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CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

The First Avenger: Captain America
Since its debut in 1941 by creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Captain America (the Super Soldier alter ego of young patriot Steve Rogers) comics have sold more than 210 million copies in more than 70 countries. From the first Captain America comic book cover image displaying a young hero, with the American flag on his chest, punching Adolf Hitler square in the jaw, to the current iteration, the character remains relatively unchanged in many ways.

Co-creator Joe Simon comments, "They've done a lot of things since Jack and I worked on the character, however, we're still reminded who Captain America is and what he is. He is a symbol. He is an icon." For Stan Lee, who revived the character early on after its initial run, Captain America is a timeless character that has stayed relevant to this day. "When I became the editor of Marvel, the company had stopped publishing 'Captain America' and I told them I wanted to bring that character back, but I don't just want to make him a guy who fights bad guys, I want to make him something a little deeper," says executive producer Stan Lee.

Stan Lee continues, "We conceived that Steve Rogers had been frozen in a glacier for a few decades and when he wakes up, he feels like a character from another time. He can't understand Woodstock or what was going on with the hippies, drugs and so forth. The character has trouble fitting into the society that he finds himself in and, by giving him a little more personality and problems to cope with, readers really connected and identified with him. It was exciting to watch him grow to become one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe, and the character makes for a great film franchise."

For the filmmakers, choosing which storyline the film pulled from was not an easy decision to make since the first film was a 1940s period piece and there was so much great source material from that time period to present day. Producer Kevin Feige explains the process of deciding what direction to take the franchise after the successful launch of "Captain America: The First Avenger."

"The first 'Captain America' film was almost entirely period except for the little twist ending that brought him into modern day," says producer Kevin Feige. "Then of course he went on to his adventure in 'Marvel's The Avengers,' which was present day. But Captain America, unlike Iron Man who goes back to Malibu and Pepper Potts or Thor who goes back to Asgard and Jane Foster, can't go back in time to Peggy Carter and is stuck in the modern world. So more than any other film, we knew in developing the story that it would connect most to 'Marvel's The Avengers' because Steve Rogers is still transitioning into the modern world. He's still working alongside Nick Fury for S.H.I.E.L.D. and is picking it all up relatively well, but there's still a sense of loneliness and we wanted a good portion of this story to be about Steve Rogers discovering his place in today's society."

With so many great storylines in the Captain America comics over the last 70 years, the filmmakers had many options from the source material for the second chapter of the beloved franchise. "One of the greatest things for us as filmmakers is that we are really blessed to have so many years of great storytelling and memorable characters in the comics that really give us so much inspiration and direction when it comes time to develop the stories and scripts for our films," says producer D'Esposito. "We don't tell the same exact stories as they appear in the comics, but they give us a great jumping-off point in developing the most compelling stories that we think audiences will enjoy and want to see."

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