‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Is Set Two Years After ‘The Avengers’

Published 2 years ago by

Captain America fighting the Winter Soldier Captain America: The Winter Soldier Is Set Two Years After The Avengers

Keeping track of the continuity between all the various films in the Marvel cinematic universe can be tricky. 2012′s monster hit The Avengers brought together four existing franchises, and in the next few years the world of superheroes will only expand further as Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man join the fray (along with future unannounced titles to fill Marvel’s two-movies-per-year quota).

Despite their co-existence, the Marvel movies have so far managed to at least have independent storylines for each member of the superhero team, and the upcoming release of Thor: The Dark World will feature a return to Asgard and a new threat in the form of Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston), who apparently harbors some kind of plan to plunge the Nine Realms into darkness. Thor: The Dark World will be followed next year by Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which will show Steve Rogers’ continued relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Natasha Romanoff, and which will also introduce Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon.

At the start of The Avengers, Steve was hidden away in a gym with a punching bag as a means of coping with his new life in the “future.” He was still struggling to fit into a world of iPhones and The Real Housewives of New Jersey when he was approached by Nick Fury and offered a membership card for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. By the time Captain America: The Winter Soldier begins, however, Steve will apparently have had quite a bit of time to settle into the 21st century. In an interview with Refinery 29, Scarlett Johansson explained that Marvel fans aren’t alone in waiting two years for the next chapter in Captain America’s story:

“This film is in real time. It’s been two years since [the characters] appeared, and now both are agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fighting in the streets. We are not superheroes flying side by side. They help each other because we are fighting in a similar way. It’s a working relationship.”

Though all the Marvel movies released so far (with the exception of Captain America: The First Avenger) have taken place in chronological order, they have wavered off the course of real time. Iron Man 3 was released a full year after The Avengers, but was set only six months after the battle in New York. It’s still not clear when Thor: The Dark World – which will be released 18 months after The Avengers – takes place, and Guardians of the Galaxy is even trickier to pin a date on, since it will take place out in space and away from the events of the movies so far (and possibly in an alternate future?).

The Avengers 360 Shot Post Conversion 3D Captain America: The Winter Soldier Is Set Two Years After The Avengers

In short, it’s safe to say that the “real time” approach for Captain America: The Winter Soldier probably isn’t going to become a rule for the Marvel cinematic universe, though it’s likely that the films will continue to take place in chronological order across the various franchises, in order to keep things from becoming overly confusing. This does, however, mean that Captain America: The Winter Soldier will have some explaining to do when it comes to getting the audience caught up with Steve’s movements.

Tell us in the comments what you think Captain America and Black Widow have been occupied with in the two years since The Avengers, and what exactly they were doing while Iron Man was dealing with The Mandarin.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out on April 4th, 2014.

Source: Refinery 29 [via MTV]

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. So this is what it feels like to be first.

    • I’m starting to get choked up.

      • On a serious note. I also don’t think this is a big deal. I enjoy jumping back and forth in time. I enjoy the possibility of further explaining past events by living through them on the screen.
        And, after all, we do have time machines and alternate universes that will eventually be more predominant.
        I look forward to clearing out my current movie collection and eventually replacing it with well made and well respected comic universe films.
        Keep ‘em coming.

      • *removes hands from Jon’s throat*

        Sorry about that, don’t know what came over me.

        • @ Dazz
          Lmao! That was Hilarious

    • @Jon
      Lol That is an original way to say first! :)

  2. I really do not see how this is a huge deal, Act 1 gives us the back-story and we are all fine.

    • Let me explain why it’s a big deal – it puts into context all of phase two and the Agents of SHIELD TV series.

      In “Phase One” IM2, Thor and Hulk take place at same time.

  3. April 4th, 2013 ??? … LOL

    • The Amazing Spider Man 2 and X-Men DOFP come out in May. Also with GoTG coming out in August, Marvel wanted some time inbetween films

  4. Why shouldnt it be in real time

    Iron Man 3 might as well have been real time, it takes place between the events of Avengers and Captain America 2, any time between that might as well be called present. I dont see these movies as a bunch of franchises that cross over ever 3-4 years, i see these movies as 1 franchise that changes the character focus with each film.

    to me, Winter Soldier is the sequel to Iron Man 3. While not a necessity, each film is ment to be watched one after another, in order of their release. Hopefully “Agents of SHIELD” or the One-Shots will bridge any major continuity between the films.

    I’m still unsure of “Guardians of the Galaxy” but i hope it takes place in the same time frame (albeit lightyears away) as the rest of the Avengers franchise.

    This is one of the most ambitious franchises in cinematic history, it’s reasonable to say that they will try to make following the various story lines between films as easy as possible for the audience.

    • That’s how I see them too, with the exception of Captain America. It’s like they’re all continuations of each other, which is why I have the DVDs placed one after the other on my shelf where usually, I’d have them separated in alphabetical order with TDK trilogy and others in between.

