‘Captain America’ Director Joe Johnston Talks ‘Cap 2′ & ‘The Winter Soldier’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 9:34 am,

Joe Johnston Chris Evans1 Captain America Director Joe Johnston Talks Cap 2 & The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The First Avenger, one of the most highly anticipated comic-book movies of the summer, opens in theaters next weekend. There has already been rampant speculation about a sequel to the film as well as the role that supporting characters will play in additional Marvel movies. Fans have been particularly curious about the future of James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan.

Earlier today we had the chance to speak with Captain America director Joe Johnston who provided some insight into a possible future storyline for Bucky and the direction they are thinking of taking the Captain America franchise.

Captain America (the film) is set in the 1940s when the comic began. As such, it is far easier to imbue the character with the traits and identifiers that defined him at the time of his design –  when he stood as a call to arms for the United States to stand strong against the Nazi party and the oppression they were spreading across Europe.

When we asked Johnston about the challenges of bringing Cap into the modern era, in additional iterations of the franchise, he said:

“The Marvel team has thought about it a lot and Joss Whedon is directing  ‘The Avengers’ right now in New Mexico. That is much more an issue for Joss Whedon.”

Johnston continued laughingly:

“Because I recognize that being period, ‘Captain America’ stands alone, it stands by itself, and there are definitely references to the other films in the Marvel Universe but being period we sort of get to sidestep a lot of that stuff. I think the fans will recognize things, links to other films and other characters and even comic books, but I wanted the film to not just be a fan-fest. I wanted it to also be relatable to people who weren’t familiar with the comics.”

As to whether the modernization of the character will become the director’s concern in a sequel, Johnston reiterated some of what the Captain America writers (Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) had previously shared about the project. Essentially they are looking at ways to successfully keep the franchise in the past – but a lot will be dependent on the audience response to seeing Cap in the present in The Avengers.

“Well ‘The Avengers’ will show him in present day, there’s no getting around that. But we talked about possibly doing a sequel, or the idea of doing a sequel back in the 40s. Basically make an adventure story that took place during the time that he was with his Avengers, you know. Because he was with them for three years and he could have done all kinds of things. But I think that what will determine the sequel is really what ‘The Avengers’ does. I haven’t seen it, I haven’t read the script, I don’t really know what the story is but it may be tough to go back to the 40s after seeing him in contemporary times — I’m not sure.”

The director continued:

“I’m not really worried about it. I told the Marvel guys that there is a character that I’m really interested in called ‘The Winter Soldier’ and that if, ‘you guys decide to make that picture I would definitely be interested.’ It’s the ‘Bucky’ Barnes story.”

There has been a plethora of fan and industry speculation as to how Bucky would eventually fit into the Marvel movie Universe, when we asked Johnston if he had spoken to the studio specifically about where they planned to take him, he replied:

“Just a little bit. We talked about ‘The Winter Soldier’ which is the continuation of what his story is. It’s basically that he is captured by the Russians and he’s brainwashed and turned into an assassin. But you know there are a thousand ways to go with that. I just think that it would be interesting to take a character that was in ‘Captain America’ and build a story around him. Plus, I like Sebastian Stan a lot (who played Bucky) I think he would be an interesting actor to build another feature around.”

sebastian stan bucky captain america avenger Captain America Director Joe Johnston Talks Cap 2 & The Winter Soldier

As far as Johnston’s continuing role within the Marvel Universe, there are endless possibilities, and few guarantees.

“Well I only signed on for two. The actors have to sign on for six, at least six, and I only sign on for two which is not to say that I wouldn’t agree to do more or that they would ask me to do more — I don’t know. But my point is that there are thousands of characters in the Marvel Universe, of which I am only familiar with a very few of them and it might be interesting to sort of go into the Marvel vault and find a character that you can develop a whole story around. I would definitely be interested in doing that.”

If Marvel continues to see the kind of success it has enjoyed over the past several years, Johnston may just get that opportunity.

Captain America: The First Avenger opens next weekend – beginning Friday, July 22nd.

