‘Captain America 2′ Screenwriters Discuss Setting & Themes

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:25 am,

Chris Evans will don a new-and-improved costume as Steve Rogers/Captain America in next year’s The Avengers. However, it currently looks as though we’ll have to wait at least two and a half years before Cap gets his next solo venture – which, for now, is just being referred to as Captain America 2.

Captain America screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely – who are also working on the followup – spoke recently about the sequel, while promoting this week’s DVD/Blu-ray release of Cap’s solo movie (see: the Captain America Blu-ray trailer). Naturally, they also offered some additional information about the superhero’s next solo cinematic adventure.

The writing pair has mentioned before that Captain America 2 will take place in both the present-day and W.W. II era – though, how exactly much of the film will be set in either time frame has not really been clarified, up to now.

Here is what Markus had to offer The HD Room, on that topic:

“I think it’s safe for us to say that ['Captain America 2' will be] primarily set in the modern day. That seems to have been the biggest question people have been wondering about regarding the sequel… [W]e’ve been left with room to explore Cap entering the modern day wondering, ‘What is all this? What’s happened to the world’ and so on.”

McFeely has this to say, with regards to why more of the Captain America sequel will likely end up taking place in a contemporary setting:

“We made a movie where the world was in context for Steve Rogers. It was a movie where it was a more pure time, where there were clearly black-and-white, right-and-wrong, good-and-evil scenarios. And Cap is a guy who symbolizes that. Now he’s in the now, and there is nothing black-and-white. So what do you do with that guy? How does he react to a much more uncertain time? So you’re given this huge new palate to work with, but you can keep him the same.”

avengers trailer089 570x306 Captain America 2 Screenwriters Discuss Setting & Themes

Chris Evans as Captain America in 'The Avengers'

Chris Evans previously indicated that Steve Rogers “gets to be a little darker” in The Avengers, seeing how he’s (literally) a relic of a bygone era who must adjust to life in a time where everyone he knew and loved is dead. That’s not to mention, he’ll be in a comparatively morally-ambiguous world where (as McFeely noted) things are often painted in shades of gray. So it only makes sense that Captain America 2 would continue to develop Roger’s personal journey in a similar direction.

While Captain America has remained a pure symbol for truth and justice in comic books over the years, arguably some of the most interesting recent storylines have involved the character finding himself stuck in a moral quandary – like, say, when he lead the anti-superhero registration movement in Marvel’s “Civil War” crossover story arc. Captain America 2 could easily go in a similar direction by pitting Cap against an opponent who is not merely the epitome of all evil (a la Red Skull), but instead a tragic figure-turned-villain who challenges Steve Roger’s moral compass… like, say, previously-rumored antagonists such as The Winter Soldier or even MODOK.

The Winter Soldier is arguably the more likely (and logical) foe for Rogers to do battle with – though, it was actually Markus who raised the (serious) idea of MODOK being featured in Captain America 2. So we’ll see if either (or neither) of those bad guys is brought onboard to make Cap’s attempt to adjust to modern-day life all the more difficult in that sequel.


Captain America: The First Avenger hits DVD and Blu-Ray on October 25th, 2011.

We shall continue to keep you posted on the status of Captain America 2.

Source: The HD Room

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  1. Winter Soldier? Ill see it…
    What about Baron Zemo? What happend to him? He was BA…
    MODOK? Someone said that in regards to him they could make him EXTREMLY creepy and in a wheelchair instead of a flying giant head (if you are reading this, im sorry about my poor description) so MODOK could work, but only if done right for the average movie goer (die hard fans would be mad as hell)

    I hope for Zemo in CA2, unless they make an avengers movie with the masters of evil, then save him for that movie, in that case, WINTER SOLDIER!!! (WS brainwashed by AIM?)

    • of vcourse its going to be the winter soldier. it can go back and forth between how bucky became him i mean didnt anyone see in the movie right before he gets knocked off the train he picks of the shield with his left hand. total foreshadowing.

  2. Baron Zemo would be great, except they did nothing to allude to him in the first CA, it would be hard to just say “Oh and here’s this other super baddie that Cap also fought but we made no mention of previously”. The pacing on the first movie moved along pretty quickly one Cap started actually fighting in the WW2 scenes…….. Granted they could do a flashback to a mission he was on that you didn’t see, but the logic wouldn’t be there.

    Winter Soldier seems the most optimal choice…. MODOK would be, just silly

    • Zemo was in the movie-tie-in-game… so “logically” he is still an option (I’m hoping so) — they just didn’t go into his backstory (it’s quite simple actually). As an example: in the movie-tie-in-comic about Iron Man, it showcased Stark basically ENDING the war in the middle east (they didn’t expand on that in IM2, but in the movie-verse, it still happened).

