The same appears to be true of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." Earlier this year, when I interviewed Kevin Fiege about "Iron Man 3," I asked him the question that many people had about the film. "Where is SHIELD when all of this is going down?"
At that time, he just smiled and said, "You'll see when 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' is done. Let's just say they're a little busy." Well, based on today's panel, it looks like "Cap" is indeed going to be very heavy on the SHIELD involvement. After all, in addition to Joe and Anthony Russo, the film's directors, the panel also featured Joe Grillo, Emily Van Camp, Anthony Mackie, Sebastien Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, and Cobie Smulder. At this point, Captain America is working for SHIELD exclusively and starting to realize that the world has changed quite a bit. As Evans pointed out, that doesn't mean doing dumb shtick like Captain America trying to figure out how to work a microwave or having trouble with the Internet. Instead, it's more about how hard it is to identify the true enemy today. The world is not as simple as it was in Cap's day, and his rigid ideas about right and wrong may not apply to the situations he finds himself facing.
Johansson says that her character is pretty much an equal partner to Captain America now, and that they've started to bond. Evans pointed out that they're like an odd couple, each relying on the other to help them figure out their morality when faced with certain issues.
Hardwick asked Samuel L. Jackson how it feels each time he slips back on the eyepatch to play Nick Fury, and Jackson shrugged. "Pretty badass." He talked about how Fury sees these superheroes as tools, weapons to be utilized. He tries to be a compass for Captain America, even if almost everything Fury says is a lie. I thought that was an interesting take on the character, and it makes everything Fury has ever said seem much more suspicious.
Sebastien Stan looks very odd right now, and I'm sure part of that is because of the character. According to Feige, the film sticks very close to the Ed Brubaker arc of comics that suggested it in terms of who The Winter Soldier is, and at the start of the panel, they openly mentioned that he is Bucky Barnes. In the film, though, it is a surprise to Captain America, and that's how they'll structure it.
If I had to give an award for "Person Happiest To Be On A Hall H Panel" today, Anthony Mackie would be the winner, hands-down. When asked to describe The Falcon, he went off. "I've got wings and guns. And really, what else do you need? Wouldn't you love to have that at the grocery store? WIngs and guns? Me and Captain America, we go out and we give the bad guys the business." He started pointing at other cast members. "We give him the business. We give him the business. We give her a little bit of business. Basically, we go out and we hand out business for two hours. Lots of business."
Asked why Marvel hired the Russos to make the film, Feige mentioned that they love seeing someone do something clever, even if it's got nothing to do with superheroes. He mentioned "Community" and "Arrested Development" and said the Russos just ended up on their radar. "Would you like to see why we hired the Russos?" he asked, and when the crowd roared in response, they screened a special clip.
It starts with what may be the single tensest elevator ride in the world. Captain America gets on, and a few other guys file in after him, including Brock Lumlow, played by Frank Grillo. While they're friendly to him and act relaxed, Captain America notices one of the guys has his hand on his gun, ready for something. At each floor, more people step in, until it's something like eleven guys around Cap. He sighs, knowing full well what's about to happen, and says, "Before we start this… anyone want to get off?"
And then they fight. The guys try to put these magnetic handcuffs on Cap to hold his arms against the wall, but Cap's not having any of that. He ends up beating down every single person in the elevator except for Lumlow, who keeps hitting him with a taser. "Sorry about this, Cap," Lumlow says. "It's nothing personal."
Once he's finally had enough, Captain America overpowers Lumlow and sends him to the floor with everyone else, unconscious. "Well, it feels personal," Cap says as he steps out.
The rest of the footage is very big and very dark. Robert Redford shows up as Alexander Pierce, a high-ranking political figure, and we definitely got to see the Falcon in flight. We saw a fair sampling of Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) in action as well. Finally, after a brutal scene of the Helicarrier being brought down in shallow water, smoking and disabled, we see a shot of Cap's shield. Someone walks over to pick it up, and we get our first look at The Winter Soldier in full make-up. He looks creepy. I'm excited to see what they do with the character in the film and how he fits into the larger universe they're building.
Cobie Smulders talked about coming back to help Nick Fury some more, and how the end of the "Avengers" left the world reeling from the shock. Both Emily Van Camp and Frank Grillo spoke about joining this team. She's evidently playing Agent 13. The problem is, they're all so contractually sworn to secrecy that no one was really sure what they could talk about.
Whatever the case, "Thor: The Dark World" will be in theaters November 8, 2013, while "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" arrives April 4, 2014.
Everything: Comic-Con 2013
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