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 ;)
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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’
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.
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
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.
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?
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?
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.