[SPOILERS FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER AHEAD!]
Next year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is reported to be perhaps the most important installment in Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as far as setting up future movies. The sequel is not only supposed to help to bridge the gap between The Avengers and Avengers 2, but it should also provide a more in-depth exploration of the power-plays and politics that transpire behind closed doors at S.H.I.E.L.D. (both determining where everyone’s loyalties lie and setting in motion new character conflicts).
The narrative for The Winter Soldier also focuses on Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as he attempts to reconcile his past and present, which is symbolized by his external fight with the eponymous assassin (i.e. Steve’s old pal Bucky Barnes, who has been resurrected with a cybernetic arm after his “death” in the first movie). Bucky isn’t the only ghost from Steve’s past who is returning to haunt him in the modern-day setting (figuratively speaking), as the latest images from the Captain America 2 set reveal.
Cleveland Heights Patch (via Bleeding Cool) has posted a few set photos from the Captain America 2 shoot, during filming on a scene where Steve visits some of his fellow surviving World War II veterans at a nursing home. The images reveal that Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is one of the older residents that Cap encounters during his trip (she’s probably even be the main reason he’s there).
As you can see, Atwell has been made-up to look some 70 years older than last we saw her in Captain America: The First Avenger. She’s also got motion-capture dots on her face, in order to allow for additional CGI-assisted facial aging during post-production (lest her practical makeup fail to get the job done).
We’ve known for a while that Atwell is coming back for The Winter Soldier, but it’s nice to have confirmation that Peggy and Steve will get some closure to their relationship in the present-day (as opposed to Peggy only appearing via flashbacks to WW II). The possibility of their reunion was teased in a deleted scene from The Avengers – featuring Steve Rogers adjusting to life in the 21st century – and that heart-breaking scene made it into one of Joss Whedon’s early Avengers script drafts (but was dropped in the final version).
Not only is Peggy is getting her own spin-off short film, but Captain America 2 will also include Emily VaCamp playing a lead character who is presumed to be S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13 (a.k.a. Sharon Carter, Peggy’s niece); which is to say, the Carter family won’t simply be vanishing into thin air in the future Marvel Cinematic Universe installments.
That said, other leaked set photos – like this eyebrow-raising image featuring Steve and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) getting up close and personal – have indicated that the Captain America sequel really is as much a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie as it is a more personal Steve Rogers story. Fingers crossed, Captain America 2 directors Anthony and Joe Russo will manage to do justice by all these narrative elements and characters.
Iron Man 3 is currently in playing theaters, with Thor: The Dark World arriving on November 8th, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014, The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6th, 2015, and unannounced films scheduled for May 6th, 2016 and May 5th, 2017.