There’s a bit of structural sleight of hand in Captain America: The First Avenger, wherein a montage of battle sequences not only moves along the plot, it provides for more stories from this time period to be told in subsequent movies.
We know we’ll be getting some of those flashbacks in the sequel, but the main body of the film, it seems, will be set in the present day. No surprise there, really.
Here’s co-writer Stephen McFeely talking about the plans for film 2:
I think it’s safe for us to say that it’s primarily set in the modern day. That seems to have been the biggest question people have been wondering about regarding the sequel. Most people know the story of Captain America as the story of this man out of time… [we will] explore Cap entering the modern day wondering, “What is all this? What’s happened to the world” and so on.
What has happened to the world? Big question. And the answer isn’t really cut and dried, but McFeely and his partner Christopher Markus will have to make a decision and take a stand. Here’s Markus, giving us some indication of their point of view:
We made a movie where the world was in context for Steve Rogers. It was a movie where it was a more pure time, where there were clearly black-and-white, right-and-wrong, good-and-evil scenarios. And Cap is a guy who symbolizes that. Now he’s in the now, and there is nothing black-and-white.
I’ll agree that we live in a world of moral ambiguity. But I’d disagree that the moral context surrounding the second world war was “black and white.”
Still, if they’re talking in relative terms, and as a means to generate drama, juxtaposing this naive war hero against “an uncertain world”, I think the guys are on to a rich seam of potential.