Disney and Marvel Studios grabbed everyone's attention with a headlining commercial and accompanying new full-length trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier during Super Bowl 48. It was arguably one of the best trailers from the studio yet and teased a return to form for the franchise which had seemingly severed ties as much as possible to The Avengers with 2013's standalone Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World features.
Since then, outside of a pair of TV spots and a few posters, the focus shifted to launching the Guardians of the Galaxy marketing campaign with a top-trending trailer and much, much more. The latest ad for Captain America 2 however, offers a few new scenes and lines of dialogue, one of which is quite a spoiler - the type we complain about frequently on the SR Underground podcast.
Knowing that, if you're not a Marvel Comics reader or knowledgeable about major Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D.-related storylines, it might be best to skip this latest 30-second TV Spot:
The most dramatic ad yet for the Captain America sequel features protagonist Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) making his mission "personal" after referencing the "last words" of S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), hinting at his death during the course of the film. It's not a shocker that this occurs, it's just something that probably shouldn't be flat out told to TV viewers during an ad.
Since the first trailer for The Winter Soldier we've known that Fury is severely injured and we see him in intensive care as his right-hand, Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Rogers observe through the glass. We also know from the books, that Fury is no stranger to faking his own death. "Death" means little to nothing in Marvel Comics and the fact that Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) survived his onscreen demise in The Avengers indicates that it means little in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well. Actor contracts do. Heck, the story is about The Winter Soldier returning from the dead in WWII. In fact, there may be several characters who didn't "die" as they should have from WWII in this film that reappear in the modern era.
As for Fury, he's known to have used a few Life Model Decoys (LMD) in his time to help fake some deaths while other characters have stepped up to lead S.H.I.E.L.D., including Maria Hill and Tony Stark. If Robert Downey Jr. is done with making Iron Man films and is only returning in starring roles for The Avengers 2 & 3 as his current contract stipulates, a smart way to keep him around in a guest role capacity would be to have him step into the leadership position of S.H.I.E.L.D.. As for Samuel L. Jackson, he's not going anywhere either. His contract for nine films began with Iron Man 2 so he's got a few more on the way well into Phase 3.
Either way, like Marvel execs continue to remind us in interviews, Captain America: The Winter Soldier will change the landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe leading into next summer's The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 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!