Stay tuned for continuing coverage of our conversation with Joe Johnston where he discussed updating a classic hero for a modern age – as well as the additional projects he has in the pipeline.

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  1. So down for a Winter Soldier spin-off. Forget those Black Widow & War Machine spin-offs.

    • A Black Widow & Hawkeye movie filmed as a conspiracy theory/Black Ops/Terrorist threat could work IMO. Jason Bourne/Jack Ryan kind of vibe — sorta how they were portrayed in the intial Ultimates Comic issues. This could open up the shadowy nature of SHIELD, Black Widow’s uncertain alliance to america or russia as triple cover spy & Hawkeye’s former background as a criminal. A politcal thriller if you will, firmly planted in reality like the first Iron Man. They could even weave in the Ten Rings terrorist organization, laying the groundwork for the fourth Iron Man.

      But as of right now her character does sucks. You gotta make her cool again.

  2. hmm, I was excited by the prospect of Bucky turning up as Winter Solider in the 2nd or 3rd Cap movie. I never thought about Bucky having his own movie.

    That would actually be pretty cool. Having a Winter Solider movie and THEN having Winter Solider appear in a Cap movie. I would love to see the universe expanded like that.

    • I personally would like to see it the other way around. Have Winter Soldier be evil and fight Cap in Captain America 2. Cap frees his mind with the Cosmic Cube. Winter Soldier freaks out and runs away, racked with guilt. And then in the Winter Soldier spin-off he is dealing with that guilt and figuring out what to do with his life now and the villain becomes a hero.

  3. Roth
    Will you be posting the entire interview?


  4. As much as I like Bucky Barnes, I hope that they do not make a spin-off for his character, because it may very well end up ruining the Captain America franchise, similarly to how the movie about Elektra made things look worse for new Daredevil films.

    • Didn’t the Daredevil film make things look worse for future Daredevil films?

      • lol, yup. Daredevil sucked and Elektra made it worse

  5. What does he mean by “His Avengers who he was with for three years?” does he mean the Howling Commandos?

    • He teamed with Namor, Torch, Whizzer, etc? Or the Invaders?

      • I agree…I think the 40′s ‘Avengers’ he’s referring to are the Invaders. Which would be VERY cool in my book.

        • He also mentions being with them for three years…maybe this means there’s a mid-movie timeskip?

          • Without a doubt.

          • It has been confirmed (many times) that there will be, and I quote: “many gaps in the Captain America movie that can be filled in later with possible sequels”.

            So, yes. I am 120% sure that there are “time-skips” in the movie.

            Also, I’m pretty sure when Johnston talked about Cap’s Avengers he was referring to the Invaders.(Not the Howling Commandos or the ACTUAL Avengers)

  6. Um, I want to see a Sentry movie. He is a very complex character that would translate well to film.

    • He was just introduced to the comics.. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing him for awhile. Maybe these short-films (if they actually make them) Marvel is making might show him.

      • Bucky as Winter Soldier was just introduced to comics too, and that version of the character is even newer than Sentry.

        But I don’t really like Sentry. At all. Overpowered psycho.

        • You said it Phil.

  7. God I really hope we do see a ‘Bucky’ Barnes story.

  8. winter solider is coming

  9. That picture of shaw as barnes with the snipe rifle is way too cool

    • Just a guy aiming a rifle, not that exciting.

  10. The AVENGERS TRAILER is being shown in the after credits of Cap America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    • Where the hell did you hear that??? Its going to be an entirely different thing such as a clip.

      • This isn’t too surprising. Winter Soldier is probably the best comic book character created in the 2000s. (Yes I know he was technically already created as Bucky Barnes, but the design, personality, character development, and backstory are all very new.)

        I just hope people don’t think it’s too far-fetched that BOTH characters survive from WWII to the current day. Captain America used to be more unique in that respect for a very, very long time.

        But I think it’ll be alright.

        • Sorry, meant that as an individual post, not a reply.

