WARNING: Before we go any further, let it be known that there are potentially MASSIVE SPOILERS ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
Still here? Last chance to turn away — if true, the following rumor is a doozy.
On the extremely off chance that it’s not on your radar already, Captain America: The Winter Soldier arrives in less than two months. Ahead of the Marvel sequel’s premiere, it appears one of the its biggest secrets may have been revealed — all thanks to an action figure and soundtrack listing.
At Toy Fair this week in New York City, merchandise for The Winter Soldier revealed a strange addition to the lineup: a Red Skull action figure. Are Marvel and Hasbro simply offering up a familiar character to boost the toy line’s sales, or is it a signal that Steve Rogers’ No. 1 nemesis is a part of Winter Soldier after all?
It might be easily dismissed as the former — after all, movie tie-ins frequently toss in extra characters, battle suits and gizmos to make more money — except for the now widely reported soundtrack listing whose title seems to confirm the big secret of Robert Redford’s character: that Alexander Pierce is the Red Skull.
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a big surprise, considering that before Marvel began billing Pierce as a senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official and an old comrade of Nick Fury, Redford revealed he’d be playing “a villain.” However, few likely suspected that villain. Still, it would be a riff on a twist from Ed Brubaker’s Captain America run, which included a villain who was secretly possessed by the Red Skull.
Whether or not Red Skull winds up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we’ll find out the answer for sure when the film arrives on April 4.