Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been called one of the greatest comic book movies of all time.
The release of the second Captain America movie marks the mid-point of Marvel's Phase 2, the second chapter in their ongoing series of big-screen comic book hero adventures. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who produces the movies, came up with this masterplan back in 2005 when he realised that Marvel still controlled the rights to the Avengers characters (unlike the X-Men and Spider-Man, which are licensed to other studios).
Chris Evans as Captain America in 'The Winter Soldier'
Phase 1 started with Iron Man in 2008, then continued by reintroducing the Hulk (2008), Thor (2011) and Captain America (2011), concluding in 2012 with the crossover adventure The Avengers. Phase 2 explores the interglactic world opened by The Avengers, and will conclude a year from now with Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Feige says there will be seven movies in Phase 3, although the only ones announced so far are Edgar Wright's Ant-Man and Captain America 3. There's plenty of conjecture about what might be coming, including possible spin-off solo outings for Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye or Anthony Mackie's Falcon. Or perhaps new movies about, the Hulk, Daredevil, Punisher or an all-new character like Black Panther.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the ninth film in the interconnected series. The next episode is Guardians of the Galaxy, which will introduce a handful of new characters from Marvel's universe. It's out in August.