Cornered during an appearance on the current Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, Anthony Russo – one of the two (with his brother Joe) directors of 2014′s Captain America: The Winter Soldier – has opened up slightly about the project, offering tantalizing hints of what’s to come… and all manner of things that he’s not allowed to say just yet (For example, “Marvel would shoot me if I answered” whether or not there are other Avengers appearing in the movie, he says).
When asked if the movie is based on the existing Ed Brubaker story, Russo answered with “In a way. I mean, they’re all sort of rooted in what’s come before, but they’re all also their own jumping-off point as well,” circling back to say that the script was what attracted him to the movie in the first place:
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.
He also adds that he and his brother are “going to have lunch with Brubaker soon,” and that “certainly everybody is aware [of what's in the comics], has read everything, is aware of all their other material. But [Marvel Studios does] like each thing to be its own, organic process, which is nice.”
Amongst other avoided spoilers, Russo ducked the question of whether Hayley Atwell will make an appearance as Sharon Carter, whether we’ll see another side of SHIELD (Although he admitted, “I’m very interested in that, but yeah, I can’t really say more”), and whether or not we’ll see some more flashbacks to the 1940s (“Certainly, Cap has this complicated history,” he says).
He also addressed the nervousness some may feel about two directors more known for their relationship with NBC’s Community than anything else being hired for the movie:
There’s a little-known side to my brother and I, which is, we didn’t start out as comedy directors. We started out in the mid-’90s — we made this credit card movie that made the festival circuit in ’97, that Steven Soderbergh saw at the same time he [was showing] “Schizopolis” on the festival circuit. He loved our movie and offered to produce something for us, so we went into a cycle of writing — we wrote three scripts, only one of which was a comedy. That was “Welcome to Collinwood,” and when he formed his company with George Clooney, he wanted to make something with us, so we showed him these three scripts and he picked “Collinwood,” and from that point forward, we were comedy directors. And we’ve loved doing it, but we’ve always had another side to ourselves… Marvel is this incredible machine with all these amazing people who work there. That’s part of their confidence and why they can go outside the box [in choosing] directors, because they have people there who know everything. They said to us early on in the interview process, “We don’t expect you to know anything [about special effects and so forth] — you don’t have to know everything about this stuff, because we’re here for that.” They’re very respectful of directors. They’re an amazing company to work with.
And don’t worry; they’re also fans of the source material, just like us:
We were comic book geeks from a young age and big fantasy geeks. We got to talk to [Marvel] 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.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is due for release in April 2014, with production due to start next year.