There are a lot of reasons to be excited for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but one of the biggest is Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Not only are we excited by the idea of the titular hero being stuck in the middle of a ‘70s-style political conspiracy thriller, the footage that was brought to San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend was outstanding, filled with incredible excitement and action.
But before all of the madness went down in Hall H, I had the chance to dig deep into the movie with the directors in a one-on-one interview a few hours before the big Marvel Studios panel. Check out our conversation below, in which the Russos talk about how the movie sets up the events in The Avengers 2, the intensity of Frank Grillo’s Crossbones, Black Widow’s ever changing morality, and the chance that we might see Cap’s old World War II buddies, the Howling Commandos, one more time.
You guys are coming from the world of television where you are building huge worlds just by constantly having new episodes, bringing in new stories. So, does that kind of make you more prepared for something like the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Joe Russo: To a certain extent, I think yes it does, because you know, there’s a certain mercurial quality to being in television where you have to think really quickly on your feet, things change minute by minute. You’re prepping on a Monday, shoot on a Monday. Working on a show like Community where every week we’re experimenting with a different tone and genre and style. Sometimes the camera would change and lighting would change and you have have five days to dream up all of that stuff. "Dungeons and Dragons" episodes wrapped in about 48 hours, so the whole opening we came up with on a tech scout where they’re all sort of in this netherworld and characters are flying by the camera, so it’s just sort of, it breeds a sort of experimentation and you know, a lightness on your feet as a director. So I think really that’s why you’re seeing guys like Joss and Judd Apatow and you know, Alan Taylor, you know, getting work in features. Obviously, J.J.[Abrams], because you turn into a little bit of a machine.
In the sense of that larger world, where exactly does this movie fall into the timeline? I got to see the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot and both that and Iron Man 3 are really reaction pieces to what happened in The Avengers. But this film’s release date is closer to Avengers 2 than it is to Avengers, so how much do we feel the effects of that? Do you still feel the effects of the first Avengers film or are you more leading into Avengers 2? [NOTE: I spoke with the Russos before the Marvel panel where they revealed that the Avengers sequel will be titled Age of Ultron]
Joe Russo: Yeah, politically they were feeling the effects of Avengers, but narratively it’s much closer to Avengers 2. And sets up a really big shift in the universe for Avengers 2. So, I think, story wise, about a year has passed.
To talk a bit about Captain America a bit more directly, how much sci-fi will we be getting to see in this film? I know that the movie has been described as a 70s political thriller, but with the arrival of Thor everything in this universe has changed.
Anthony Russo: There is some. I mean, it is, It’s weird. It’s like the movie is a little bit of a hybrid, we like to think of it. It’s sort of like, part superhero movie, part political thriller, so it’s sort of like you know, it’s like you’re smashing these two things into each other and we sort of, while certainly that doesn’t go away, it’s present there, but maybe it’s a little less present, but it has some really fun, there are a couple things that are really fun in the movie that do come from that sensibility.