Captain America: The Winter Soldier is still a little more than two months out from theaters, but according to a report from Variety, Disney is already pursuing director pair Joe and Anthony Russo for an as-yet-unofficial third film in the series, which would be the fifth to feature The First Avenger (not counting the cameo in Thor: The Dark World) by the time such a movie hit the big screen. To this point, only Jon Favreau (Iron Man and Iron Man 2) and Joss Whedon (The Avengers and the forthcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron) have directed more than one pic in Disney/Marvel’s feature film continuity, but the move to bring back the brothers Russo, if true, is being prompted by rumors of stellar advanced screenings of the movie, a theory corroborated by some of the buzz we’ve been hearing ourselves.
There has not been any official comment from Disney, Marvel, or Russo’s reps, and there is unlikely to be any official confirmation until at least after the release of Winter Soldier, but the Variety report alleges that the Russos and Marvel movie overlord Kevin Feige are already outlining the potential movie. The majority of the key cast is already inked for a third pic, so provided Winter Soldier does moderately well come April, a third movie seems all but guaranteed.
The Russos’ path to helming a major project like Captain America has been a fairly atypical one. While other Marvel directors like Favreau, Kenneth Branagh (Thor), Joe Johnson (Captain America: The First Avenger), and Whedon all had significant feature film credits to their name (if not always an abundance of action movies under their belts), the Russos’ largest feature gig prior to Winter Soldier, and one of only a couple, was the Owen Wilson comedy You, Me and Dupree. What does inspire confidence, oddly enough, is their collective television resume. Joe and Anthony are both executive producers on Community, and directed action heavy fan-favorite episodes A Fistful of Paintballs and A Few Paintballs More. While the majority of their background is in comedy and Winter Soldier‘s probable $150 millon-plus budget far outstrips cash-strapped shows like Community and Arrested Development (of which they also directed several episodes), it’s hard not to hope for the best, particularly given Marvel’s penchant for mixing lighter, brighter moments of character humor with more serious scenes.
Although it’s notoriously difficult to evaluate the final quality of a film from a carefully manicured piece of publicity like a trailer, the first for Winter Soldier definitely got some eyes popping. Fans will get their chance to decide if the potential Russo re-hire would be a good move beginning April 4th.