A report surfaced last week that Marvel is testing five actresses to play the female lead in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but according Latino Review, another name is high on the studio's list: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
The website, which has a solid track record on Marvel movie news -- to the point that the studio launched an investigation of Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy leaks -- also confirms what we suspected, that the role is S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Sharon Carter, the niece of Peggy Carter. The character plays a central role in the comic-book storyline on which the sequel is believed to be based.
Winstead, whom Latino Review says "has the most traction" with Marvel, would join a group of contenders said to include Emelia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Imogen Poots (Fright Night) and Alison Brie (Community). The site makes no mention of Anna Kendrick (The Twilight Saga) and Felicity Jones (Cemetery Junction), who appeared in the New York Post's August article.
The studio is also said to be casting two "very physical" male roles believed to be villains; on is American and one foreign. Latino Review contends Marvel is eyeing Nikolaj Coster Waldau (Game of Thrones) and Josh Holloway (Lost), with Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) "clinging" to the list. It's not difficult to imagine Durand as Crossbones, or Holloway as Nomad.
Directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, The Winter Soldier is believed to be based on the acclaimed comic-book storyline of the same name in which writer Ed Brubaker revealed Captain America's World War II sidekick Bucky Barnes didn't die in the 1945 explosion that left the superhero in suspended animation in a block of ice. Instead, an amnesiac Bucky was rescued 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 only after he seemingly killed the Red Skull and launched a terrorist attack on Philadelphia.
Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan will reprise their roles as Captain America and Bucky Barnes, joined by Anthony Mackie as the Falcon and likely Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens April 4, 2014.