CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Is Actually Based On Nick Fury vs S.H.I.E.L.D.?

With Winter Soldier appearing in the title, many assumed the film would take inspiration from Ed Brubaker's modern run of Bucky Barnes stories but there's clear cut evidence that suggests CA:TWS is based on 1988 miniseries Nick Fury vs S.H.I.E.L.D.

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By Mark Julian - 5/20/2013
When the title of the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger was first revealed back at SDCC '12, fans were ecstatic and all eyes turned to comic book writer Ed Brubaker. He's the individual behind turning lithe and agile sidekick Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) into the badass, rogue assassin known as the Winter Solider. However, Brubaker pretty quickly revealed that the announcement was a complete surprise to him. That's somewhat strange, not to say that Brubaker has to work on the script or anything but it's weird that he had absolutely no inkling of what was coming. Besides the title, the next bit of pertinent info came from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who said the film is a "political thriller." But that little bit of info doesn't point anyone towards the 1988 six issue miniseries, Nick Fury vs S.H.I.E.L.D. written by Bob Harras (with art from Paul Neary). Indeed, for the last few months, I've been patiently gathering clues about the plot of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and I think I've cracked the code. The very first clue came when actor Callan Mulvey (Zero Dark Thirty, 300: Rise of an Empire) was pegged as playing Jack Rollins in the film. From here, one clue after another emerged to slowly reveal that the Harras' miniseries is definitely the source material being used for the film. Let's look at each clue and then look at what it all means in the context of the bigger Marvel Studios picture.

CLUE #1





When Callan Mulvey was first listed as playing Jack Rollins, a quick search revealed that his character actually comes from a classic comic book. Rollins debuted in Nick Fury vs S.H.I.E.L.D. and hasn't been used in anything else. Rollins has a small but key role in the story. Admittedly, that bit of info didn't immediately spark the ol' light bulb but it was definitely something to tuck away in case it became relevant.

CLUE #2



The next clue emerged when it was revealed that Robert Redford would be portraying Alexander Pierce, another character that hails from Marvel Comics' rich history. If you search Alexander Pierce on the internet today, you'll come up with images of a youngish S.H.I.E.L.D. agent which is how Pierce has been depicted in a few modern comic books. But if you look at his first appearance you'll see he was initially depicted as an elderly man. And in what book did Pierce first debut in? You guessed it, Nick Fury vs S.H.I.E.L.D.

CLUE #3



Now we're at the point where actual filming has begun, and Samuel L. Jackson has just left make-up and is heading back to his trailer. Notice that gigantic bump/bruise on his head? That would seem to indicate that ol' Nick is definitely getting in on more of the action this time around. At this point, you probably need a bit of info on what Nick Fury vs S.H.I.E.L.D. is all about. The miniseries is an intriguing story that reveals that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been infiltrated by a foreign group (Deltites, more on them later) and that the infiltration has spread all the way up to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Control Board (or World Security Council, remember those guys from The Avengers?). Fury figures out that there's been an infiltration but he has now way to tell who's loyal and who's not, so he hatches a scheme to catch the culprits. However, the offensive backfires and Fury is branded a traitor of S.H.I.E.L.D. and goes on the run. His friends and loyal followers within S.H.I.E.L.D. are then given orders by the Control Board to hunt Fury down. They must decide whether to believe in Fury or believe in S.H.I.E.L.D.


CLUE #4



A banged up Fury and two characters that first debuted in Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. - at this point, it wouldn't necessarily be foolish to think that the film borrows some philosophical elements from the comic book miniseries. For instance, maybe Fury is betrayed and has to go on the run but surely the film won't incorporate such an outlandish concept as the Deltites, right? But then this peculiar set video surfaced. Looks odd, right? Like maybe something that looks human but doesn't necessarily know how to be human. Well, that's exactly what the Deltites are, advanced Life Model Decoys created by none other than Arnim Zola. Guess which Hydra scientist was confirmed to be returning for Captain America: The Winter Soldier? [Note: Marvel Studios got famed Japanese band World Order to film this scene in DC. What's the band's signature trademark? Synchronized robotic dance moves.)

CLUE #5



Remember, that confrontation between Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández)? Well, Jasper Sitwell is one of the first S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents to be revealed as a Deltite.

CLUE #6



Fake bruises and bumps don't necessarily mean that Nick Fury is on the run, it just means he's been in a fight. However, today, we got a set report from The Daily Superhero which shows that a very large contingent of Washington D.C. law enforcement are on the hunt for Fury. He's definitely on the run.

