#1 Edited by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

This thread here’s for any discussion pertaining to the speculation on Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. Any guesses, theories, or unconfirmed rumors can be shared here. The movie’s apparently going to be about secrets and finding the truth. It’s only fitting that we Cap fans do the same ;)

Here are some of the theories that @risingbean, @slimj87d, and myself have come up with in our various discussions, as well as other theories I stumbled across online.

Theory 1: Alexander Pierce is the Red Skull

It’s been done

In the Death of Captain America arc, the Skull has disguised himself as CEO Aleksander Lukin in order to undermine America’s economy. In the Avengers Red Zone arc, he poses as Senator Dell Rusk. The writers could have got inspiration from the comics, and it’s not entirely implausible that Skull has infiltrated SHIELD.

Skull’s Death

His destruction at the hands of the Tesseract was very open-ended, so he could have survived. Who knows? There are a lot of ways that the writers can use to make Skull return from the dead and assume the Alexander Pierce identity.

Recasting

Hugo Weaving has expressed disinterest in returning to the role, so perhaps Redford has taken over. Plus, Redford has been extremely cryptic regarding his role, describing it as “I like the idea of playing a villain…I did that just because it’s a different thing for me to do.” He has also described it as a small part but significant. Another Mandarin-like twist?

Theory 2: Alexander Pierce is another Cap villain, or a minion himself

Another baddie

Pierce could be another Cap villain, such as Zemo or Strucker. Or he might just be a corrupt SHIELD head, like the Secret Empire story where it was implied that the President was the bad guy.

Mole

Pierce might be the mole of a secret big bad that will only be revealed in the end-credits. He could just be the pawn of a greater threat. Alternatively, the Council from Avengers 1 could somehow be involved, maybe in an attempt to displace Fury.

Mercenaries

There is mention of Bucky and Batroc, both mercenaries, so one theory that Slim came up with was that Redford is responsible for hiring the two in order to enact his secret plan to destroy SHIELD.

Theory 3: Captain America’s ‘Stealth Suit’

Different shades

The Super-Soldier outfit that he wears could represent the darker side of the American Dream. It could be the outfit that he wears at the initial start of the movie, before he realizes that SHIELD is wrong, and then returns to his original WWII colors. Some hint that he may have stolen the original suit from the Smithsonian.

Symbolic

The dark suit could symbolize the shady espionage of the 21st century, while his WWII suit is the idealized American Dream, the black-and-white morals of the 40s. It’s something that has been done in the comics as well – as when Cap quit working for the government; he briefly changed to a black costume. Except in this movie, it’s the other way around.

Remember who you are

Someone on CBM mentioned that Cap wearing the old costume might be an effort to jolt Bucky’s memories back.

Theory 4: Crossbones, Falcon, Agent 13, Batroc

Crossbones starts off as a SHIELD agent in Widow/Cap’s team. How he turns out as a psychotic villain is still up for discussion. But if the Skull theory is true, Crossbones could certainly be the right hand man and the ‘muscle’ of the villain.

Agent 13 is in this movie, as is Batroc, though I don't think we get glimpses of either in the teaser trailer. We do get some cool shots of Falcon though, and he appears to be Cap's partner, much in the vein of Widow

Theory 5: Winter Soldier is a SHIELD assassin

No Russians

Instead of the Ruskies, maybe Bucky’s body was found by German forces, which upon realizing his body was near-destroyed, decided to use it as a test experiment. For bionic arm technology! And then after the war, he fell into American possession.

Still a Cold War assassin

So he could’ve been a secret Cold War weapon, kept on ice in between missions. The star on his bionic arm could be the US star instead of the Commie one. It lends credence to the movie’s theme of secrets and political espionage.

Arnim Zola

A really cool one that RB came up with; many Nazi scientists were pardoned and brought into the States after the war. So maybe Zola was one of the men responsible for developing the bionic arm technology.

Theory 6: Fury gets taken out of the picture

In the trailer, we see Bucky using some weird disc gun to blow Fury’s car into the air. Earlier on, we see Steve and Natasha at a hospital bed, where Fury appears to be hospitalized. It could be that Pierce wants to take Fury off the table before he makes his move.

Plus, Fury mentions to Cap to ‘keep both your eyes open’. And when the grunts in the elevator try to attack Cap, it could be to take him into custody and prevent him from finding out the truth. He even gets attacked by what is clearly one of the same SHIELD jets that Hawkeye/Widow piloted in Avengers.

Theory 7: Triskelion & Helicarriers?

