Did not see that coming.

This morning, Hollywood Reporter wrote that the Russo Brothers are in final negotiations as directors for "Captain America 2."  HitFix sources can confirm that is the case, making this one of the most unexpected choices Marvel has made on any of these films so far.

The Russos are known for comedy before anything else, and while I am a big fan of "Community," I would not have expected it to serve as an audition for a sprawling action adventure movie.  More than that, after "You, Me & Dupree," it felt like Hollywood put the Russos in director's jail.  They've done a ton of TV in the five years since that film came out, but returning to the world of features with a highly-anticipated Marvel sequel?

Sounds like they must have made one hell of a pitch.

According to the Reporter piece, the Russos were up against George Nolfi and F. Gary Gray for the part, and the bake-off process was reportedly a full month.  An important piece of the hiring process was having each of those filmmakers get very familiar with "The Avengers," which Marvel seems to be wisely using as a template moving forward.  After all, something about that film has resonated with audiences more than any of the individual Marvel movies leading up to it.

I like Erik Davis's theories today on why MODOK could end up as the villain in "Captain America 2," and even if he's completely wrong, the image of Peter Dinklage in the MODOK costume is going to make me smile all afternoon.

What we do know about the film is that it's set modern-day and should show more about how Cap is adjusting to life in the 21st Century, complete with new threats and villains that he has to face.  There was material Whedon wrote for Cap for "The Avengers" that got cut, and I'm curious if any of that will end up in this film.  Whatever the case, this hiring is a reminder that Marvel didn't get where they are right now on film by making the most obvious choices.  It's exciting to see how they're proceeding, because I have a feeling they will continue to surprise us, and that can only be a good thing.

"Captain America 2" arrives in theaters April 4, 2014.