      I do think the Winter Soldier would be pretty awesome, but if they’re planning on showing his entire back-story (i.e. how Bucky came to be the Winter Soldier), then I wouldn’t think of “Cap 2″ as “Cap 2:… I would think of it as “The Winter Soldier- featuring Cap” (that’s why the Winter Soldier should get his own film IMO).

      MODOK… well… yeah… no ;) There is a slim chance that he could work in the film “if done right” — but lets face it, even if they do it right, the fans will still complain that it isn’t the (“real”) MODOK from the comics — either way, no one’s gonna like it IMO

  3. Modok would be fantastic.

  4. Everybody loves to bash on MODOK, just because he looks ridiculous. But he could be a really creepy villain if done right. Obvious if they make him look exactly the way he does in the comics people will think it looks terrible. But the character has plenty of potential.

  5. Meh… I guess Modok could be ok if they took some creative control and made him a little more realistic, but I would love to see Winter Soldier or Zemo at some point.

    But… If he’s adjusting to modern times in this sequal, what about The Avengers? He will have been in modern times for quite awhile by that time, unless CA2 is backing up to what happens right at the end of the first film? How will that fit in the timeline?

  6. I have to say, I’m kinda disappointed that Cap 2 will mainly take place in the present (looking back, I can see that this was an inevitable decision though…) — I was really hoping that it would basically be split 50/50 in the past and present — but, on the other hand, I do see WHY they’re going with the present day (it obviously makes for more a compelling and interesting story). Also, we already know what happened in the past: Cap was frozen: that means that every other battle he fought in WW2 before he was frozen, he obviously won.

    I’m still crossing thumbs for the “Zemo-arc” though: where Cap is fighting Zemo Jr. in the present day, while having flash-backs to the past where he fought Zemo Sr. — no one can deny that that would make for an awesome story right? They could also have a Winter Soldier cameo or something in there… and then do a spin-off movie (or maybe just have him as the main villain in Cap 3).

    Either way… there’s still one question that haunts me: “Who will direct Cap 2?” (Marvel is developing a tendency to drop the old directors for more inexperienced, cheaper ones…)

      • As others noted there just wasn’t logically enough time.

      • Well… I wasn’t hoping for Cap 2 to JUST be centered in the past: like I said, I would have liked it if he had a series of flash-backs (or just one, long one) that could basically be like an extended prologue (about 45min or 1hr long)

        The flash-back(s) could even just be about one battle (where Cap breaches one of the HYDRA-bases as seen in the first movie). He comes across one of the Red Skull’s allies (Zemo) and faces off against him. Cap (obviously) beats him when a tank of acid (or something) falls on him during the struggle — Cap assumes Zemo died (because the acid is burning his mask to his face and whatnot), but then, years later (in the present) he comes across Zemo’s son: Zemo Jr. who wants to take revenge — que, rest of the movie, taking place in the present.
        It could easily (and “logically” ;)) fit in with the continuity and IMO would really please the fans.

        • See I would have loved to have seen more Cap vs the Nazis/Hydra and could accept another period piece movie.

          I dislike the flashbacks like you described because they seem contrived and or forced.

          I just believe Cap spent less time on the screen in War than could be logically possible. Especially since this is where he learns most if not all of his skills to include leadership and fighting.

  7. Love Cap

    Cap 2 versus islamic terrorists

    • haha

  8. I actually think the flash backs to WW2 would work well as far is strengthening the back story of the characters while giving them the ability to play with our time line, I also could see them working in characters like Crossbones or Sin into the storyline which would allow for the Skull, Zemo or Strucker to be brought into the Modern day storylines. I will say this i am a fan of MODOK but I dont think it would work well on screen. I could however see Zola working much better as his brain being downloaded in to a computer and being a face on a screen. As far as the Winter Solider goes, I pretty much think it is a must to get him into the series, and this can lend to tying in the return of the Red Skull to the Modern time line

  9. So Cap died a virgin. I think the main focus is should be about gettin him some butt.

    • Captain America: My super soldier.

      • Captain America: The Only A(virgin)er

      • Lol that comment made my day… I never thought of that but he probably did haha… I just hope they don’t pull a Superman Returns and it turns out he has a illegitimate 80+ years old son that’s a piano mover.

  10. I am not sure either Winter Soldier or Modok is what we want for Cap #2. I would like to see Kang, Ultron, Mandarin, etc. against the Avengers…wonder if one of them would be right for Cap #2, or if that would be a little too much power for Cap to take on alone (well, arguments against myself are that Mandarin really needs to fight Iron Man since he is his foe, and Ultron would need several Avengers to give him a run for his money. And Kang? Well, we’ll see…).

