‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ to Have a Darker Tone Says Director Anthony Russo

The filmmaker reveal that the story will be set in present day, with possible flashbacks to the World War II era.

Director Anthony Russo says Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be darker
Director Anthony Russo says Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be darker
TV producers/directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo made headlines last month when they signed on to direct the superhero sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Yesterday, Anthony Russo was on hand at the Television Critics Association Summer Tour to promote his NBC comedy series Animal Practice, and, naturally, the talk shifted to the Marvel Studios project.

Here's what he had to say about why Marvel went with the Community directors.

"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. I think if you look at some of the big genre episodes, the paintball episodes, etc., there's a cinematic sensibility being explored there that is in the language of [various kinds of] films."

He also teased about the ensemble nature of the follow-up.

"I mean, we're trying to grow him as a character, and certainly he's come a long way, from where he started in pre-World War 2 to where he is in modern-day America. So the character has room for growth because of that huge journey that he's been on, Number 1. Number 2, 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 filmmaker also confirmed that the sequel will be set in present day, and will have a darker tone.

"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."

When asked whether there will be flashbacks to the World War II era, the director hinted that they may revisit his roots.

"Certainly Cap has this complicated history. We're making the movie for first-time viewers, not just for fans, 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."

Click Here! to read the full interview with director Anthony Russo.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was released April 4th, 2014 and stars Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo. The film is directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Joss Whedon.

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Comments (94)

  1. CBF

    I love it when the 2nd film is darker.

    3 years agoby @comicbookfanFlag

  2. Writer220

    @thejoker & @superman81 don't forget that Robert has a bigger larger fan base than Chris since he is still coming out. Thor put Chris higher on radar and skyrocketed his career, Evan's did a great job and Cap helped but him a little bit more in the light.

    Just wished watching Thor, it mentioned not only Iron man but also the Hulk.

    3 years agoby @writer220Flag


    @superman81@rjh094 Not to mention they had already made a previous Captain America movie, so his name was out there for that as well!

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  4. Superman81

    @rjh094 Captain America is not a less known character, I just dont think people feel he is a very good comic book character. I dont think Chris Evans plays him bad but he isnt a great actor and they could have found better. Thor on the other hand did much better but still didnt perform as well as Iron Man. I think Thor 2 will outperform CA2. I think RDJ and Hulk were the main reasons Avengers did so well. In fact all anyone talked about was Hulk this and Hulk that.

    3 years agoby @superman81Flag


    @rjh094 Only less know to people who don't read comics that is!

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  6. rjh094

    After the success of The Avengers, I bet Captain America & Thor will definitely see an enlarged fan base. They actually did pretty good with their first movies considering that they were less known characters.

    3 years agoby @rjh094Flag

  7. Superman81

    I dont think it matters how 'dark' they make this movie its not going to bring in more fans. IMO MCU has had 2 great movies and 1 very good movie. Iron Man and Incredible Hulk are the great ones and Avengers was very good but not great. I think(hope) A2 will have a much deeper story and plot than A1 did. Captain America and Thor, even IH underperfomed big time compared to Iron Man, even Iron Man 2 performed better. I feel that once RDJ is done with Iron Man, MCU will feel the sting

    3 years agoby @superman81Flag

  8. T. King (Red Camera Man)

    Very cool. I'm more interested in this movie than both "Iron Man 3" and "Thor 2." :-)

    3 years agoby @redcameramanFlag

  9. Writer220

    Second viewing of Cap was better, some films grow on me. The third time might excite me a lot more and I pre-ordered The Avengers.
    I grew up watching the hulk, spiderman, and two DC characters, Bats and Superman. I didn't know about the other superheros until the late 90's but had heard of them.

    3 years agoby @writer220Flag

  10. Nicholaus XX

    @ejk1 -- Yes, and no(regarding your very last statement). I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    3 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  11. ejk1

    @skywise I'm thinking after The Avengers. No sense going back, except for flashbacks to the relationship between Cap and Bucky.

