Timelines aside, there’s also the obvious importance of the Captain America character to Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the eventual return of Coulson in the movies. After all, The Avengers – according to Gregg – were deceived, and eventually Earth’s Mightiest will have to come to terms with the reality that Coulson is still alive and active. Perhaps Captain America 2 is when Coulson’s return from the death will be explained?

As for the reasoning why S.H.I.E.L.D. was nowhere to be found in Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Fiege hinted to us at the Thor 2 junket that their absence could be explained before Captain America 2, and we all previously heard that it would be explained in future films (likely Cap 2 and The Avengers 2):

Taking this up another level, we know the big bad of The Avengers 2 is Ultron, and he’s explained by Feige to be a threat the heroes see coming, it’s also possible that Ultron has something to do with what’s occurring in SHIELD.

“I don’t think it’s going to be about saving the universe every time. We’ve said that. It’s not about saving planet earth every time. It might be many times, but the threat that Ultron brings is certainly worthy of all the Avengers needing to come together and also the timing does play a large part of that. When you see a threat coming you have more time to assemble. There’s not a whole lot more I can say on that.”

Tell us your theories!

Cap’s next adventure is being directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo off a screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and will release in 3D. Robert Redford joins Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Samuel L. Jackson,  Cobie Smulders, Scarlett Johansson, Toby JonesAnthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Hayley Atwell, Maximiliano Hernandez and Georges St-Pierre.

Iron Man 3 is now available on home video. Thor: The Dark World releases on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

Sources: Clark Gregg, Comicbook.com, /Film

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