With Thor: The Dark World just weeks away from release, Marvel has already started laying the groundwork for the next entry in its extended superhero universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And the impressive first trailer offers a glimpse of a film that looks like the studio's most ambitious and adult offering to date.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is set after the events of both the first Captain America and The Avengers, as the hero adjusts to life in the modern day after spending over 50 years frozen in the Arctic before being thawed out. "I joined S.H.I.E.L.D. to protect people," says Captain America (Chris Evans) in the film's trailer. "To build a better world sometimes means tearing the old one down. And that makes enemies," replies Robert Redford's Alexander Pierce, making his debut in the Marvel universe.
Anyone who's sorry to see Captain America going solo again after his time with The Avengers will also spot a few welcome familiar faces, including Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), who has nearly as large a role as Captain America himself in the trailer.
If the presence of Robert Redford wasn't enough of a tip-off, the trailer makes it clear that Captain America: The Winter Soldier will take a more staunchly political angle than most of the other Marvel franchises. As a man who grew up in the 1930s and 1940s, Captain America is having a difficult time adjusting to a world where the U.S. government is asking its agents to eliminate potential threats before they happen. A big-budget superhero movie with the political implications of Showtime's Homeland? If Marvel can actually pull it off, Captain America: The Winter Soldier could well turn out to be the best, brainiest superhero blockbuster it has ever released.