Winter Soldier pulls a James Bond on us and uses the last line of its closings credits to promise us “Captain America will return in Avengers: Age of Ultron,” due out next summer. However, Winter Soldier has been a bit enough hit that Marvel has officially confirmed a Captain America 3 for 2016. So, here’s everything we know about Cap’s next (and likely last) non-Avengers adventure:
1. The title probably won’t be Captain America 3
It’ll most likely get a sub-title at some point, ala Captain America: Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
2. It will come out in North America on May 6, 2016, aka, the same day Batman Vs. Superman is supposed to come out. That probably won’t stay the same.
Marvel staked a claim to this release date last year, but only recently confirmed the date was being held for Captain America 3. Batman Vs. Superman currently occupies that release date as well, having moved to it knowing full well that Marvel already had an untitled film scheduled there. Now that Marvel has revealed the film will be Captain America 3 Warner Bros. is not backing down, at least not yet. No one seriously believes we’ll get to May 6, 2016 and have both Cap 3 and Batman Vs. Superman opening against each other. The problem is the summer of 2016 is filling up so fast the only real move either film could make would be to follow Winter Soldier‘s lead and simply open in early April, or move to somewhere else in May-July, hoping they’ll force someone else to re-schedule out of whichever weekend they pick.
3. It will have the same director(s) and writers as Winter Soldier
Joe and Anthony Russo were officially signed to return as directors for Captain American 3 several months before Winter Soldier even came out. They join Joss Whedon (Avengers/Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Jon Favreau (Iron Man/Iron Man 2) as the only directors to be asked back for a Marvel Studios sequel.
The same goes for Winter Soldier‘s writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who were hired to begin work on a follow-up script late last year. The duo also wrote First Avenger meaning the only other person to officially write a line of dialogue for Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Joss Whedon.
4. This might be Chris Evans’ final Captain America film
Chris Evans’ Marvel Studios contract only call for 3 Captain America films, and 3 Avengers films (his Thor: The Dark World cameo doesn’t count, I guess). He is not long for this super hero world, pledging to retire from acting and pursue directing (or only acting in films he directs) as soon as his Marvel contract expires. As such, it’s highly likely Cap 3 will be the final solo outing for Steve Rogers, and that he’ll be killed off (or somehow written out) in Avengers 3.
5. Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, and Emily Vancamp are all under contract to return as Falcon, Bucky “Winter Soldier” Barnes, and Sharon “Agent 13” Carter respectively
Sebastian Stan’s contract is for 9 films, seemingly significant since in the comics when Steve Rogers died Bucky Barnes picked up his mantle as Captain America.
6. We have no idea if Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson will be back
7. They’re still figuring out the plot, but it could involve one of the strangest stories in Captain America comic book history
Winter Soldier ends with a call to action as Captain America and Falcon pledge to go after the Winter Soldier, whatever that means. However, it also dangles several threads begging to be picked up in Cap 3, such as a potential romance with Sharon, return appearance from Frank Grillo’s Brock Rumlow in full-on Crossbones mode, and what to do about Hydra.
So, what can we expect? Ask them again when they have an actual script. Markus and McFeely are still breaking the story with the Russo brothers meaning right now the four men are throwing ideas around to see what sticks. One such idea thrown out there came an interview in which DenOfGeek asked the writers where they might take things in Cap 3, which Markus succinctly met with the following reply: “All I’m saying is psychotic 1950s Cap.”
In the event that Markus wasn’t joking here’s the tall glass of crazy to which he’s referring: after World War II, Captain America’s popularity waned and the sales of his comics plummeted. So, Stan Lee did Senator McCarthy proud, reviving Captain America in 1953 as “Captain America…Commie Smasher!”
Though this new run barely lasted a full year, it read like a McCarthian wet dream, with literally random strangers turning out to be no-good commie scum for good ole Cap to pummel until they bled red, white, and blue. All involved parties came to deeply regret this period of the character’s history. Cap was revived in 1964 with his now well-known First Avenger back story as unfrozen former WWII super soldier. In 1972, they explained the 1950s cap as being a pretender who had gone through plastic surgery, made his own super soldier serum, recruited a Bucky look-alike, and then subsequently went bat-shit crazy due to the hallucinogenic effects of the serum. So, the reason they saw commies everywhere is because they were hallucinating. The fake Bucky and Cap became villains to the real Cap for a while, though the former eventually became an ally called Nomad.
8. Don’t assume the Winter Soldier will be a major part of the movie
Markus and McFeely told Collider they have yet to decide how big of a role to give the Winter Soldier in the story, and their biggest challenge might be fighting the impulse to turn Cap’s ever-expanding team of supporting players into a mini-Avengers thus distracting from the fact that Captain America is supposed to be the main star.
9. Don’t assume Captain America will definitely hook up with Sharon Carter
As for romance, Markus told THR, “There are things we talked about writing [for Winter Soldier] that I don’t think we got around to writing. Like, are we going to examine who Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) really is? Which we’ve left for the future. There’s no room in the movie for Steve to stop and go “Wait. You’re the great-grandniece of the woman I love? And is it weird that I’m attracted to you?”
At this point, that’s pretty much it. A common refrain from the writers during their brief video interview with Collider is that these are very early days. So, really, for all we know some of the ideas suggested by the likes of FilmSchoolRejects’ could actually be on the table right now as the writers and directors attempt to figure out the story for Cap 3.
Head here to check out our prior Captain America coverage.
How Captain America: The First Avenger Should Have Ended: