Joe Johnston Wants To Make Films Featuring Marvel's Winter Soldier And Boba Fett

Joe Johnston's Captain America: The First Avenger, hitting theaters this coming week, has great early buzz and sequel talk is heating up. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are starting to map out the script for the follow-up, though they're being understandably circumspect about the possible plot and characters. Will the sequel be set in WWII, the modern era, or both? And will Joe Johnston direct?

The director is signed for two films with Marvel, and as he promotes Captain America he is already talking about other films he'd like to make. One is the continuing story of Cap sidekick 'Bucky' Barnes (played by Sebastian Stan), who becomes the Winter Solider in his later days. The other is a bit of a surprise, and very likely a total longshot: a film dedicated to fan-favorite Star Wars bounty hunter Boba Fett.

Let's hit the Winter Solider first. For decades, Bucky was seen as the traditional kid sidekick — the happy go lucky youngster who fought alongside Cap despite the evident disparity between their abilities. The character was killed in the same event that led to Cap being frozen, and for years was considered one of the few characters in comics that would stay dead. Ed Brubaker changed that when he took over Captain America in 2005, and his reinvention of Bucky was inspired.

In the Ed Brubaker version, Bucky was an orphaned kid who lived on the military base where Steve Rogers trained for the Super Soldier program. He was a great, vicious fighter, and only a few years younger than Steve Rogers. Bucky ended up being the wetworks guy for Cap's team — the pointman who could take out enemies with extreme prejudice. As Cap, Steve Rogers wore the flag and busted heads, but Bucky was instrumental in getting the job done. His death wasn't quite what it appeared to be, however, as his body was recovered by a Russian military team and eventually turned into a secret Soviet agent who could pass as an American and take out elusive targets: the Winter Solider.

Speaking about the possibility of using the character on screen, Joe Johnston told ScreenRant,

I told the Marvel guys that there is a character that I'm really interested in called 'The Winter Soldier' and that if, 'you guys decide to make that picture I would definitely be interested.' It's the 'Bucky' Barnes story... We talked about 'The Winter Soldier' which is the continuation of what his story is. It's basically that he is captured by the Russians and he's brainwashed and turned into an assassin. But you know there are a thousand ways to go with that. I just think that it would be interesting to take a character that was in 'Captain America' and build a story around him. Plus, I like Sebastian Stan a lot (who played Bucky) I think he would be an interesting actor to build another feature around.

Would this be a Captain America sequel, or a separate movie altogether? The core Winter Solider story really needs Cap to work — we need to see Cap's anguish at the idea that his former partner has become a twisted thing. The Ed Brubaker storyline flips back and forth between WWII and the modern day, and that could go along with the sequel ideas being developed right now. Stephen McFeely just talked timeline options with The Playlist:

When we sit down with Marvel every couple weeks, that's what we talk about. Is it all present day? Is there a flashback structure? Is that what people want to see? I think there's a great way to do both and to make sure that you're not taking away from the story itself. But I think there's value to it. I mean, that's what separated Cap from all the other comic book heroes. The things that have affected him in the past sometimes crop up in the present, whether that's emotionally, whether that's an actual villain or a MacGuffin or whatever.

That last sentence is the key one. If the Winter Soldier story is adapted, it would have to flip back and forth between eras to hit all the emotional and action-oriented highlights. No assumptions yet, though, as we don't know if Marvel wants to go in that direction.

And then there's the other part of the headline — the fact that Joe Johnston is now talking about wanting to make a Boba Fett film. Specifically, he told ScreenRant,

I'm trying to get George [Lucas] to make a feature based on Boba Fett...I would like to [direct the film], it would be a lot of fun.

George Lucas was instrumental in getting Joe Johnston into the film business, giving him early breaks as a designer on the first Star Wars films, where Johnston helped create designs for many of the now-iconic aspects of the franchise. So the notion that he might get the chance to direct a film specifically about Boba Fett isn't outlandish, even if it is nothing more than a wishlist idea right now.