I think a lot of us were disappointed that Mark Ruffalo didn't show up in the Iron Man 3 trailer, especially since it looked like Ol' Buckethead and The Jade Giant were about to go on a cross country roadtrip together at the end of The Avengers. Maybe there will be a cameo or two, but maybe it's up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier to bring the intercontinuity from last summer's epic crossover film into the solo superhero franchises. That's what it looks like, anyway, now that The Black Widow, Nick Fury and Maria Hill are all officially on board The Star-Spangled Man's first proper sequel.
Variety dropped the confirmation as an afterthought to its article confirming recent rumors that Frank Grillo (The Grey) would be joining the cast as Captain America's new nemesis, Crossbones. The publication also finally confirmed that Sebastian Stan would be reprising his role as Bucky Barnes, the eponymous "Winter Soldier" who, like Captain America, also winds up in the 21st Century, but, unlike Captain America, is working for the bad guys, whomever they turn out to be. Variety also indicated that The Black Widow, Nick Fury and Maria Hill would be returning to the cast as well, played by their original stars Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Colbie Smulders.
It sure would be nice to have these SHIELD agents show up in a real capacity, as Cap's new supporting cast as opposed to quick snippet cameos at the helicarrier lunch counter. Since only SHIELD agents appear to be along for the ride (for now), fans are likely to intuit that Captain America has stayed on as a de facto member of the elite organization, which seems probable even though it's still too early to jump to that conclusion.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo of "Community" (isn't that weird?) and also starring Anthony Mackie as The Falcon, is set for a theatrical release on April 4, 2014.