A couple weeks ago, Robert Redford joined the cast of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. At the time, I joked with friends that by the end of shooting, Redford would be playing Captain America since the actor is notorious for strong-arming his way to larger and more glorified roles (e.g. The Hot Zone and The Last Castle). Turns out my joke may have been half-true since today Redford said he’s playing “The Head of S.H.I.E.L.D.” So in one fell swoop, Redford is now running S.H.I.E.L.D., and I believe it’s cruel to take a job from a half-blind man.
Joking aside, hit the jump for what Redford could have meant “Head of S.H.I.E.L.D.” when it appears that position has already been filled. The film also stars Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Frank Grillo, Cobie Smulders, Toby Jones, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is due out in 3D on April 4, 2014.
Speaking to Spinoff, Redford was quoted as saying about his role, “Well, the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. The head of S.H.I.E.L.D.” He went on to reiterate his previous comment about the role’s appeal being “something different”:
“The Captain America thing is just a very simple thing I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something just to be different. Something bold, different. And that felt like a good thing to do. That was it, nothing more to it than that. Well, it’s bold in terms of expectations, I guess.”
If we’re going to play the speculation game, it’s possible that Redford played the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the World War II era as the original “Nick Fury” (assuming “Nick Fury” is a cover identity in the Marvel Movie Universe). It’s also possible that he’s the boss of present-day Nick Fury (Jackson), although in The Avengers it looked like that job belonged to the “World Security Council” headed by Powers Boothe. It’s also cruel to take away a job from Powers Boothe.