    • Check back the timeline of the first phase.

      IM2, Thor and Hulk take place at same time, #NotInRealTime

      Knowing where Cap 2 takes places changes the context and has massive implications for the events behind-the-scenes of Iron Man 3, and what happens in Agents of SHIELD.

  5. After the Avengers Cap went on a well deserved vacation then went thru some rigorous training with Shield, BW,and his new buddy Sam Wilson. Then they knocked out a few minor missions.

    • Or he had 70 years of catching up to do watching a lot of baseball games.

      • I can already imagine Cap as fatty with beer-hat and chips watching TV shows. Fury goes there and turns off the TV saying that they need to go on a mission and Cap is like “b****, i won’t move until Oprah’s today repeat right after match! Now turn on TV and get the F@#$%$%$%#@$@%@$*^%&*!& out of here!”
        And then(after show is finished) wears his uniform with a donut on his chest.

        • Then legally changes his name to Homer.

  6. I thought Rogers was supposed to be ‘adjusting to modern life’ in this film, based on what was said in past interviews?

    In two years, in a comic book universe, I reckon he’ll be totally over it…

    • To be fair to Cap, modern life is pretty weird. It probably takes a lot of getting used to.

  7. I had no idea Iron Man 3 takes place 6 months after the battle of New York, I figured it was a year later.

  8. Shouldnt we be getting a trailer soon? Apparently they arent keeping the same marketing schedule as the past couple films with releasing the first trailer 7 months before the release. That wouldve been at the beginning of this month. Though i suppose they dont want to start marketing the film before the next one is even released (thor).

    • Suppose to be attached to the Thor premier. Supposedly.

      • We’ll see come October 30th.

        • ugh, a whole nother month? i hope they dont do the same thing with Guardians of the Galaxy. because by the time Captain America is released, it will only be 4 months until its release which i think is cutting it pretty close for these kinds of films.

          • I’m used to it.

            I don’t think I saw any Avengers trailers until the week before, but that’s probably because I never actively sought any out and TV only advertised it in mid-April the week before it released in cinemas.

            • I have a unhealthy addiction to trailers so waits like these kill me.

              • I’m the same too but I’m glad when they withhold them because it stops the movie becoming boring, for me at least.

                It’s weird but I don’t mind being spoiled sometimes, I just don’t like seeing or knowing too much about a movie. Except that time I literally spent 14 months checking out Batman-News every day to find out everything I could about TDKR, from pre-production until release. Still love that film.

                • After the IM3 trailer fest, I’m trying not to look at too many. :)

                • Yeah I’m the same. I want the trailers but at the same time it’s better if we have to wait although I still hate the trailers TV Shows have where you can only watch them in the US.

  9. …He was still struggling to fit into a world of iPhones and The Real Housewives of New Jersey when he was approached by Nick Fury…
    I loved it. Cap must have been saying; What kind of world am I living in? lol :)

    • That’s the question I keep asking myself too.

  10. He might have adjusted to some of the technology, but not to the culture, morals, etc.

  11. your actually wrong about the films being in order. the phase one were as follows. Captain America Flash Back, Iron-man, Iron-man 2, Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America (present), Avengers. If you recall the order of release was: Iron-man, Incredible Hulk, Iron-Man 2, Thor, Captain America, Avengers.

    • I believe the events from Iron Man 2, Thor and The Incredible Hulk happened around the same time, not necessarily one after the other. In IM2, Coulson leaves for New Mexico which was explained in Thor. At the end of Iron Man 2, Stark is asked to be a consultant, which is seen at the end of TIH. I’ve always assumed that Nick Fury went away to deal with that during the events of Iron Man 2 (although he wasn’t in TIH).

      So to put these 3 movies in any order is fine.

      Also, considering the end of Captain America 1 is set in present day, then it makes sense that by the end of the film it leads viewers on to Avengers, so it doesn’t really matter if that is listed before everything or right before Avengers either.

      • The Avengers prequel comic, confirms that they do indeed take place at the same time.

        however Fury was dealing with Hulk, it was Natasha. from the comic, this is how all plays

        Day 1:
        Stark b-day party accident.

        Day 2:
        Rhodey takes Mark 2 to the army.
        Stark watches the video clips of his father.

        Day 3:
        Banner arrives to Culver University.
        Coulson leaves to New Mexico to investigate the electromagnetic storms.
        caused by Bifrost.
        Death of Ivan Vanko.
        Thor is banished.

        Day 4:
        Coulson finds Thor Hammer
        Emil Blonnsy gets injected by super soldier serum

        Day 5:
        Romanoff is sent to Culver to watch Banner
        Battle in the University with Hulk and the Military
        Nick Fury brings Tony Stark into the Avengers Initiative as a onsultant
        Destroyer is sent to Earth
        Thor returns to Asgard and defeats Loki

        Day 6:
        Banner and Betty goes to find Samuel Sterns

        Day 7:
        Battle in Harlem
        Sterns is arrested by SHIELD

        • Fury wasnt* damn typos

        • Actually it couldn’t have happened like that since Coulson finds out about Thor’s Hammer at the end of Iron Man 2

    • Also… it’s “you’re wrong.”

