Captain America: The Winter Soldier Almost Had A Completely Different Opening Scene

Captain America in The Winter Soldier

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The Russo Brothers have become synonymous with their work on the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the past few years, taking on massive ensemble projects like Captain America: Civil War and their pair of Avengers movies. But their Marvel debut actually came with 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is considered one of the strongest movies in the entire MCU. And The Russos recently revealed that the movie nearly got a very different opening sequence.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a toned back Marvel blockbuster, with realistic and visceral action. The movie also forces the title character to rethink his entire life outlook, when it's revealed that Hydra had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.. And the movie reportedly focused on the character's past through a scrapped opening flashback sequence. As Anthony Russo recently explained on our ReelBlend podcast,

Captain America: The Winter Soldier actually opened with a battle during World War II, in one of the drafts. That was a massive battle that ended with a significant moment for Cap, that then fed into the story. And then we ended up cutting back about two months before shooting.

Well, that's fascinating. It looks like The Winter Soldier nearly gave us another glimpse into Captain America's beginnings as a hero in World War II. We would have been treated to a period piece action sequence, which no doubt would have been thrilling given how The Russo Brothers delivered on battles in the MCU. Alas, that idea ended up on the cutting room floor, with the movie getting a far more muted opening scene.

The Russo Brothers recently appeared on CinemaBlend's ReelBlend podcast, discussing the new Chris Hemsworth-led Netflix movie Extraction. Eventually the subject turned to their time directing installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including their first outing Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The movie greatly expanded the title character's story, as well as Nick Fury and Black Widow.

Marvel fans can re-watch The Russo Brothers' Marvel movies on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.

Steve Rogers' motivations are unique to the rest of the Avengers due to his backstory. He's a man of the past, who was thawed from ice and brought into the present-day MCU. This is likely why The Russo Brothers originally wanted to include a flashback in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Additionally, it would show how long the conflict against HYDRA truly lasted.

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In the end, Captain America: The Winter Soldier's opening sequence was calm and funny, introducing Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson. As a reminder, you can check it out below.

Not exactly an action sequence. Instead, we see how Steve Rogers has settled into life after the events of The Avengers. What's more, it sets up a new friendship that would end up having serious legs within the MCU. Aside from Bucky, Sam Wilson is one of Steve's closest friends in the shared universe. "On your left" became an ongoing catch phrase that would eventually be added to Endgame's final battle-- to thunderous applause. Their relationship was important enough that Cap passed down the shield to Anthony Mackie's character, starting his transition from Falcon to Captain America.

The Russo Brothers would eventually get to have their flashback, and then some. Avengers: Endgames' time heist was an adventure through the MCU's timeline, including a brief stop in 1970. Not exactly World War II, at least the directors got to scratch that particular creative itch.

Extraction is currently streaming on Netflix. The MCU will start Phase Four with Black Widow on August 14th. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.