So are we getting a Sharon Carter in the Marvel Universe?

That's certainly a possibility as we hear reports today that Marvel is screen-testing a list of five actresses to play the female lead in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which is due to start shooting soon.  The subtitle is our one big clue about what we're seeing in the sequel, and I was sure they were going to be headed in this direction as soon as we saw Bucky's "death" in "Captain America."

I think Joe Johnston did a nice job of setting up enough dangling threads in the first film to leave plenty of room for Joe and Anthony Russo to play in the sequel.  The home video release of "The Avengers" has given us a glimpse at some of the scenes involving Captain America grappling with his lost past that were cut from the film.  While I liked those scenes, I can see how they decided they didn't fit in "The Avengers," but I hope they carry over the same melancholy tone for at least part of the sequel.  There's something interesting they can play with Captain America that isn't true for any of the other Marvel characters onscreen so far.

It's an interesting list of actresses.  I think I'm pretty shamelessly in Alison Brie's corner.  I think she's terrific on both "Community" and "Mad Men," and so far, she's been doing nice supporting roles on the big screen without the perfect starring role to make her as big a star as I think she'll eventually become.  Emelia Clarke is great on "Game Of Thrones," and I'm sure she'd make a nice addition to the cast.  I'm not familiar with Jessica Findlay's work, but with Teresa Palmer and Imogen Poots both under consideration, it looks like it's one talented name after another, so it'll all come down to whoever has the best chemistry with Chris Evans, and that's why they're testing them all.

If it is Sharon Carter who they're adding to the film, I'm wondering if they'll make her the niece of Peggy Carter, the character played by Haley Atwell in the first film, which is the way Marvel eventually worked out her backstory.  At one point, she was Peggy's younger sister, but enough time has passed between the stories that Marvel adjusted things.  Sharon has been an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in both the original Marvel universe and the retconned Ultimates universe, and that would be a great way to bring her together with Steve Rogers in the new movie.

As far as the reports that Black Widow will also be in the film, that shouldn't surprise anyone.  She's a big part of the Winter Soldier storyline in the comics, and it would be nice to see them use her in more than just an obligatory cameo.  That would be part of Johansson's nine-movie deal that is pretty much standard operating procedure for the Marvel actors at this point, and whoever signs on to play the female lead for "The Winter Soldier" could be looking at the same kind of long-term utilization in the Marvel films moving forward.

Whatever the case, they'll be shooting soon, since "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" arrives in theaters April 4, 2014.