Few announcements out of San Diego last week were as surprising as Marvel reveal of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A Cap sequel was always a sure thing, but the fact that Marvel is mining such fertile (and recently visited) territory as Ed Brubaker’s “Winter Soldier” arc is compelling.

For those unfamiliar, “Winter Soldier” is the moniker of the surprisingly not dead James “Bucky” Barnes, Cap’s best friend in the previous film and victim of a nasty fall off a Hydra train. In the comics, Bucky actually survives his demise and is revived by the Soviet Union – brainwashed and outfitted with a robotic arm. Rechristened the Winter Soldier, Bucky does covert wetworks for the USSR before Captain America helps him regain his memories.

The idea of a returning Sebastian Stan facing off against Chris Evans makes for an intriguing launchpad for a Cap sequel, and Winter Soldier ­co-director Anthony Russo agrees. Asked about the project as he was making the rounds for his show Animal Practice,  Russo offered up the following:

 “…we’re trying to grow him (Cap) as a character, and certainly he’s come a long way, from where he started in pre-World War 2 to where he is in modern-day America. So the character has room for growth because of that huge journey that he’s been on, Number 1. Number 2, part of the appeal of these movies is the ensemble. Captain America isn’t the only character in the film…”   

Having Steve Rogers confront his biggest regret from WWII, as an adversary no less, would seem to fit in with the above-mentioned growth Russo is referring to.

All of the movement on this project comes with surprisingly little casting news. We know that Anthony Mackie will appear as The Falcon. But, even if his presence is a likelihood, there’s still no confirmation in regards to the Winter Soldier himself, Sebastian Stan. Furthermore, whispers of a returning Hayley Atwell (as a descendent of her love interest character in the previous film) have been audible, but both Russo and collaborator/brother Joe are keeping that close to the vest for now.

All will be revealed shortly as Marvel moves forward on its post-Avengers slate, but this is fixing to be an exciting project to watch. Captain America: The Winter Soldier releases April 4, 2014.

Source: Huffington Post via Slashfilm