Obviously potential spoilers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier lie ahead.
Robert Redford's involvement in Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been the subject of much speculation since it was first announced. However, it seems as though the veteran actor might have given away a key detail of his role during a recent interview without realizing it.
During a conversation with The Straits Times (via Here Be Geeks), he said, "I like the idea of playing a villain. … I did that just because it’s a different thing for me to do." This is the first mention of Redford's character being a villain, and adds an interesting fold to what we know of the Captain America: The Winter Soldier plot.
Previously Redford told Spinoff Online that he's playing "the head of S.H.I.E.L.D.," a man named Alexander Pierce. He also emphasized that this role is different from ones he's taken in the past.
“The Captain America thing is just a very simple thing,” he said. “I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something just to be different. Something bold, different. And that felt like a good thing to do. That was it, nothing more to it than that. Well, it’s bold in terms of expectations, I guess. ”
Redford has been a leader in the past, so it makes sense that the "different" element of his character could be that he's a villain. Here Be Geeks speculates that Redford's Pierce could be an updated version of the Winter Soldier's Russian handler General Aleksander Lukin, who later gets possessed by the Red Skull. That certainly would help tie this movie back into the first Captain America.
Redford joins returning cast members Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), along with Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter), Frank Grillo (Crossbones) and Max Hernandez (Agent Jasper Sitwell).
Directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is believed to be based on the Captain America storyline of the same name, which revealed Captain America’s sidekick Bucky Barnes didn’t die as expected during the war. Instead, an amnesiac Bucky got snatched by the Soviets, fitted with a bionic arm and programmed to serve as an assassin known as the Winter Soldier. The secret is revealed in the present day after Barnes attacks the Red Skull and blows up part of Philadelphia. The film opens in 3D on April 4, 2014.