Where did the idea for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER's shock ending come from?

5 min read


Haven’t seen the latest Captain America movie yet? Then you’re not only missing out on a great hero flick, but a rock solid action movie as well, which has several twists peppered throughout the movie. And an ending which leaves the future of the MCU in a brave new world.Needless to say, there be spoilers ahead.

















Right, now that that warning is out of the way, we can start talking. At the end of the Winter Soldier, the global peacekeeping force known as SHIELD is dismantled, due to its ranks having been infiltrated thoroughly by HYDRA since it was formed. SHIELD has been around since Iron Man kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And the departure of this organisation is going to have ramifications for the rest of the heroes, leading into Agents of SHIELD, the Avengers: Age of Ultron and beyond.

Marvel’s Kevin Feige explained all of this, and more, to SlashFilm as he detailed the genesis of this ending before shooting even began on Captain America: The Winter Soldier:

Well it was sort of a notion I had in the back of my head during Captain America 1 when we were sort of plotting the timelines for Cap and Avengers. The S.S.R. and Howard Stark’s involvement and, you know, people always ask, do you have master timelines of all the different movies? And we don’t really, but we do have timelines of the details of some of the movies, like the Stark family and things like that. And we were putting that together. And I started to get excited again, just sort of in the back of my own head about the idea that the S.S.R. help defeat the Nazis obviously, but also HYDRA. And that would make sense that the United States truly did bring in some of those HYDRA scientists and experts in technology to incorporate it and that much of what became S.H.I.E.L.D. signature items were a part of the HYDRA Corps brand. And what if you took that to another level and said “Oh, they’ve been in there the whole time, they’ve been growing in there the whole time.” And at some point reveal that much of the work S.H.I.E.L.D. had done was all for this, for the purpose of eventually bringing back HYDRA.

And I think the first person I actually sort of verbalized it to was Chris Evans. On the last day of shooting we were in Central Park on Avengers and he goes “So what are we doing for the next one?” I said, “Well, you know, we love Brubaker’s Winter Soldier, we think there could be something there. And have Sebastian [Stan] become a totally different version of himself. We also have this notion about SHIELD.” He was like “Holy crap, what the…?” And just based on his reaction it was like, “Oh maybe this is good.”

And we worked on a few other things. A few other ideas for the early versions of Cap 2. And then I sat down with Chris Markus and Steve McFeely and our co-producer Nate Moore and said, “Here’s what I’m thinking.” We knew we wanted to have Cap in the modern world, we knew we wanted to do sort of a paranoid global thriller, pit Cap against authority and who can he trust. And it was sort of that notion of “Hey, the first movie’s a World War II movie grafted with a superhero movie. Let’s do a political thriller grafted with a superhero movie.” And that’s when I went “Well I have this thought.” And everybody loved it.

And also the notion of changing the game leading into Avengers: Age of Ultron. That not having the safety net of necessarily of a giant government organization. You have it be just them was interesting and intriguing. All of this was in motion before the TV show existed. So when they told me, “Hey, we wanna do this TV show” and Joss called me and said, “Hey, you know, I’m gonna get involved in this show, I think we can do some cool stuff,” I went ‘Hey, that sounds really cool, good luck, but this is what we’re doing in Cap 2 and I don’t wanna change it for this.” And you don’t have to change it, we’ll figure it out. So stay tuned for that change.

That’s an interesting new angle to kick off from. The Avengers are essentially a small army consisting of gamma-powered rage, super-soldier steroids, Asgardian hammer-time and bleeding edge technology. A group that has no one keeping an eye on them and their escapades now. As for Agent Coulson and his team in Agents of SHIELD, I’d bet good money that they get drafted into Nick Fury’s underground movement to dismantle Hydra around the world, if the show is approved for a second season.

Last Updated: April 8, 2014

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