ASSEMBLING THE CLUES

- Possible Spoiler Warning
At the very beginning of Nick Fury vs S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury and his espionage cohorts are given a sound defeat in one of their operations. In the opening skirmish, Fury's right hand man Clay Quartermain dies in the crossfire. Fury initially suspects either A.I.M. or Hydra but as the story unfolds it is revealed that the threat is actually from within, from the very top of S.H.I.E.L.D. command. Not only have The Deltites infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. command, they've been there for years. They've also infiltrated the government and every major corporation in the world and no one was the wiser. How? What exactly are Deltites? They're derivatives of "The Deltite", an advanced, Life Model Decoy (LMD) created by Arnim Zola who became sentient. "The Deltite" infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. and tinkered with their LMD's to create others "Deltites." The sci-fi element gets cranked up another notch as "The Deltite" has created a process that allows for the memories of humans (dead or alive) to be transformed into their LMD/Deltite dopplegangers. Over the years, this process has been refined an enhanced to create more and more life-like Deltites. In the miniseries, the deceased Clay Quartermain is used as the latest test subject in the most advanced Deltite-conversion process to date. It's a smashing success, in fact, it works too well and the Quartermain-Deltite thinks he's the real Quartermain. While Quartermain is a central figure in the miniseries, obviously, there's no Quartermain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (looking at you Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). But there is a Winter Soldier, don't be surprised if Bucky turns out to be a super advanced Deltite that thinks he's the real Bucky. At the end of the conflict, it's the Quartermain-Deltite that switches sides and helps S.H.I.E.L.D. eke out a victory; such a turn by the Winter Soldier would be a good segue into The Avengers 2.

While Fury is on the run, his small contingent of faithful operatives are left to decide whether they are "good soldiers" and follow orders without question or if they should believe in Nick Fury. In the miniseries that's "Gaffer", Contessa Valentina, Jimmy Woo, Dum-Dum Doogan and a few others. However, in Captain America: The Winter Solider I'm guessing it will be Cap, Black Widow and Falcon having to decide whether they hunt Fury down or join him in his rebellion.



Running Time: Filming in progress
Release Date: April 4, 2014
MPAA Rating: This Film Has Not Yet Been Rated
Starring: Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Toby Jones,Jeremy Renner (rumored), Emily VanCamp
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Written by: Christopher Markus (screenplay), Stephen McFeely (screenplay), Joe Simon (comic book), Jack Kirby (comic book), Ed Brubaker (concept and story)

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” picks up where “Marvel’s The Avengers” left off, as Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and teams up with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C. Starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Georges St-Pierre, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp and Maximiliano Hernández with Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Redford, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is directed by the team of Anthony and Joe Russo from a screenplay written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film. Executive producers on the project include Alan Fine, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee. The creative production team on the film includes director of photography Trent Opaloch, production designer Peter Wenham, editors Jeffrey Ford, A.C.E. and Mary Jo Markey, A.C.E. and three time Oscar®-nominated costume designer Judianna Makovsky. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is set for release on April 4, 2014."
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94 Comments
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Reasonnnn - 5/20/2013, 4:04 PM
YOU CRACKED THE CODE

Iron Man approves.
yingyangpalms - 5/20/2013, 4:04 PM
Its probably going to be a combo of Winter Soldier and Fury VS Shield. Much like No!Lans attempt at combining Knightfall and No Man's Land.
MrMartinMarvel - 5/20/2013, 4:06 PM
I want Winter Soldier to attack Philadelphia, my home city needs some recognition in superhero movies
Wildaniel - 5/20/2013, 4:06 PM
Thats not the real Fury, its a SKRULL!!!
TheOneAboveAll - 5/20/2013, 4:07 PM
Great find and info Mark
CaptainKalamari - 5/20/2013, 4:08 PM
nice investigation, i hope youre right!
MarkJulian - 5/20/2013, 4:08 PM
@fettastic First line reads "title of the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger".

Yeah, Rormachine already alerted me to the Rollins slip-up.
JerBear - 5/20/2013, 4:08 PM
I see where you're getting at, but I don't think the entire movie is based on that one story. It'll probably be a combination of that, the Winter soldier story, and maybe a few other stories.
Scorpion8125 - 5/20/2013, 4:09 PM

@Mark Julian,

I don't know if any of that will pan out, but good thinking man!

That was a great Marvel story line.

This is the kind of article that makes this site so interesting, not all that Marvel vs. DC you suck kinda stuff.

And, Mark, I expect that check by Friday.

SnapperCarr - 5/20/2013, 4:10 PM
that would be awesome for a movie
BANE5000 - 5/20/2013, 4:12 PM
" However, in Captain America: The Winter Solider I'm guessing it will be Cap, Black Widow and Falcon having to decide whether they hunt Fury down or join him in his rebellion. "

Hmm a REBELLION where people must choose sides whether they are with or against something...

