Captain America: The Winter Soldier released in 2014 as the third entry in the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, it is frequently regarded as one of the strongest Marvel films ever released, with the film marrying superhero fiction with the conspiracy thriller genre to create one of the most compelling comic book movies of all time.
It is a brilliant film - perhaps even the MCU's best - and naturally given the amount of time, love and care put into it, there's also an awful lot fans may not know about the Captain America sequel. From wardrobe choices to sneaky cameos, the film is jam-packed with interesting little stories, references and more, emphasising its unique status within the wider Marvel canon.
So, as we've already done with the pervious releases in the MCU in time for the release of Avengers: Endgame, let's take a look at one of the smartest Marvel films ever released, and some of the stories that made it just that little bit more special...
10. Robert Redford Was Cast For A Specific Reason
Although the following statement might seem a little redundant - bear with - it's worth noting that the casting of Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce was very deliberate.
The Winter Soldier takes so many cues from seventies-era conspiracy fiction, and it's a genre Redford himself was heavily synonymous with, having boasted starring roles in both All the President's Men (1976) - Alan J. Pakula's film based on the exploits of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two journalists who exposed the Watergate scandal - and Three Days of the Condor (1975), the latter of which focused on a CIA agent on the run from the very agency he worked for. Sound familiar?
Other such works cited as inspiring the tone and story of The Winter Soldier include Klute (1971) and The Parallax View (1974) - both also directed by Pakula - and it's easy to see how that inspiration works to the film's benefit. Redford's presence in particular serves as a neat little callback to that era, and he actually accepted the role for two reasons specifically: first, because his grandkids wanted to see him in a superhero film; and second, because he rarely got the opportunity to play the villain.
Redford's casting worked for all parties in the end, especially during a point in which the MCU was still labeled as having a 'villain problem'.