel natural is what truly made The Avengers work. Russo had this to say about using that influence:
For me, what I loved about the movie, which is what many if not most people loved about the movie, were the character interactions, those great character moments. You have people rubbing up against each other in a way that’s exciting and combustible. While all the special effects and the adventure, the thrill and the danger [are] fun, it was those character-to-character interactions are the heart of the film. So that’s what [we'll hope to have].
So there you have it, a solid grasp as to what made it work. This is highly important. Its not the lasers or the Hulk smashing things, but rather the small points that made it work in the end. I think Anthony, and I’m sure his brother, have the proper viewpoint on Steve Rogers. What do you think?
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