  12. More importantly, when does ANT BOY take place????

    • True hero. He has best of both worlds. Shame on you DC and Marvel, try to keep up.

    • @ Ben! Antboy! That was Awesome!

  13. What were they doing during the Trevor thing?

    Rogers – punching bags, remember Peggy.
    Romanoff – Well, Whedon must come up with something good because Widow was around Tony during IM2.so what happened to her after NY?

    • It was no point to stay around Tony anymore her cover was blown, so SHIELD assigned her to another assignment.

  14. @hyoga1001 It was no point to stay around Tony anymore her cover was blown, so SHIELD assigned her to another assignment.

  15. And we are still waiting for The Incredible Hulk 2.

  16. I was watching “Honest Trailers” on you of the Avengers. And when they got to Capt American, they said that he was no one’s favorite hero and had to kind of be there. I thought that was funny. He is the one character that is really so old, that they can take his story anywhere.

    I’m not a comic book fan, but did follow a few cartoons back in the day when my outside privelges were revoked. So its my opinion that his story is before anyones comic universe timeline. Saying that, I’m sure that it can only be better than the 1st one. Oh and please dont make it like IM3

  17. Cap got a clue and asked Natasha over for a few drinks.

  18. So if this movie and Iron Man 3 don’t take place simultaneously, how are they going to explain where the hell S.H.I.E.L.D. was when the effing president of the United States was kidnapped by A.I.M.!?

    • That’s the FBI’s job to sort out, not SHIELD.

      • No, actually, THAT would be specifically SHIELD’s field of operations. It’s just that IM3 was such a shoddy movie.

        • IM3 wasn’t a shoddy movie at all. One day, people will realise this, in much the same way that people probably thought the wheel would never take off as a design when it was first invented.

          Anyway, I assume that Agents Of SHIELD will clear a little of that up.

          • Dazz…

            I say IM3 was crap; you say it was great. We simply will NEVER agree. As for people realizing its greatness later…I’m thinking they WILL realize the truth about the movie…and then get extremely angry that they wasted money and time watching it and defending it.

          • Oh, and as for “Agents of SHIELD”…The premiere was okay but nothing stunning. I’ll have to watch more episodes before I decide if it’s worthwhile and if it will clear up ANYthing.

      • Well actually it’d be Homeland Security who would having recognising the threat as something super-human get Shield involved. Maybe Shield have a plan and being reckless Tony didn’t wait to be let in on it.

        AIM had the President so maybe Shield were concerned that just going in would scare AIM into killing him.

    • Exactly. That’s why knowing the timeline is important – there are unanswered implications of that now in IM3.

  19. Well, let’s see..you have Iron Man 3 set six months after the Avengers, Thor: The Dark World set a year after the Avengers, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier set two years after the Avengers..also you have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. set somewhere in the timeline.
    I think their explanation for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s absence will somehow be in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but that’s just my opinion.

  20. Well, let’s see..you have Iron Man 3 set six months after the Avengers, Thor: The Dark World set a year after the Avengers, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier set two years after the Avengers..also you have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. set somewhere in the timeline.
    I think their explanation for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s absence in IM3 will somehow be in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but that’s just my opinion.

  21. btw IM3 is not set Six months after Avengers, it 1 year later.

    IM2 promotinals or something sets Stark Expo in 2010. IM2/Hulk/Thor take place in 2010. in Avengers it been 1 year since Banner last transformation and Thor visit setting it in 2011. in IM3 killian states he meet with Stark 13 years ago. setting the film in 2012. one year later. if the film was set six months after avengers. then killian would’ve said 12 years ago. but he said 13. setting the film around 2012, a year after Avengers

    meaning IM3 and Thor take place around the same year (2012)

    • I am still wondering when it was set, the paper Harley hands tony in the garage says dec 24, 2013, please explain,

  22. The order is fairly easy;

    Captain America: The First Avenger
    Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter
    Iron Man
    Iron Man 2
    Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer
    The Incredible Hulk
    Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant
    Avengers Assemble
    Marvel One-Shot: Item 47
    Iron Man 3
    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    Thor: The Dark World

    IM3 is set around Christmas 2012, 6 months after the events of ‘The Avengers’.
    The Dark World is set one year after ‘The Avengers’, and so two years after the first Thor film.
    The Winter Soldier is thought to be set two years after ‘The Avengers’.
    Agents of SHIELD begins after IM3, takes place at teh same time as Thor2 and will probably lead into Cap2.

    • If IM3 is set 2012, please explain the newspaper Harley hands Tony the date is Dec 23, 2013. Thx

      • maybe it was a mistake?