"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is already out in U.S. theaters and the twist has been revealed. Now Kevin Feige discusses how the movie could set off chain of events and affect upcoming Marvel projects including "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and the next season of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
[SPOILER ALERT!] The second "Captain America" film directed by the Russo brothers shows that S.H.I.E.L.D. has actually been secretly corrupted by Hydra since the very beginning. By the end of the movie, the organization that used to be the Avengers basecamp is disbanded.
Since S.H.I.E.L.D. is no more, "when they [the Avengers] come together in the next movie it's just them." Feige explained, "We thought would be fun was using this to change the dynamic for The Avengers." He added, "Tony Stark took over The Avengers as their backer in the comics. ... Did you notice the very brief glimpse of Stark Tower in [Captain America: The Winter Soldier]? It looks different... There's a big 'A' on it now."
Asked when and how he came up with the idea, the producer told Crave Online, "I've been thinking since the first Captain America film that if the SSR was a... you know, the SSR was the organization that Captain was a part of in the first movie, and had the super soldier program."
"I had this thought for a long time that the SSR defeated Hydra, brought in their scientists, brought in their weaponry, that's what SHIELD was founded on. But what if there was more to that than meets the eye? In 'Avengers', Captain America finds a Hydra helmet, Hydra weapons, and realizes that SHIELD has this whole plan Nick Fury was even aware of, of taking Hydra weapons and building them again. So I thought, 'What if SHIELD was Hydra?' "
He added, "One of the first people I ever pitched that idea to was Chris Evans, on the set, on the very last day of production of Avengers 1. We were in Central Park and he goes, 'So, part two, what are we doing?' I said, 'Well, we've got a lot of ideas.' Winter Soldier was a big idea for it."
"And I said, 'I have this idea for SHIELD.' He said, 'You're blowing my mind! That's amazing!' I thought, 'Well, maybe it is good. Let's try that.' We also got excited... The TV show didn't exist when we were starting this. But they were well aware of what was happening, because I said, 'This is what we're doing.' "
When asked if the revelation would dramatically shift the next season of Marvel's TV series, Feige simply replied, "They haven't been shy about talking about their connection to the Cinematic Universe, and this will be by far the biggest event that has happened for them."
In a separate interview with TVLine, the series' star Elizabeth Henstridge said, "We were in shock - and still are, honestly. We all had our theories about what might happen, because we knew there was a huge tie-in [between film and TV]. But none of us saw this coming." Fellow cast member Ming-Na Wen chimed in, "We just kind of said, 'Um... so what happens to our show?' "
Besides shutting down S.H.I.E.L.D., "Captain America 2" gave a shout-out to Stephen Strange or Dr. Strange. The producer said, "We know what it means and where we want to head with it, but we were comfortable with keeping it in there and leaving it in there because there are a few different ways to interpret it."
"The whole thing, what Sitwell's saying is, this algorithm is going to predict if you're going to become a problem for Hydra or not. So you don't have to just be Tony Stark, actively plotting to save the world. You could be a kid whose SAT scores and whose essays have indicated that you're going to be a problem one day."
"So is Stephen Strange the Sorcerer Supreme? Probably not at that point. Is he an unbelievably talented neurosurgeon who's opinionated and kind of arrogant? Probably. That might put him on the list."
Then the topic of Loki's mind-controlling Chitauri Sceptre which was seen briefly at the credit scenes came up. Quizzed if it's an Infinity Gem, Feige coyly said, "It's certainly pure speculation at this point. I'm not even sure if we even recognize Loki's scepter [as an Infinity Stone], but that's a big hint as to what will be causing them trouble in the next movie."