Triskelion

In a few shots, we see a large island-type facility where Pierce’s office apparently is, and where it (seems) Helicarriers are emerging from. Could Avengers Tower be the base for the team (as referenced in Avengers 1); while the Triskelion is SHIELD’s new HQ?

Phase 2

There appears to be multiple Helicarriers: Number 42, 65 (to replace 64 in Avengers), and 88. In the Avengers, it’s mentioned that Phase 2 involves Tesseract-powered weapons. Could this tie-in with Cap’s comment that this isn’t freedom, but fear?

Thoughts, fellow Viners?

And feel free to share your own theories/speculation/conspiracies as well.

#2 Posted by RisingBean (4958 posts) - - Show Bio

Holy S%&^, @veshark You made this a lot nicer looking then I would have done. I would have slapped on a title and prepped a block of text. I'll read it over later and compare to our earlier conversation and see if you left anything out.

Great job.

With that said I'll tag @slimj87d and call it a day.

#3 Edited by Mercy_ (91937 posts) - - Show Bio

Moderator
#5 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

Holy S%&^, @veshark You made this a lot nicer looking then I would have done. I would have slapped on a title and prepped a block of text. I'll read it over later and compare to our earlier conversation and see if you left anything out.

Great job.

With that said I'll tag @slimj87d and call it a day.

Aw shucks, gracias.

Yeah, I figured I'd just take advantage of some nice high-quality stills of the trailer I found, and I read through our PM exchange and your discussion with Slim to post these up.

#6 Posted by Mercy_ (91937 posts) - - Show Bio

-___- CV ate my post

It was a long rambling thing of fangirl excitement

Amazing job on this, guys!

Moderator
#7 Posted by ShadowSwordmaster (17045 posts) - - Show Bio
#8 Edited by mads (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Cool post! The trailer has me so excited for the film. I agree that one of the major questions is the role of Redford's character. There's a VO in the trailer by Redford where he's talking to an unseen character about how they've shaped the century. At first I thought he was talking to Cap, but now it seems like Winter Soldier might fit better. I hope they keep WS's Russian roots, but it doesn't seem like there's any indication they will at the moment other than keeping the red star on his arm. And I think there was an interview where Feige talked about exploring some sort of shared history with him and Black Widow, but it was very vague and could have meant anything.

#9 Posted by SlimJ87D (10992 posts) - - Show Bio

Lol, this looks nice, but I can't participate because I don't wat to ruin the movie for myself. I'd like to be surprised. Anytime I figure out the plot of a movie it kinda ruins it for me. But good luck guys. If you really want to know what happens I heard the script is already leaked =/

#10 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

@mercy_ @shadowswordmaster Thank you! Can't take full credit though ShadowSwordmaster, RB and Slim definitely helped.

@mads Thanks! Yeah, Twitter's been abuzz with reactions.

@slimj87dYeah, I feel you, man. I remember avoiding every IM3 piece of news because I watched every single trailer/tidbit of Avengers that it ruined the movie's entire plot for me. But I'm making an exception for this one, simply because it's too much fun to discuss how they'll integrate the story arc into the script.

Oh yeah, I read they had one page where it was leaked how Cap and Falcon meet. I don't want to look at that myself, that's too much of a major spoiler - I'm more interested in trying to figure things out using the trailer/screenshots alone.

#11 Edited by The_Tree (8181 posts) - - Show Bio

I can see any of these things happening. I definitely think Redford's character is the main villain of the movie.

In addition, I think something could've been done to Bucky when he was being held by Hydra in the first movie.

#12 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_tree said:

I can see any of these things happening. I definitely think Redford's character is the main villain of the movie.

In addition, I think something could've been done to Bucky when he was being held by Hydra in the first movie.

Huh. Very good point, I hadn't considered that. Now I'm trying to think what they could've done to him...because even after he was saved by Steve and up until his 'death', Buck was still fine.

Does anyone else think that this movie has the potential to be Marvel's Dark Knight? Not in the sense of critical acclaim or influence etc, but just in terms of a movie that explores serious real-world themes using superheroes? The overall moody tone of the trailer and the score just brings to mind Nolan's stuff for some reason.

#13 Posted by cameron83 (7643 posts) - - Show Bio

This is so well-done and awesome!

I think that Fury is taken off the table so someone else (corrupt) can take his place and they have control over SHIELD now,probably why they are attacking Cap.

#14 Posted by cameron83 (7643 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark said:

@the_tree said:

I can see any of these things happening. I definitely think Redford's character is the main villain of the movie.

In addition, I think something could've been done to Bucky when he was being held by Hydra in the first movie.

