Captain America II
Synopsis, fan cast, some thoughts...
When news breaks out of the discovery of the secrets of the super-soldier serum by the descendant of an old adversary, Steve Rogers, who had retired from his identity as Captain America finds himself drawn into a wide-spanning conspiracy with far reaching consequences relating to the integrity of the United States. As he struggles to adapt to the modern world and find answers, he is aided by Sam Wilson, a soldier who may have born witness to evidence of such conspiracy, and Irma Kruhl, a woman of indeterminate loyalties with a remarkable resemblance to a past acquaintance.
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers
Since the events of the Avengers, Steve Rogers has signed up with SHIELD as a field Agent and retired the identity of Captain America, as he finds himself no longer to able to don the flag of a country he no longer understands. While he proved to be a capable agent, he remains withdrawn and aloof, not keeping much touch with his fellow Avengers and being entirely focused on his duties at SHIELD.
As much as I enjoyed The Avengers, I thought it did a less than satisfying job of handling Cap. He kind of just suited up when Fury asked. Nothing was really explored or resolved. I want to see Cap being lost, listless and nearly despairing before he rallies back and finds renewed purpose as Captain America.
Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, The Adjustment Bureau) as Sam Wilson
A US Army Special Forces soldier who saw his unit wiped out in Afghanistan by Ten Rings operatives who may have been enhanced by Black Market super-soldier serum. He was rescued by Steve Rogers, who at the time was part of a SHIELD team on an unrelated mission. Rogers later recruits him when he finds he must temporarily distance himself from SHIELD.
In the comics, The Falcon had two origins, depending on the writer; social worker or gangster. He gained the power of communicating with birds through the Red Skull’s use of the cosmic cube to fuse him with his pet bird Redwing. He would only later gain his flight harness, courtesy of the Black Panther. It goes without saying that that would be hard to pull off on screen. Not the least because Red Skull is unaccounted for and that there is no more cosmic cube.
For the Ultimates, Warren Ellis reimagined him as a SHIELD-consultant scientist with a military past who had created a razor sharp flight harness and went around armed with twin submachine guns.
I’m not a big fan of the Ultimates. I will, as long as I am a fan of comic books, maintain the position that the mainstream books are better. However, I can’t deny my fondness for the Ultimate version.
Now, the Ultimate version could work. However, I find myself wondering how Falcon would actually fit. It’s true, the Marvel universe contains alien Vikings, super-soldiers, man-made-mutants and men in powered armor, but the thing about each franchise is that they maintain their own domain of weirdness. Iron Man movie feature super-spies and high-tech battle armor, TIH featured super-soldiers, and I think a flying Sam Wilson kind of sticks out unless flying people are an integral part of the plot.
And to be honest, when it comes to the Falcon, I find myself more interested in Sam Wilson, the loyal friend and confidante, than I am in Falcon, avian superhero.
I’d do the Falcon as the Ultimate Falcon before he got his wings, and without the PhD, I guess. The movie have emphasized the soldier aspect of Steve Rogers, and so I’d like to see that being how the two bond; over them being American soldiers from two eras where the military are perceived differently.
And in a future movie, hopefully Avengers 2, I’d totally love to see him get wings, either from SHIELD, Stark Industries or Wakanda.
Bennedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, War Horse) as Helmut Zemo
A billionaire philanthropist hailing from a family with a notorious reputation. Touted as the Tony Stark of the pharmaceuticals industry, his company, Nextin, makes the ground breaking discovery of the secrets of Abraham Erskine super-soldier process. The news, particularly the revelation that the serum has applications in curing cancer, causes mass support for Zemo and Nextin from the public, the military, and even the World Security Council, who exert their authority over Fury to reign in Cpt. Rogers.
…And if it helps set up a Thunderbolts movie down the line, all the better.
Hayley Atwell as Irma Kruhl/Sharon Carter
A mercenary/enforcer in the employ of Helmut Zemo who harbors an agenda of her own and draws the attention of Steve Rogers.
She is actually a British Intelligence undercover agent, and Peggy Carter’s grand-niece.
The relationship between Sharon Carter and Steve Rogers is, in a word, problematic.
Steve was initially drawn to Sharon because she looked just like an old flame of his, a French resistance fighter whom he never knew the name of. He commenced a relationship with her, and it was only years later that he learned she was his old flame’s younger sister (they’re now aunt and niece).
Peggy Carter, by the way, has only ever existed as Sharon’s sister/aunt, and had never appeared before Sharon did.
The whole thing is the type of relic that only exists because it was introduced in the silver age by Lee and Kirby, and no one could get away with doing something similar today. The relationship is perceived by many as icky due to the familial relationship, which exists only to explain the physical resemblance. If the two are no longer identical and the familial relationship persists, it becomes quite needlessly icky, and it would be more prudent, perhaps, to make the two not related at all. More on that later…
However, if they were identical…. Well, you then have a reason for the two being related, but it takes another level of icky. After all, from Steve’s perspective, he’d been in love with Peggy less than a year ago, and if he take off with someone who not only looks like her, but is in the same profession, then that can’t be healthy, right?
