Anthony Russo Talks Captain America: The Winter Soldier

As you probably know already Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be directed by Anthony and Joe Russo of Community fame. I know what you’re thinking, the brothers seem like an odd choice to helm the film as they are primarily known for their TV work, but that hasn’t stopped Marvel before.

Speaking with The Huffington Post at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, Anthony Russo explained how they landed the job and why they were perfect for it:

“Well, first of all, Marvel’s this incredible company that has shown in the past that they think outside the box with directors. I mean, it’s shocking the people they’ve hired, over and over again, and they’ve had great success as a result. They like character, and they like storytelling and they like fun. We were surprised, but they were big fans of Community and you can sort of draw a line between some things we did on Community and a Marvel movie.

We were comic book geeks from a young age and big fantasy geeks. We got to talk to them in detail about that history. They knew that we understood the brand really well and the characters really well. It was a long process, actually, of talking to them over and over again, through a series of meetings over a long period of time. And I think they just — we were really passionate about the movie, incredibly passionate about the movie. They felt that, and they felt like it was the right match.”

Even though the story is set in the modern world, the director implied that there might be flashbacks as “Cap has this complicated history….in the storytelling, you need to convey that to an audience who doesn’t know Cap’s story.”

While the director wouldn’t reveal any specifics about the plot, he did mention what elements they would be taking from the Winter Soldier story in the comics:

“Well, we like the [story]. 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.”

Of all the Marvel movies that are set to release in the coming years, Captain America: The Winter Soldier seems to be the one that will connect to the Avengers world the most as S.H.I.E.L.D. is already confirmed to appear in the movie.

We also know that The Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie, will be introduced in the film, while Sebastian Stan will reprise his role of Bucky. Russo explains that “part of the appeal of these movies is the ensemble. Captain America isn’t the only character in the film, there are other characters that are perhaps lighter in nature.”

The film will no doubt also set up things for the movies to follow, but Russo insists that it is mostly a self contained story:

“Yes, but they’re very balanced in that approach. First and foremost, it is the movie itself [that is the priority, and setting up other things] is a lighter layer of dressing. In terms of the hard-core mechanics of the movie, it’s contained within the movie itself.”

The director further went on to explain why he and his brother, and people from the TV world in general, are a better fit for the Marvel world than most other directors:

“Marvel is a big company and they’ve made a lot of movies and these movies are connected to each other. That’s not typical for a feature film. A lot of people who work in feature films, that whole concept is a little foreign, in the sense that you have to be thinking about predecessors in a very specific way. They aren’t just prequels, there’s a whole mythology that has preceded you. Television people are used to that because there’s seasons and seasons of a show and this history is very important. Also, it’s a big company and you’re dealing with people from the comic book side and the feature side and so there’s a lot of people to work with, as in television — there’s a lot of people to collaborate with. People who have done well in television have a gift for being able to work with a large number of people.”

When asked whether we would see any other Avengers in the film or if Hayley Atwell would return, the director unfortunately wouldn’t spill anything. He did mention though that they would go into production early next year.

I’ve learned over the past couple of years to not underestimate Marvel’s choices and I can’t wait to see what the Russo brothers do with Captain America. It’s easy to see from this interview that the brothers have a good understanding of the character and the Marvel world and despite the initial shock of them being announced as the directors, I think it was a safe choice.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is set to release on April 4, 2014.