The LA premiere of Captain America: The Winter Soldier is tomorrow but for media, the film screened even earlier, playing last night to extremely positive reactions, with some going as far as to say it's the best film by Marvel Studios to date. After hearing good things about the Captain America 2 screenplay from our insiders before Phase 2 even began, it's good to know that they were right.
What's good for fans however, is also good for the film's directors. We learned a month ago that Marvel Studios reportedly wanted Anthony and Joe Russo back to direct Captain America 3 but at the time, negotiations had yet to begin. Now that we're in the final stretch of pre-release marketing for The Winter Soldier and the film is beginning to screen, the Russos are finally able to chime in on that front and have confirmed that they will indeed be back to tell another Captain America adventure.
Don Kaye had the opportunity to interview the Russo brothers on our behalf, along with the writers and cast of the film, earlier today. We'll have full interviews up later but we can say that they revealed to him that they are indeed, officially returning to direct Captain America 3 and are currently in the process of breaking its story with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. They have also read the script for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron so they know exactly where Cap will be when they pick up the ball again.
The fact that Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige not only wants the Russos back, but are looking to continue working with the writing pair of Markus and McFeely (read our on-set interview with them here)- who worked on Cap 1 & 2 along with Thor: The Dark World - speaks volumes to their confidence in the quality and success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the idea of keeping people around who they trust and want to continue building the Marvel Cinematic Universe with.
The news is doubly good when looking back two years ago, to a time when directors were dropping like flies from Marvel Studios productions. This trend was highlighted when Patty Jenkins was brought in to helm Thor 2 after Kenneth Branagh decided not to return but was subsequently dropped due to creative differences. Jon Favreau had also decided to not direct Iron Man 3 after, claiming the studio wasn't sure what they were going to do with the next installment. It didn't help that Iron Man 2 was rushed into production without a complete script and released to mixed reception from critics and fans.
With no current plans for Iron Man 4, we don't know if Shane Black will direct another film for the studio, and from chatting with Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor about his experiences working for Marvel, we wouldn't expect him to return for Thor 3 either. So, in addition to Joss Whedon, that makes the Russos the only other other directors locked to return. It also makes Captain America 3 a safe bet as one of the Phase 3 films releasing before The Avengers 3.
With two of the next four unannounced Marvel films after Ant-Man in 2016-17 likely representing new properties, that leaves only Thor 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as candidates for the other followup release before The Avengers 3, unless of course Hulk gets a new movie and that counts as a sequel in the eyes of Marvel boss Kevin Feige (read our on-set interview with Feige here).
We're rather certain one of the new properties is Doctor Strange and the studio is already looking at potential directors for that. If the other is The Inhumans, which Feige has namedropped before, that could double - as we've said before - as a quasi-sequel to Guardians as well, leaving from for Thor 3 after all.
Expect lots of Captain America-related news in the coming days as we begin to post our video interviews with the cast. And for now, read our recently posted on-set interviews (that we conducted last summer) with them here:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
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.
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