There’s actually a way around that.
Don’t make her the love interest.
Who says you need a love interest in every movie?
Instead of making her the love interest, have her, along Sam, be Steve’s new Howling Commandos. Have her become an ally, and a friend. One he has no romantic interest in…. yet.
And then, in future movie, have her become the love interest then.
The Irma Kruhl identity, if you were wondering, is from a silver age storyline (Captain America #97 - #100) where Sharon was undercover as a German spy in league with Baron Zemo (who was actually an imposter).
Eddie Izzard (Valkyrie) as Heinrich Zemo
A WWII-era German military commander who was soundly defeated in late-1944 by SSR battalions spearheaded by Captain America’s Howling Commandos. He spent the rest of the war trying to regain Hitler’s favor by doing unspeakable acts, and took his own life when Berlin fell.
I’d only include Heinrich Zemo in the beginning of the movie in a prologue set in WWII. It would serve to establish the basis for Helmut Zemo’s antagonism with Cap, as well as give us something I thought was lacking in the last movie; enough taste of the Howling Commandos adventures in WWII, which can then lead to Cap with SHIELD in Afghanistan, and how much war has changed.
Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye) as Aleksander Lukin (cameo)
A former KGB operative and Helmut Zemo’s “silent partner” who supplies him with the Soviet-era research behind Nextin’s miracle serum, as well as the services of an elite assassin.
Karel Roden (Hellboy) as Dr. Karl Malus
A former Soviet scientist in the employ of Aleksander Lukin who takes great strides in recreating the super-soldier serum in the later years of the Soviet Union.
Neal McDonough as Cpl. Timothy ‘Dum-Dum’ Dugan, JJ Field as Lt. James Falsworth, Derek Luke as Gabe Jones, Bruno Ricci as Jacques Dernier, Kenneth Choi as Jim Morita and Sebastian Stan as Sgt. James ‘Bucky’ Barnes/The Winter Soldier
Steve Rogers’ unit back in WWII. They undertook daring missions against German forces led by Heinrich Zemo in Southern France in 1944.
Of the unit, only Sgt. Barnes, thought to be dead for decades, lives on in the present day as an elite, amnesiac assassin.
Like many, I started reading Captain America when Ed Brubaker took over the title, in a run that saw him go everywhere one didn’t expect him to go; kill Cap, knock Sharon Carter up, and most notably, bring Bucky ‘No-one-stays-dead-but-Jason-Todd-Uncle-Ben-And-Me’ Barnes back to life.
It is such a powerful storyline, that even I, someone who knew little of Captain America beforehand found to be very profound. I, of course, can’t wait to see it adapted…
…However, the time isn’t yet. The Winter Soldier storyline packs the punch it does because it comes after decades of status quo, it comes at a point when Cap was more or less, adjusted, at peace, and happy.
To have Cap face off with him at such a point, when his death should be still fresh is to undermine much of the emotional resonance of the storyline.
Instead of having him as one of the main villains, have him as an assassin working in a shadows, always appearing as fingers on a rifle trigger in a darkened vantage point, or as a silhouette in the distance, never seen until the end, when his face is revealed to the villain, or to the audience, but never to Steve himself.
Jeremy Irons as the Secretary of Defense (cameo)
The US Secretary of Defense who supports Zemo. Revealed in a post-credits scene to be the Red Skull reincarnated.
In one Avengers story-arc by Geoff Johns, the Red Skull managed to reach the position of the United States Secretary of Defense under the name Dell Rusk (an anagram of Red Skull). Hugo Weaving has expressed disinterest in reprising the role, so this would make a recasting make sense.
I would hope they’d give SecDefSkull a less obvious name than Dell Rusk, though.
After this, I hope to see Skull as the villain in Captain America III or The Avengers II.
Abbie Cornish as Sharon Coulson
Remember when I said ‘More on that later?’ This is later.
If they’re not going to have Sharon and Peggy being identical, them being family becomes much more trouble than it is worth. Make Agent 13 someone else’s family. And who better than the Son of Coul’s?
Sure, we know he wasn’t married, but he could be widowed, or divorced. He might not have felt compelled to tell Pepper about his daughter, especially if she was a fellow secret agent.
Having Agent 13 be Phil Coulson’s daughter maintains much of the dynamic of Sharon growing up idolizing Cap due to an older relative.
And of course, if Phil does return eventually, think of the comedy that will ensue from him finding his hero is doing his daughter.
Lara Pulver as Velntina de Fontaine
Nick Fury’s sometimes lover (who she almost two-timed with Cap at some point in the comics) and staple of SHIELD. I’m not sure how she’d fit in, but I certainly would love to see her.
Christopher Lee as James Montgomery Falsworth (90 Years)
I kind of like the idea of one of the Howling Commandos surviving to old age, being both a solace to Steve while also further alienating hi due to how much they’ve changed.
I also like the idea of the revelation that Falsworth married Peggy, and that the two had two children, who could later appear as Union Jack and Spitfire.
Holt McCallany as Brock Rumlow
Crossbones is probably best left to when Red Skull returns, but still, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him sooner.
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