CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Creating The Character Looks
With the production completing its first week in stellar fashion, the cast
and crew got its first look at Chris Evans
in the new Captain America stealth suit. For Evans the look and feel was a big
improvement from "Marvel's The
Avengers." "The new suit is great and I really love it," says Evans. "It's this
kind of cool navy blue that looks really
utilitarian and moves very well, which really makes shooting the film a much
more enjoyable experience."
"Marvel is efficient and organized and there is an incredible design team
here that works hand in hand with the
costume department," comments Joe Russo. "Costume designer Judianna Makovsky did
an exceptional job on
this film. It was very important to us that the costumes have as much texture
and grounding as they could."
"We wanted Cap's outfit to feel like it had a Kevlar component
to it that would protect him; functional body armor, not
a costume," adds Anthony. "If he were going into combat
situations in the real world, what would he be wearing?
Marvel's internal visual developer Ryan Meinerding elaborates
on the process of bringing Captain America stylistically into
present day. "For Captain America's stealth suit, a lot of it
came down to taking another suit from the comics-the
super-soldier suit -and just trying to make that into a reality," says
Meinerding. "We don't usually try to take
too many liberties with the costume design, so when the comics present a more
realistic take on a look, we
just usually jump on that and make it a reality. The stealth suit is a little
bit easier in terms of design because
it's not as brightly colored and it's a little darker."
Meinerding continues, "With a traditional Captain America suit you're dealing
with red, white and blue and stars
and stripes and it really becomes all about the midsection, which makes it hard
to draw your eyes anywhere
else. With the stealth suit you have stripes and the star across the chest,
which really makes him look broad
and big without really having to work too hard at it. It's actually kind of an
easier costume to work on than a
traditional Captain America costume and I think it's a really great look for
Commenting on Captain America's look this time around, Kevin Feige says, "We
like giving him an unmistakably
contemporary outfit for much of the movie to represent his new role in the new
era in which he's found himself
and is forced to live in, working alongside the
other agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It's sleeker; it's a
little tighter and it's much more modern."
Another challenge for the filmmakers was
creating the look and design of its newest
Super Hero, Falcon. A longstanding and
beloved character in the comics, Falcon's
look in the comic books was one that the
filmmakers knew would have to be updated.
"If you look back at the older characters, they are typically a bit harder to
design because it usually doesn't
work to just straight up use references from the comics," explains Ryan
Meinerding. "Joe and Anthony were
really interested in trying to add more of a tactical design to the Falcon
costume. So we incorporated a lot of
real-world webbing, straps and gear. So we ended up taking the iconic parts and
just stripping away the more
ridiculous parts that would never work in modern day."
The look really worked for Anthony Mackie who laughingly confesses, "Every
time I put on the costume, I just
want to go outside and smack some bad guy. So that's what's a little weird to
me. It's like being this Super
Hero for real. But I don't think I could be a Super Hero in real life because
I'm pretty sure I would be a bad guy;
I would use my abilities for the right reasons but in the wrong way. If I could
fly in real life, it would be a big
problem for everybody involved."
For directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the look and feel of
Falcon's costume was a very important component of how
the character was framed in the film. "In the story, the halls
of power have become corrupted and that's what Captain
America is having a problem with when the movie begins,"
says Joe Russo. "So he finds this character far away from the
halls of power, which is Sam Wilson, an everyman who has a
very specific and unique talent and has access to some very
"It was important that Sam was grounded as a character and that the
technology was vaguely plausible, that
it responded in some way to the rules of physics, so that the character would
fit into the tone of this movie,"
continues Anthony. "It was also important that his abilities be unique and
special. It's not the suit that's
special; it's him. It was paramount that the magic in the suit isn't its wings
and thrust. The magic is in how
Sam uses it. That's what helped define the choreography of how he flies, how he
uses both air and thrust to
maneuver. He's a human fighter jet."
Although Mackie did not do any specific training or any skydiving to play the
airborne Falcon, he did work out
a regimen that simulated the feeling of flight. "I did a lot of diving into
swimming pools," says Mackie. "I would
go up 10 feet, 20 feet and dive off of diving boards, just to get that feeling.
