Cap is back! Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the latest installment from the Marvel Universe and is an action packed political thriller with twists, turns, and new characters. The filmmakers and cast sat down to talk about the new film at a recent press junket at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Reprising his role is a welcome experience for Evans, despite the challenges that come with suiting up in the costume again.
CHRIS EVANS: It always feels like it gets tighter. It’s like I thought it was supposed to get more comfortable. I feel like this got worse. I’m not joking. That really happens. They always make improvements on it and this type of thing, once you get a good sweat going, it loosens up quite a bit. It’s exciting. Again, a lot of it has to do with the fact that you know you’re making good movies. If you were disappointed with the previous film, it’s going to be hard to mentally prepare yourself for living in that thing for four or five months, but since Marvel just can’t stop making quality movies, it’s exciting and it’s humbling and it’s an honor to jump back into it – no matter how uncomfortable it is.
Evans also talked about his on and off screen camaraderie with Anthony Mackie who plays Falcon in the film.
CHRIS EVANS: We just got along and so it was very easy having just kind of a repartee with him offset and I think that translates onset and it’s just he’s – you can tell right now, the guy is life, he’s energy – you know, that’s character. He just brings a certain type of spark that you need on film and you need off as well.
Producer Kevin Feige confirms the possibility of a solo Black Widow film on the horizon and assures that movie goers will be seeing more of her.
KEVIN FEIGE: I think it could be great. We’ve got various outlines and ideas of where to take that. There’s a big element that explores her back story in an upcoming Marvel feature. So the question really is when would we want to take her out of that ensemble to go and do her own thing? In fact, as you saw in this movie, as you’ll see in Avengers: Age of Ultron, she is kind of key to so much of the broader world.
Scarlet Johansson talked about the tricky balance involved in being in a strong female role with a character who is respected and admired in a world of constant moral gray ground.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON: I think Natasha is a bit of a reluctant superhero. She doesn’t necessarily have this really kind of strong golden moral compass. Let’s not forget, she started out her career as essentially a mercenary, but – so I don’t know if that makes role model material, but she – in some ways, I will say Natasha – I think one of the things that’s very attractive to me about the character is that she uses her feminine wiles as kind of a part of her job, but she doesn’t rely on her sexuality or kind of appeal, physical appeal to get the job done. She’s extremely smart. She thinks on her feet. She’s a leader and she is – I think has a lot of foresight. Those are all qualities that I think it’s wonderful to celebrate for young women and, of course, it’s really rad for me to have my friends’ kids kind of look up to that character and dress up like her at Halloween and play with the boys and be rough. I always say, “The widow always wins.” And it’s true. And that’s a nice sentiment.
Evans discusses the huge impact of the Captain America role on him and his career.
CHRIS EVANS: Had I not done the movies, it would’ve been the biggest mistake of my life. It really would’ve been the biggest regret to date and there are plenty. It’s changed everything for me. I mean not just what it’s enabled me to do outside of these movies, but it’s so comforting knowing that you’re making good movies. It would be a nightmare to be trapped in this contract and be making films that you’re not proud of, but Marvel has the Midas touch, so every time you suit up, you know that you’re making something of quality. It’s rewarding on every level, so thank God I had the right people in my life pushing me to make the right decision.
Feige discussed how this film pushes to break boundaries and push the limits both in story and in terms of action.
KEVIN FEIGE: The key to making these movies different and unique each time is to I wouldn’t say take chances necessarily, but to be able to move pieces around on the playing board and be able to subvert expectations. In terms of the big event that happens in the movie that changes everything, that was part of the plan for quite awhile – to mix things up and for the world to be very different at the beginning of Avengers II than it was at the end of Avengers I. But also the Russos – in terms of tone – in terms of action, when we met with Joe and Anthony, they were very clear and had very lofty ambitions, saying things like, “We want to do the best car chase in any Marvel movie and maybe the best car chase of all time.” I said, “Well, that sounds good. Let’s try that.” And referencing the best choreographed fight scenes from the last 30 years as inspiration and damned if they didn’t pull it off.
The Russo brothers, who are traditionally comedic directors for episodes of shows like Community and Arrested Development discussed how they adapted to working on a multimillion dollar action film.
RUSSO: The processes are very different. It’s – you still go to set. You’re still directing actors. You’re still working with the crew. You have an infrastructure at Marvel that’s very different than anywhere else in the world, which is an incredible infrastructure, very talented, very intelligent people, who are there to help you get your vision across, but we always say comedy isn’t very different from action. It requires choreography. So when you’re doing like a good comedic bit, it’s all about the choreography and the timing of it, which isn’t very different than stunt work or, you know, a fight in a movie. It’s all a dance. So we didn’t feel like it was that big of a stretch for us. It felt like every day that we’ve been onset for the last 15 years.
The Russo Brothers also talked about the challenges and opportunities of bringing the Captain America story into the modern setting, and dealing with modern politics and America’s current role in the world.
RUSSO: You know, we’re making a political thriller and we tried to be – we tried to run at what’s happening in the world today with the movie. We were thinking about what’s going on in the world with preemptive strikes and the president’s kill list and then, you know, the whole Snowden thing came out after we were shooting, but it was just reflective of – that was sort of the tip of the iceberg of all of the other sort of elements that were going on in the world that we were thinking about. I mean we tried to give the movie some sort of – make it reflective of our real world condition and our real world stakes even thought it’s a fantasy expression of what that is.
Samuel L. Jackson shared what it was like to read through the twist and turns of the script for the first time, and talks about how getting to play a comic character is a dream come true.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Well, I’m always excited to do more and Nick seems to grow with each film and I realized when I was reading it that it was a bit more than just a comic book feature, that it had intrigue and I’m sure a lot of young people are going to be surprised when they get in the movie and watch it that they actually have to think about something other than what’s going on. It’s got – you got to figure out a plot. And that always excites me. And it was – it’s always a great, great joy to know that I’m going to be back in a space with all the people that I enjoy working with and being able to do things that I did on a very small scale when I was a kid. I mean this is, you know, a dream come true. You sit there and you read comic books when you’re a kid and you wonder if there’s a world like that. You grow up as an actor and they start making movies like that and you wonder, “How can I get in that movie?” And then next thing you know, you’re inside it and you’re kind of like, “Yeah.” So, you know, that’s – they’re all pluses there.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out in theaters now.