In recent interviews with Empire Magazine, the team behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier have divulged the main themes and struggles for Steve Rogers in the sequel film. The Winter Soldier will delve deeper into Steve acclimating to modern times since Marvel’s The Avengers glossed over the consequences of him waking up 70 years in the future.
Co-writer of Captain America 2 Stephen McFeely said they wanted to give the character a moral dilemma, since Cap has the ethics of someone raised in the '40s; they looked to ‘70s political thrillers for inspiration. To Steve, right and wrong — as well as where the government fell on that spectrum — were very cut and dry. However, the events of The Winter Soldier will have him questioning everything he believed.
Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President of Production, pointed out that in the comics Cap dealt with Watergate and the Reagan era, a time in which many people became distrustful of the government. But the film version of Cap slept through that era. So, Feige said, that moral dilemma will take the form of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Co-director Anthony Russo brought up the NSA scandal of last year as well as the morality of drones, which will make The Winter Soldier even more interesting than if it had taken place during Watergate.
“Is it right to preemptively use them to kill suspected terrorists prior to any sort of trial?” Russo said. “So the times we’re living in are even more complex.” We saw Steve asking nearly this exact question in the UK trailer for The Winter Soldier.
Captain America 2 star, Chris Evans, also spoke about the development of his character in the upcoming film.
“For everybody else, it’s been a slow burn to get to where we are in 2014. But for him, suddenly there’s the Internet, cellphones and The Patriot Act.” Evans said. “The technology’s new to him and so is the access the government has to that technology.”
Given what we now know, it seems Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be very unlike the other films in the Marvel universe. However, for fans who loved the ‘40s aspect of Captain America: The First Avenger, it looks like that historical context will still appear in the sequel.