Huh. Very good point, I hadn't considered that. Now I'm trying to think what they could've done to him...because even after he was saved by Steve and up until his 'death', Buck was still fine.

Does anyone else think that this movie has the potential to be Marvel's Dark Knight? Not in the sense of critical acclaim or influence etc, but just in terms of a movie that explores serious real-world themes using superheroes? The overall moody tone of the trailer and the score just brings to mind Nolan's stuff for some reason.

That is exactly what I said a day ago.

#15 Edited by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

Just some observations to share:

Here's a screenshot of Cap in the elevator...the guy on the left looks like Crossbones

I think it's quite clear that Cap and buddies will be hunted by a corrupt SHIELD. In the following two screenshots, we have Cap and Falcon both being attacked by a jet...that is exactly the same as the one Hawkeye/Widow piloted in the movie:

Additional thoughts:

  • I'm glad they had at least one scene where Cap was riding his bike. It's a somewhat iconic aspect of the character
  • I remember seeing some BTS shots of Hayley Atwell wearing dots on her face....possibly to make her an old Peggy Carter for Cap to visit at a retirement home or something. Probably will be lots of tears in this scene.
  • Every time I see Winter Soldier's metallic arm and how awesome it looks...I giggle like a schoolgirl
  • Robert Redford - he's obviously the Skull I tell you! Obviously!
  • Any chance we'll see Redwing?
#16 Posted by RisingBean (4958 posts) - - Show Bio

@slimj87d: I felt the same way at first. Then Veshark and I lost our S#^%&. At this point I probably ruined the movie anyway, so to hell with it. I'll like it regardless. I won't go so far as to read the screenplay, but I won't avoid this thread. Needless to say if you want to get involved later we'll leave a space at the table for you.

@mads: Slim was saying Bucky's actor, Sebastian Stan did much research into Russia and the Cold war and brainwashing and such. It's not implausible they would have him be Russian, it is just that so far there has been no connection in the films. Well unless we link Venko from IM 2 into the the conspiracy. Due to all the conspiracy stuff with S.H.I.E.L.D. I'm leaning toward America retaining Zola via Operation Paperclip and him being the link.

@mercy_: Wow. Always a pleasure to get attention from the lady of the vine. As it is, I just talked a bit. Veshark is wholly responsible. Glad to hear you got as excited as we are.

@veshark: Yeah I forgot about Bucky being held prisoner. He seemed out of it when Steve got him. I'd say he could have been brainwashed. Also skimmed our long pm thread. You got everything to my knowledge on the initial writeup and then some. Good job once again in presentation. You get a star. Just don't put it on your arm and try stealing the beautiful Russian spy .

#17 Edited by RisingBean (4958 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark I don't believe that screencap is of Crossbones on the elevator. I believe it's the other agent on the jet. I hadn't seen a clear pic until now, but I have to say if Rumlow isn't getting smashed on the elevator there is hope yet he may be a physical threat.

Edit: The guy on the left might be him. But I'm hopeful it isn't.

#18 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark I don't believe that screencap is of Crossbones on the elevator. I believe it's the other agent on the jet. I hadn't seen a clear pic until now, but I have to say if Rumlow isn't getting smashed on the elevator there is hope yet he may be a physical threat.

Nah man, I don't think that's the other agent. Here's a screencap of Rumlow and the other guy:

Doesn't look like the other guy at all, no?

#19 Posted by MartianManhunterIsBetterThanCyborg (2275 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice write-up!

#20 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks!

Plot summary of the movie from D23 Expo:

Two years after the events of The Avengers,[1]Steve Rogers resides peacefully in Washington, D.C., struggling to adapt to contemporary society. However, after a S.H.I.E.L.D. compatriot is assailed, Steve becomes entangled in a mystery that may endanger the globe. Together with Natasha Romanoff, Captain America attempts to uncover the growing machination while fending off hired hit men. When the entire scheme is discovered, Captain America and the Black Widow must recruit the aid of the Falcon and soon encounter an unanticipated and powerful adversary — the Winter Soldier.[2]

So Iron Man 3 takes place 6 months after the Battle of New York. We know that Thor 2 takes place a year after. So now we've established that Cap 2 takes place 2 years after the NY battle (which is quite a while, at least for comics).

'After a SHIELD compatriot is assailed' certainly points towards Nick Fury being (nearly) killed by Bucky. 'Fending off hired hit men' also points towards Bucky, Crossbones, and Batroc.

