Note, potential SPOILERS for Captain America-related movies below:
What with Captain America 3 still being two years, an Avengers movie, and a whole lot of 'actual filming' away from arrival, it's perhaps not too surprising that information on its plot has been pretty thin on the ground.
All the more reason, then, to celebrate the hints we've just been given by Joe and Anthony Russo. The pair (who both directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier and are set to take on the same role(s) for its sequel) recently spoke to Yahoo Movies - and though they were pretty darned careful with their words, they might just have revealed what we can expect from the third Captain America movie.
First up, the film, which'll be set "a couple years" after the events of The Winter Soldier, is set to stay rooted in political themes. As Anthony Russo puts it:
“The character was invented for an explicitly political purpose. So it’s hard to get away from that nature”
Which, it seems, also applies to Cap's base character - so anyone expecting an increasingly anti-heroic Captain America after the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D. may well be disappointed, since, as Joe Russo argues:
“his morality is part of his superpower.”
All of which is...about what we already expected. The biggest news, then - or at least, the biggest hint at the prospect of something huge - is that the directors are planning on:
“bringing some new elements to the table that will give us a twist on Winter Soldier."
Which means...what, exactly? We thought we probably ought to check out the three most likely options, as suggested by - what else - the comics.
The Winter Soldier becomes Captain America
The Pitch: As we've talked about elsewhere, either Sebastian Stan or Anthony Mackie is pretty darned likely to take over from Chris Evans as Captain America in the near future. If that's the case - and both their respective characters The Winter Soldier and The Falcon have done so in the comics - then could the Russo brothers' 'twist' be that Stan will take over as Cap at some point during the movie?
The Problems: Chris Evans is contracted for another movie after Captain America 3 - at the very least. Would Marvel really pull the ol' switcheroo that early?
The Peter Parker Emo Dancing Wild Card Factor: Stan becomes Captain America, but Evans gets promoted to Major America, and so still outranks him.
The Winter Soldier and Black Widow Become an Item
The Pitch: In the comics, Black Widow and The Winter Soldier have some serious history. As in, they were pretty serious about having sex with one another back when they both worked for the Russians. The comics saw that relationship resume after his return from the 'dead'. If Marvel isn't too serious about setting up a Black Widow/Hawkeye relationship - which mainly depends on Joss Whedon and Avengers: Age of Ultron - then that could easily come into play.
The Problems: Does anyone actually want to see Black Widow tied down to some random super-dude? Marvel seems surprisingly aware that a lot of her success as a hero has been a direct result of her being a bad-ass loner - and not a love interest.
The Peter Parker Emo Dancing Wild Card Factor: Watching Hawkeye weep silently into a shawarma, as Bucky and Natasha make out on a bench across the street.
The Winter Soldier Gets Put on Trial
The Pitch: Just like in the comics, the Winter Soldier is brought to account for his past crimes (y'know, the ones the Black Widow just sent to everybody...) - and we get to watch as Cap, Natasha and whoever is available to cameo tries to get him acquitted. Want to introduce super-lawyer Matt Murdoch (aka Netflix's Daredevil), or ace-attourney Jennifer Walters (aka She-Hulk) to the movies? There's your way in...
The Problem: Unless Glenn Close cameos as Nova Prime, no-one wants to see Captain America 3: Damages.
The Peter Parker Emo Dancing Wild Card Factor: Two words: Framing Device. Three more: Involving Judge Judy.
Or, y'know, maybe they'll just throw the Red Skull, Crossbones, a ghostly Robert Redford and a clone of Adolf Hitler at the screen, and see what sticks.
Either way, I'm down like a clown.
We may (or may not) see one (or none) of the storylines above in [Captain America 3](movie:994409), when it's released May 6, 2016.
What do you guys think, though? What were the Russo Brothers hinting at?