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  12. ejk1

    @XxNickTheFilmCriticXx The subject of our conversation was remakes. You even pulled my quote saying so. As for Cap, our conversation wasn't about this either, but remakes of a darker nature; again, you pulled the quote. But whatever. You can disagree. It doesn't necessarily make you right or wrong. It depends on the individual project, not the general assessment.

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag


    @skywise It's probably going to be after The Avengers...

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  14. skywise

    @ejk1 I think another important aspect is the timeline. Is this before or after Avengers. If it is before, the darker tone works well but if it is after..maybe not so much.

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  15. Nicholaus XX

    @ejk1 -- You asked for remakes, and I gave you remakes and sequels. Yes, it does count. The subject was about this Captain America(which is a sequel), so why would we shift to remakes, and remakes only?

    I disagree; making it darker almost always makes it better(if it's quality material you're working with - f*ck "Hostel", and "The Human Centipede"). Nothing (genre or tone wise) is always the better route, so that statement was completely unnecessary.

    3 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  16. skywise

    @ejk1 Not I dont think it does. The writing is crucial here. With a bad script everything else falls apart and I dont care how good the acting or cinematography is. Bad writing takes you right out of the moment. So I thinkg that tone is crucial and I believe Marvel knows its heros and its fans well enough to not let this one flop. In fact, I have a feeling this will be better than the original. Dont quote me on that just yet....just a feeling.

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  17. ejk1

    @skywise I get it, but that does that automatically make the film better? I mean, yes the premise looks solid, but if the execution is faulty, does the dark tone keep it afloat?

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag


    @ejk1 True, plus once we start seeing some videos come out and trailers we will have a better taste of what is going to happen

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  19. skywise

    so darker for Cap might just be a bit more serious in tone and not actually DARK like Batman.

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  20. skywise

    @ejk1 when they say darker, its hard to imagine a grimy world like Gotham City. Darker for the Cap isnt going to be that.


    But his best bud who he thought died...and died right in front of him is now going to (.......) and that might make him a bit moody having to (.....) his (.....)

    Get that?

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  21. ejk1

    @mcleve02 That's fair. Honestly, I like/love all the films from Phase One, so I'm gonna hold off on the worry until Marvel produces a Green lantern type stinker. Then the nerves will come.

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag


    @ejk1 The biggest concern i have is simply the directors..

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  23. ejk1

    @XxNickTheFilmCriticXx Then it doesn't count in our discussion, because I asked for remakes. No matter. The point is being darker doesn't necessarily make it better. It can, but that isn't always the case. As for Cap, we won't know until the film is released.

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  24. skywise

    @felipe-11 Agreed. Its almost like all the old coic books where the first page in just about every book reintroduces us to the hero or team and gives a few sentences summerzing who they are or if they are the best there is at what they do.

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag


    @felipe-11 we all agree about the directors for sure!

    3 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  26. Replicant

    Am I the only one concerned with the part where they say "you need to convey that to an audience who doesn't know Cap's story"?

    I mean for crying out loud, the movie came out last year, if people wanna see this sequel, then WATCH THE DAMN THING! The directors shouldn't have to slow down for lazy people who don't wanna watch the first movie. This is Marvel's Phase 2, Cap's story has already been established, move on...

    And for the record, I'm still very worried about these two directing...

    3 years agoby @felipe-11Flag

  27. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Like I said, I would love to see Cap try to adapt to the new world. We're past the industrial era to the IMC era. Our world is smaller thanks to technology. I want to see a blend of Cap going old school with new generation conventions. We got a taste of in in Avengers so why not continue it ?

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  28. Nicholaus XX

    @ejk1 -- No, I'm calling it a sequel..

    3 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  29. Escapist

    Lool @bawnian-dexeus, does he even know how to use a computer?

    3 years agoby @escapistFlag

  30. skywise

    @bawnian-dexeus Brilliant man! There is a lot of humor that could come from scenes like that.

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

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