#21 Edited by HybridComics (60 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey guys, Hybrid here! @veshark pointed me to this thread so I hope to help contribute to the ideas & analysis shared. I promise you'll learn something new, this is the most in-depth trailer breakdown on the internet! (25 min. of analysis)

#22 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

@hybridcomics

I listened through all 28 minutes of your trailer breakdown - very nice work, you guys really went through a lot of detail and observations. Some thoughts as I listened:

  • I didn't know about Pierce being a member of the World Security Council - but that's certainly an interesting storytelling opportunity. The splinter cell idea seems very possible, I could imagine the Security Council attempting to cause an internal civil war in SHIELD itself (and the real villain of the story using this as a cover-up).
  • Concur with the kiss scene - I think it's more of a 'we're avoiding SHIELD by pretending to be a couple' moment. Interesting note about their attire - I didn't notice it was the same as earlier on.
  • Agree with the idea of them investigating old SHIELD stations for secrets of the organization or Winter Soldier. Certainly sounds possible
  • My thoughts exactly on the stealth suit, and Cap eventually going back to the WWII look
  • The Helicarriers having repulsors is one possibility, though really, it could just be ordinary thrusters. But interesting note about that being tied to Ultron, I could see that.
  • I didn't notice that thin blue line flag, but I'm not sure if that has any actual relevance to the scene. Could just be a background element.
  • There is actually a scene in this movie where Cap apparently meets the old Peggy. Here's a link to that.
  • One thing to point out: if you note, Cap's WWII costume seems to have been tweaked a little, with an added third stripe on his suit that wasn't there in The First Avenger.
  • I remember Mackie commenting that he wanted spandex simply to show how much he'd been working out, but it could've just been tongue-in-cheek. It's cool that him and Evans have been friends for 4+ years now, as the Cap-Falcon relationship certainly needs good chemistry
  • Agree with you guys' thoughts on the Winter Soldier costume - it looks great and authentic to Epting's rendition, right down to the vest. Though I could do without the eye-shadow, personally.
  • I don't think that's Crossbones...the stripe looks a lot like those slacks that mall cops sometimes wear.

Overall, great trailer breakdown, very entertaining to listen to. Thoughts on what we Viners have managed to come up with in this thread?

#23 Edited by Jonny_Anonymous (36115 posts) - - Show Bio

I have a theory that the Winter Solider is really Bucky... :)

#24 Posted by HybridComics (60 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark: also great analysis on this thread from all of the contributors. I'm especially liking the Redford being Red Skull (I personally doubt) or a mole/puppet master theory & Arnim Zola connection theory. Also this film is 2 years post Avengers? Wow!

#25 Posted by RisingBean (4958 posts) - - Show Bio

@jonny_anonymous: That is preposterous! Everybody knows Bucky and Uncle Ben are the only ones in comics who stay dead!

@hybridcomics: Good thoughts on the video. Veshark and I are thinking along the same lines. Welcome to the party. The guy in the black pants as Crossbones? Don't you read Hawkeye, bro? It's a cameo by one of the tracksuit mafia!

Looking at the screen captures, it looks like both guys from the jet are there. It hurts my heart. Moreso then even seeing my original response got eaten.

#26 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

An interesting find I thought I'd share. @risingbean you can check this out when you get back:

Description of the Winter Soldier Marvel Minimates toys:

Here’s a description of the Diamond Select Release of Marvel Minimates Series 55 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Assortment. The Captain America: The Winter Soldier Minimates include four different 2-packs: Stealth Uniform Captain America vs. Crossbones, Final Battle Captain America vs. Winter Soldier, Black Widow vs. Agent Sitwell and Falcon vs. Batroc. Each Minimate stands 2 inches tall, with 14 points of articulation and a variety of interchangeable parts and accessories. The Captain America: The Winter Soldier Minimates will be available exclusively at comic shops and are designed and sculpted by Art Asylum.

Implies that Cap will be fighting Crossbones and Bucky, while Widow will fight Agent Sitwell and Falcon will fight Batroc. Of course they could just be toy pairings, but for all we know, they might be referencing the actual fights in the movie.

Also, here's a funny Thanksgiving tweet from Frank Grillo:

"Happy Thanksgiving to all you beautiful people. Oh and to Capt. America. Enjoy the last Thanksgiving with all your teeth," he wrote on Nov. 27.

#27 Posted by RisingBean (4958 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark: Not thrilled the toys may be giving away fights, tbh. I can avoid trailers, and threads such as this, but when I go down a toy aisle I expect a teaser free zone.

I recall seeing a screenshot that looked like Cap fighting Batroc. At least in my opinion that was the likely candidate. But who knows?

Frank Grillo is amusing. I like his sense of humor even if he is wrong.