        • I don’t think the idea of 2 people surviving 60 years will be a problem anymore with general audiences seeing the films. I think Thor really showed the studio what an audience is willing to watch and go along with. I mean, Thor is about gods, magic, elves and all that none sense. And from what it did at the box office and the feedback, it seems like the movie goers really didn’t have that big of an issue with that type of material only if it is done well, and that has been Marvel’s gold star so far – Making crazy, out there story lines work for modern day.

          And @MikeM
          you don’t have to worry about a Elektra-type movie. Marvel actually cares about what they put on the screen silver. In reality, if Marvel Studios ever gets back all their characters….I’d want a reboot of ALL THEM, even though there were ‘some’ goods films.

          • Your words speak the truth… ;)

      • Comingsoon reported it

  11. I was actually hoping to hear this news… Bucky is a very interesting character and has gone through many life changes in the comics. I think the Winter Soldier aspect could work very well.

    In the comics, at the Russian base where Bucky was brainwashed/ tortured/ trained into becoming the Winter Soldier he actually met the Black Widow there. That could also work well – instead of a Black Widow spin-off, they could put the Black Widow in The Winter Soldier movie…

    There are endless possibilities with this and I will seriously back this movie if it ever gets into development.

    • whats up with you and the blackwidow dude? the black widow sucks !!

      • Are you talking about the comics-version or the movie version?

        The character in general is quite cool (as a supporting character) – I am totally against the idea of a Black Widow spin-off movie because the character doesn’t have enough depth or “likability”, but with a supporting role, I think the Black Widow does a good job.

        They just need to get Johanson of the set and get a better actress – one who can actually act and hold a Russian ascent together

        • Sorry typo: I meant accent.

  12. I think the only way they can do a sequel in the past is if they do it kinda like The Godfather Part 2–aka, half in the past, half in the present. Then they could justify part of an adventure happening in the middle of this movie’s chronology. otherwise you can’t really have any character development in the second movie. or anything new to learn. since it’s smooshed into the middle of this one.
    but that’s just my opinion.

    • no offence but i kinda dont agree i mean wadda bout his girl and there is still hydra around like the scientist wat about him

  13. How about a fresh new X-Force franchise with cable and others! Tell me that wouldnt be awesome?

  14. I’m going to see the final Potter movie…AGAIN and then Cowboys and Aliens ahead of seeing Evans as Captain AmeriKKKa! I’m not interested at all in seeing this garbage looking CA movie! It just looks bad. Plus it will fail at the box office. It has to deal with Potter and Cowboys and Aliens the date of release was a bad date.

    • Strange how the rest of the world completely disagrees with you ;)

      Cap’s gonna rock! Best comic book movie of 2011!

      • Harry Potter will definitely hurt the sales of Cap and Marvel knows that I bet. I agree with you it was a bad release date, but looks like a solid movie and they (Marvel Studios) are talking it up big and know what they got invested in it. I was never a huge fan of Capt. America until the Civil War series came out.

        idk what to think of Cowboys vs. Aliens. It will do extremely well, or bomb. People are just so stupid and judge everything off a damn title. And harry potter was the most overrated, hyped up movie in the world. Think ppl fail to see the final film isn’t that GREAT, just an ending and assume it is awesome. Part 1 was wayyyyy better.

        • Once again Tiso… your words speak the truth ;)

      • well if it had a better ending definitly he neeeds to stay in the fortys

    • no one like cowboys and alien cap was better if it had a good ending it wud be amazing

  15. I’m kind of worried about these mixed reviews for CA on Rotten Tomatoes. As long as it doesn’t turn into another Green Lantern (two hours of my life that I really want back), I think I’ll like it.

    • all the fans are lovin it

  16. they need to keep the cap. movies in the fortys i talked to all my friends they agreed the ending in the first movie was terrible they cud just say it was a dream or sumthin but overall he needs to be at the date

  17. Avengers movie: Ali Larter as Ms. Marvel & James Marsters as Namor :D

  18. It’s funny how the poster who said that HP would destroy CA hasn’t said anything since it was brought out that HP sales dropped 85% when Captain America hit the theaters….just sayin’…

  19. But they killed Bucky…