Captain America 3

Because it’s 2014 (and because of news posts like this one, of course), it’s nigh-impossible to approach a blockbuster film without knowing a bevy of spoilers before you ever purchase a ticket and sit down in your seat.  Thanks to studio leaks, piracy, and script theft, we often know well ahead of time what secret characters will appear, who will die in a film, and how a film will end.  That said, as hard as studios work to protect their films from that particular brand of spoiler theft, they often manage to shoot themselves in the foot via merchandising.

Case in point:  Drew McWeeny notes in HitFix that LucasFilm released the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace soundtrack before the premiere of the film, and that the album contained a track entitled “Qui-Gon’s Funeral,” which, yeah, kind of blows a major plot-point and was simply the first in a cavalcade of disappointments concerning The Phantom Menace.  And this week, the same level of studio-based spoilers have escaped from Captain America: The Winter Solider.

Warning: Major Possible Spoilers Ahead.

Hasbro Toys held their 2014 Toy Fair media day this weekend, and premiered the action figure line for Captain America: The Winter Solider.  And who was a part of line?  None other than the Red Skull, the Big Bad and Cap arch-nemesis from the first film who had been sucked into the Maguffinly mysterious Tesseract and whose ultimate fact was unknown.  Further, a track from the soundtrack to the film is entitled “Alexander Pierce is the Red Skull.”  Alexander Pierce happens to be a powerful member of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the World Security Council, and is played by Robert Redford.

So, is Robert Redford somehow a masked Red Skull?  Only time, and ludicrously convoluted screenwriting, will tell.  Captain America: The Winter Solider is set for an April 4, 2014 release date.

What do you think of the Captain America: The Winter Solider news?