Captain America: The Winter Soldier, next year's unfrozen Avengers follow-ups could very well look to give Iron Man 3 a run for its money when it comes to antagonistic "twists." (Warning: Potential spoiler ahead!)
As some may be aware, the stacked cast of this super-soldier-sequel headlined by a returning Chris Evans will be joined by a legendary veteran actor in Robert Redford, who plays a character named Alexander Pierce, a high-ranking honcho in heroic organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. However, there may be far more to the actor's presence in this film than providing grizzled guidance to young whippersnappers. In a recent interview with The Straits Times (brought to the forefront by Here Be Geeks), Redford was rather candid regarding his role in The Winter Soldier, perhaps too candid. According to the actor, who muses on how this role proved to be of a change of pace:
“I think a career requires a certain amount of reinvention. If you get caught in one track I think that can be dangerous. Success has a dark side to it. you want to be careful if you’ve had success at something, that you not try and follow it by just duplicating it. That’s why I’m doing this Captain America thing. I like the idea of playing a villain…I did that just because it’s a different thing for me to do.”
Yes, you read that correctly, Redford referred to his character, Alexander Pierce as "a villain." This one line has lead to loads of speculation, given the context of the film's comic-book-inspired storyline with the titular character, Winter Solider, formerly Cap's old pal, Bucky (Sebastian Stan). It is now believed that the "Alexander Pierce" character could very well be Aleksander Lukin, a former KGB agent and the brainwashed Winter Soldier's secret handler, who is known to be involved with the seediest of supervillains, namely The Red Skull. (Played in the last film by Hugo Weaving.) In fact, at some point in the comic storyline, Red Skull, used The Cosmic Cube, aka The Tesseract (which he did posses in the last film) to preserve himself by transferring his own essence into Lukin's body. -- Cliff's Notes Version: Redford might be playing a sleeper agent of sorts who could very well be The Red Skull himself.
It's certainly a huge speculative leap, but does seem to have a ring of truth, especially after the whole "Mandarin" stunt pulled by Iron Man 3 and the glee the Marvel Studios folks seemed to enjoy when they pulled the wool over our eyes just to prove that they could. It may very well be the case that Redford, who is a hallmark in the film industry, but a noob when it comes to comic book movies, made a critical slip in the process of expressing pride over his art. Even if this is the case, the idea that Red Skull could have a presence in the film only adds to the excitement and serves the film better than another "twist." (Unless they plan on getting M. Night Shyamalan for Doctor Strange, in which case a twist spoiler would be fatal.)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier might just prove that "The Sundance Kid" is not so sunny after all, when it hits theaters on April 4, 2014.