Captain America: The Winter Soldier Almost Opened With A Big World War II Flashback

The Russo Brothers kept busy after wrapping up "The Infinity Saga" for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following their streaming debut on Apple TV+ with the Tom Holland-led film "Cherry" in 2021, the Russo Brothers teamed with Netflix for "The Gray Man." The film is enjoying a limited theatrical run, with a wide release on Netflix this Friday. The directing duo has kept busy with their production company ABGO, but that doesn't stop them from reminiscing. The Russo's continue to share the occasional Easter egg and scrapped concepts from their tenure in the MCU. A tenure that began with "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

The Russo brothers redefined the star-spangled man with a plan with 2014's "The Winter Soldier," which saw Steve uncover a vast conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. Captain America becomes a man on the run, hoping to expose the corruption within S.H.I.E.L.D. while being hunted by the titular Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), who happens to be his best friend from the 1940s, long thought dead. The film's emotional core, Steve and Bucky, was almost brought to life in a completely different way than what's seen in the movie. The Russo's recently revealed concept art that shows a scrapped alternate opening for the film.

A large scale battle with emotion

In a promotional video on Netflix's YouTube to promote "The Gray Man," the Russo Brothers gave a tour of their swanky ABGO production office. While giving the tour of their office space, the Russo Brothers showcased concept art that they had made when initially pitching their first MCU film. Originally, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" was set to open up with a massive World War II flashback battle sequence. According to the Russo brothers, the flashback highlights Steve and Bucky's friendship, providing audiences with the emotional investment that would come back with a vengeance when Bucky is revealed to be the Winter Soldier.

The Russo brothers don't elaborate on why the scene did not make it into the final film. In a brief interview with, the Russo's simply said they "ended up cutting that about two months before shooting."

Instead, audiences were treated to the incredible Lemurian StarĀ opening action sequence set in the present day. While this opening World War II flashback isn't in the film, there is still a flashback set in the late '30s, before Steve and Bucky were shipped off to war. It was an emotional moment in the film that, while not as large-scale as what the Russo's originally envisioned, still helped to establish the emotional stakes of the film.