Could this be Marvel Studios way of building up to Civil War?
Godzillafart - 5/20/2013, 4:13 PM
Maybe a mash-up of both stories?
SugarYumYum - 5/20/2013, 4:13 PM
Nice write up. Should be interesting to see if this is true.
sikwon - 5/20/2013, 4:14 PM
Outstanding. I think your onto something because Shield was no ware to be seen in IM3 and we already know that Cap2 takes place at the same time and explains the abscence. Fury batteling Shield would be fantastic. I absolutely think you are if not dead on then in the ball park.
manofmidgard - 5/20/2013, 4:16 PM
this is good reasoning. and would make a great movie. i loved that miniseries back in the day. this would be a great segue into the SHIELD miniseries too. besides to the average movie-goer, nick fury is just the director of SHIELD. i bet we get to see him getting a version of the super-soldier serum, which would happen after cap's plane went down and before he is recovered.
rocky - 5/20/2013, 4:18 PM
You put my geekiness to shame :)
inkslinger616 - 5/20/2013, 4:19 PM
sounds awesome! Thanks Mark, I am ecstatic with a more pro-active Nick Fury!
Bigred20 - 5/20/2013, 4:20 PM
the jack rollins cast thing looks like its from imdb
ANYONE can changed imdb
remember that douchebag last year who put himself as robin in tdkr
cody something i dunno youll have to look it up
JordanKing - 5/20/2013, 4:22 PM
It's because he's black isn't it?
SageMode - 5/20/2013, 4:22 PM
Just a fusion of both WINTER SOLDIER and NICK FURY vs S.H.I.E.L.D. storylines. I'm sure they wouldn't call it Winter Soldier with Sebastian Stan in the role for no reason.
AlexanderLykins - 5/20/2013, 4:23 PM
They will use a mix of a few of the comic book storylines. Just like they have for a few of the films. Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel's The Avengers and Iron Man 3 all did this as well. Not so sure about The Incredible Hulk or Thor though.
THORGodOfThunder - 5/20/2013, 4:23 PM
Hmm cool, would be interesting to see how they incorporate both Nick Fury VS SHIELD and Winter Soldier story lines together. Nice article!
JTCoffee - 5/20/2013, 4:25 PM
While that does sound good ima be disappointed if Brubaker hasn't influenced this film more, If this is true I kind of feel Mandarin-ed all over again
skidz - 5/20/2013, 4:28 PM
This website said (several months ago) that Brubaker had read the script and confirmed that it was 'partially' based on his work. It's probably a mashup of the two.
MarvelWeiner - 5/20/2013, 4:30 PM
He had to be black lol




just kidding ;p
Volgan - 5/20/2013, 4:32 PM
Very interesting. Could be also the lead up and real explanation for Coulson's return in MAoS to as one of the LMDs that believes he is Coulson. All ties together nicely. Getting a a very Sixth Day vibe here :-D
StephenStrange - 5/20/2013, 4:33 PM
sounds good, but I am still thinking about skipping this one because I hate the stupid costume Cap will have in this one.
PartialSoul - 5/20/2013, 4:35 PM
Spoiler Warning ! (not really)

CA:TWS TWIST :

Captain America will only have a cameo role.
Shamo - 5/20/2013, 4:35 PM
very impressive article.
MarkJulian - 5/20/2013, 4:37 PM
@skidz "It was really strange because [the script] feels like my comic while not really telling the same story as my comic." -- Ed Brubaker
Franshu - 5/20/2013, 4:43 PM
Interesting, and it wouldnt surprise me if it were true. Everything youve said just fis in perfectly. And itd also explain Coulson's return to the Marvel U.
exe - 5/20/2013, 4:45 PM
Whatever this is, I hope it does not suck like Iron Turd 3.
TheBeard - 5/20/2013, 4:46 PM
good article, well done. i would imagine if this theory is correct then coulson is alive, or sorta anyway. i know lot of people won't like that if true but i would
like to see coulson show up agian. also since he says that his death was faked in the SHIELD tv promo, life.model.decoys are going to show up in the M.C.U.
JTCoffee - 5/20/2013, 4:46 PM
I pray to the mighty Odin that they handle Bucky right, he's easily become one of my favourite Marvel Characters and the last film didnt really give him the treatment he deserves
pointman - 5/20/2013, 4:47 PM
Ha! I have this mini series. Still in mint condition.
TheBeard - 5/20/2013, 4:51 PM
oh and tony stark described nick fury and shield perfectly to cap in avengers...

tony: cap he's a spy,cap he's the spy. His secrets have secrets.
JGAR - 5/20/2013, 4:56 PM
That was pretty interesting, spoiled the entire movie for me if true.
Ocelot - 5/20/2013, 5:00 PM
I think you theory is correct, but instead of the Deltite's it will be Hydra, that fits in more with the tone of this movie imo
batesmotel - 5/20/2013, 5:01 PM
I really dislike Sam Jackson
dellamorte1872 - 5/20/2013, 5:14 PM
sounds like an explanation for COULSON nothing else itll still be a WINTER SOLDIER BRUBAKER STORY just shoehorned with that!
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