If there's one unfortunate consequence of Captain America: The Winter Soldier being set in the present day, in the aftermath of The Avengers, rather than in the 1940s era that was the setting of Captain America: The First Avenger, it's that most of the characters from Steve Rogers' home era won't be returning.
WARNING!!! THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MILD PLOT SPOILERS FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA 2!!!
The main exception, of course, is Cap's best friend Bucky Barnes, whose superhero alter ego supplies the subtitle for the sequel, "The Winter Soldier".
Though Howard Stark's (Dominic Cooper) legacy lives in on his son - whose latest adventure, Iron Man 3, recently became the highest-grossing standalone Marvel character movie to date - many who enjoyed Cooper's performance in Captain America: The First Avenger were no doubt hoping to see him reprise the role. Luckily for them, it appears that we haven't seen the last of Howard Stark.
In an interview with MTV, Cooper revealed that he has shot additional scenes in character. Though he admits to being slightly perplexed as to how it's going to work, he's definitely going to return one way or another:
"I went off and shot something, but I can't even work out how my character can be in it. Wouldn't I be dead? But anything is possible. They are quite secretive about where they are going to go with the characters and how it will slot in, you have no idea. So you turn up, put your costume on and do as you are told.
"I have definitely put the costume on. I have worn the costume and we have shot something, but how it's going to enter into the next phase of what they are planning I don't know. I sound so dodgy, I don't even believe myself! I have shot some scenes."
There are a couple of possibilities that spring to mind with this mention of Howard Stark's return. The first is that Captain America: The Winter Soldier will feature flashbacks to the 1940s - which we have already heard will account for the return of Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter - and Cooper will appear in those. The other possibility is that the scenes he shot were for the Peggy Carter spin-off short film that is to be screened at Comic Con this year. His words give the impression that whatever he shot wasn't substantial enough to give him an idea of how it would fit into an overarching story, so it's likely that our next glimpse of Howard Stark will be pretty brief.
Do you think that Cooper is deliberately keeping his character's role a secret, or do you believe that he was genuinely kept out of the loop by Marvel when filming his scenes? Share your theories on how, where and why we'll see Howard Stark again in the comments.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014.