    • Cap IMHO needs to fight one of his own villains in Cap 2, which is why I think Winter Solder is the perfect choice. Though, I do admit that it would be hard to make it feel like a Cap movie with the back story necessary to introduce him properly. But I think it would have a great feel to it if they use Winter Solder. The conflicting emotions of friends being pushed to the point where they have to forget their friendship and fight against each other, while at the same time being the only two people that can truly understand the situation they are both in, being taken from their time and thrust into this one. I would love to see the movie done that way!

      • Depending on how much they cover Steve’s adjustment into the modern world in the Avengers(if they show too much of it this idea may not work for Cap 2), they could follow the stories of both Steve and Bucky and the different paths they take by switching between each man’s perspective during the film.

  11. didn’t sebastian stan (bucky) sign on for multiple movies?

    i always thought they left a good amount of mystery behind bucky’s portrayal in TFA, how he was being experimented on when cap found him and how his “death” was a bit lack luster.

    i always thought they were gonna bring him back, in my opinion the winter solider would be a really good way to explore cap’s moral compass.

    please no modok, i know they changed armin zola for the movie and it worked well, but modok would just be too goofy.

    let’s see the punisher come into the cap movie somehow, their interaction in the civil war plot line was really cool.

  12. Zemo!

  13. To summarize this string, regarding possible antagonists…

    Baron Zemo (Heinrich/Helmut) — Best idea. Drawing upon the WWII era which gave Cap his glory in the first place, this is where the strength of his character comes from. Baron Zemo is almost as iconic to him as the Red Skull, and would be a very compelling and challenging villain. If done in a similar manner as the first film, with a ‘then & now’ method, showing his battle with BZ in the past, then the battle with him in the present, it would work just fine. If you take the ‘flashback’ method, starting him out in the present, you’ll still have to jump back to the past anyway to explain some of the backstory with BZ. No getting around it. Of course, this could work too, if done right. Either way, it’s still in keeping with his history.

    Baron von Strucker/Viper/Hydra — Excellent idea. This would mesh just as well as with BZ, if done the same way… but here’s an added bonus with this choice: it would create an additional tie in with S.H.I.E.L.D., as illustrated in the well-conceived Nick Fury: Agent of Shield telefilm a few years back. Not that they would be in the same continuity, of course; that was MU-Classic (white Nick), while the movies are MU-Ultimates (black Nick). But it’s still a viable option.

    Winter Soldier — Great idea. While it is true there is a wealth of storyline to be had from this one, it could only work if there was some kind of lead-in, like a subplot developing in the background, perhaps in CA2. I’d wait until CA3 to explore this fully, after Cap has started to adjust to the grayness of the world. This would be the twist that throws him for a real loop.

    M.O.D.O.C./M.O.D.O.K./A.I.M. — Good idea. But I have heard of several different interpretations of MODOK: a) Big-faced midget in floating chair, b) floating mechanical AI, c) twisted wretch in wheelchair. The comics generally lean toward choice a, and it wouldn’t be all that difficult with current CGI to make him look real and creepy. Choice b is an intriguing notion, and could probably be done easily too with CGI, but wouldn’t it defeat the point? MODOK is a “victim” of an accident, a pathos or sympathetic villain, which would be difficult to accept from a machine. Choice c may provide for the human element best, but the inherent tech involved with the character would be wasted, and would end up bland as a supervillain. Ironically, the comic version would provide the best model, blending the organic and the inorganic with horrific results. However, there appears to be some confusion in where MODOK belongs. Some sources say that he is part of the CA franchise, where others say the IM franchise. If it’s the latter, then he should appear with the Mandarin in IM3.

    Ultron/Kang — Poor idea. Way too big. Needs all the Avengers to take them on. Save them for the team effort in Avengers 2 & 3.

    That should sum it up.

  14. Well, There’s something everyone’s over looking. The Girl. Like in country songs. the song will never make it. So you put a girl in it. thats actually a song too. Just put a girl in it. So who’s Captain America gonna fall for? The one in a million virgin girl, who still values good morals!? Like me… <3!! Haha jk. but still. if the movie is gonna go anywhere, he's gotta have a girl. or at least, flashbacks about Peggy, or go dramatic and look her up in the obituaries, and find her grave. (dun dun dunnnn! Teardrop) So producers- Just put a girl in it.

  15. I feel like if there is a girl, it’ll be the waitress from the Avengers movie. I think her nametag said Beth? She was one of the people he saved, and although her part was brief, she was given way too much screentime to just be a normal extra… factor in the 40s/50s style ‘diner girl’ waitressing outfit… it could be a coincidence, or it could be a clue. Either way, I hope he gets some action (more than just awesome fight scenes) in CA2.