WATCH CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 BEFORE READING!
Ok, after watching the WINTER SOLDIER, we all know that Alexander Pierce was not, in fact, the Red Skull and we did not get see Crossbones in that nifty little skull mask. That did not keep the rumors from flying. Director Anthony Russo has a response though:
Anthony Russo to i09
We did hear that rumor. Fans are always trying to tie everything back to the mythology, and sometimes it's good to subvert expectations. We wanted a very grounded villain for this movie: Redford as a top level bureaucrat. He's sort of the Henry Kissinger for this generation, who's gone bad. That felt like that fit more into the struggle that Cap was going through in the film and it was a better villain for him to oppose. A sort of ideological villain, versus a science fiction creation?
And, to tell you the truth, I'm a little glad. I think it would have ruined the feel of the movie and lessened the credibility. The WINTER SOLDIER was made like an old school political conspiracy movie. To bring in the SKULL, I'm afraid, would have made it a bit cartoony. The Russos brought Captain America into the real world and adapted Arnim Zola, the Falcon, Widow and the Winter Soldier to fit in a believable setting. Also to throw Crossbones in with a mask and no background would've had the same effect.
Oh, and, on the subject of [Crossbones](movie:757700), Russo said:
What we'll say... We won't confirm or deny, but this could be perceived as an origin story for Crossbones
And that's the feeling I got. We see him carried out all burned up. I knew then, we would see him back in [Captain America 3](movie:994409). Then, it would be appropriate for him to wear a mask. And it might be good timing to bring back the RED SKULL!