Captain America: The Winter Soldier Director Talks Taking Cap To the Present

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In an interview at the Television Critics' Association, transcribed by The Huffington Post, filmmaker Anthony Russo--best known as his work alongside his brother Joe on Arrested Development and Community--talked about being one of the co-directors of the forthcoming Marvel sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier, based on Ed Brubaker's fan-favorite comic book arc.

"We like the [story]," Russo is quoted as saying. "I can't talk too much about specifics, that's the way Marvel handles things. I can say in general that there's sort of a darker, edgier sensibility at work there that we found appealing, and that is going find its way into Captain [America] in the modern day."

Being in the modern day, though, doesn't necessarily mean that audiences won't see a little bit of the Captain America-in-World War II stories that made the first movie so tonally different from the other Marvel films.

What's interesting is that Captain America: The First Avenger rested a lot of its stylistic street cred on being a war movie in which you had a super-soldier, rather than a superhero movie with war going on. It felt inspired by classic Hollywood war films, and gave it a distinctly different look and feel than Iron Man or The AvengersThor had that, as well, but it's really in no danger of losing it, since so much of the second film is slated to take place on the Shakespearean/mythological playground of Asgard. Captain America: The Winter Soldier needs to embrace a whole new look and sensibility to keep it from just being "Another Avengers spinoff," and while he can't talk about much, it does sound like Russo and his brother have those bases covered.

"We're making the movie for first-time viewers, not just for fans," Russo said. "So, because Cap does have this complicated history -- he was this skinny guy who became a super-soldier, he was born back then and he's living [now] -- in the storytelling, you need to convey that to an audience who doesn't know Cap's story."


He added of the character, "He is in a very different time and place. For as well as that style worked for his World War 2 experience and the origin of Cap -- part of the fun of picking a guy out of one time period and plopping him down in another is that all bets are off. The whole world is different, and that's part of the struggle of the character and the challenge the character faces."

Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes to theaters April 4, 2014.