At certain heights water is very
forgiving, and at other heights it's not. So I had to figure out where that
threshold was to where I could enter
the water. That helped me a lot."
"We flew Anthony Mackie quite a bit," says stunt coordinator Thomas Robinson
Harper. "Once we hit our
stride we could fly him from 70 feet in the air and land him on this little tape
mark and he would walk right out
of the wires and into the scene. It took a little bit of time to figure the rigs
out and bring Anthony up to speed,
but he's athletic as well and super coordinated. So it worked out real well that
he played the character as it
made our job so much easier."
All of Mackie's and the production team's hard work paid off
when the filmmakers saw the finished look of The Falcon,
Marvel's first African-American Super Hero character to the
hit the big screen. Feige says of Anthony Mackie, "It's a very
important mantle to put on when you take on any beloved
Marvel character, and the Falcon is one of the most beloved
Marvel characters going back for years and years. So it's
always a big responsibility for us to find the right actor. One of
the ways we know they're the right actor is when they realize
what a responsibility it is, and Anthony Mackie embraced this
part right alongside all of the great actors that have inhabited our world."
The Winter Soldier's costume did not present the same challenges for the
filmmakers because it was so well
conceived in the comic books. "The Winter Soldier design is so good in the
comics that we didn't think we
could improve upon it, so it was more about bringing that costume from the
pages to the big screen," says Anthony Russo. "Barring a few tweaks, we all felt
like the Winter Soldier is a great contemporary character design that was very
Recalling the first time he saw the Winter Soldier, Frank Grillo says, "There
something oddly real when I saw Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier. There's
something kind of dark and menacing and unknowing about him and it actually
was a frightening thing just to see on set. I don't think there is an antihero
any of these films quite like the Winter Soldier."
Comments Sebastian Stan, "It was a really cool experience for me to walk onto
the set wearing the Winter Soldier costume and seeing everyone's reaction.
Thankfully everyone liked the look as it looks just like the character in the
books. I think you also have to credit Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting because they
conceptualized a really cool
costume in the comic books."
Although there were different costume designers on this film, Black Widow's
famous suit remained relatively
the same. Describing it, Johansson says, "I get a couple of flashier panels on
this one. Each costume designer
wants to put their stamp on the suit, of course, but the suit above all things
needs to be functional. The seams
have to be a specific way and the fabric has to move a specific way. I have
probably the most comfortable suit
of anybody; I can't really complain. It's kind of like a wetsuit. For this film,
the costume designer went black
and it's got those real sleek leather panels. It's a little bit sharper and a
little bit more fashionable and not as
utilitarian as the last suit."
In this film, however, Johansson does not spend a lot of time in her suit,
opting for functional street clothes in
many scenes. Remarking on her look, Johansson says, "What was interesting to
me was to be able to create the look that Black Widow has as Natasha. Like, who
is Natasha outside of her costumes, her disguises, her suit, what does she look
like regularly? What does she look like day to day? We decided she definitely
drives a black Corvette and she definitely wears tailored leather jackets, with
very sleek no muss, no fuss, no fancy anything. Everything's just badass and
Explaining the evolution of her costuming, Johansson says, "Working with Jon
Favreau, it was very much about creating that iconic first look. Then Joss
wanted the punches to hurt and he wanted to
see the sweat and he wanted to see the battle.
In this film, we really see Black Widow as a very
functional character who is fighting to survive.
That gets you out of that posey world to begin with because there's no time to
stop and strike a pose."
For this film, Johansson also went with a new look for her hair. "I think
the look should change as we change over a couple of years and certainly the
last look was a bit more of that kind of 'Ultimates' look and this time around I
wanted it to be a bit more contemporary and maybe have a little bit of a late
'90s reference that's come back, which I feel is relevant to today's trend,"
Johansson. "But the red is always fun to play with-to find the deeper tones
and the things that flash and what's going to look good for all that movement."
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