Director Joe Russo talks costumes in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

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There’s a fine line that needs to be walked on when it comes to designing comic book movie costumes. Make it too modern, and the fans will rage. Make it too faithful, and everyone else will laugh at the cheese. Captain America has worn both those costumes.

He wore some kickass stars and stripes in his first film, while the Avengers saw him suited up like a trapeze artist. Steve Rogers has some new duds in The Winter Soldier film, his first sequel. And there’s a reason why he’s wearing the super soldier threads.cap america winter soldier (8)

“It was about a real world grounding approach to the character, in the spirit of Ed Brubaker’s book, which is postmodern and deconstructionist and a grounded thriller,” co-director Joe Russo told SFX.

We wanted to put Cap in a space where he’s a special forces operative for SHIELD who goes on missions around the world that are clandestine and sometimes require a certain level of anonymity or stealth. We wanted to use his Super Soldier outfit from the comic books as a way to represent, thematically, his place in the world of SHIELD and the difference between working for SHIELD and being Captain America.

That’s something that gets explored on a very concrete level in terms of what outfits are used in the film. We didn’t feel like we were messing with the icon. People can say that they’re fans of the books if they’re only loyal to the ’60s and ’70s version of the character – well, then you’re a fan of that version of the character, but if you’ve been reading the books till the current runs then this is a journey that the character goes on and it’s a pretty explicit journey. We just felt like we were being faithful to the more recent issues of the books.

The movie has a very thematic component in terms of the use of costumes. When you come to see the film I think you’ll understand why we made the choice we made…

I really, really dig the super soldier threads. I get where they’re coming from for the sequel, and judging by the trailer, Cap will be back in his World War 2 uniform by the third act of the film. That’s the costume that I love the most, that’s the one that really makes him look like a soldier to me.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Georges St-Pierre and Hayley Atwell. Anthony and Joe Russo direct, and the movie is slinging that shield April 4.

Last Updated: February 14, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

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