Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
"Captain America" may not be going to Sundance, but it looks like Sundance may be coming to "Captain America."
If you want proof that appearing in a comic book movie is no longer something A-list actors rule out, this is it: Robert Redford is reportedly in talks to join the cast of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," the upcoming sequel to 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger" and one of the many future screen installments in the Marvel Multiverse.
The iconic star is considering a role in which he'd play a high-ranking figure at S.H.I.E.L.D., the collective of heroes run by Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson. It's worth noting Chris Evans' Captain America was mentored by an Academy Award winner in "The First Avenger," Tommy Lee Jones, who earned a Best Supporting Actor trophy in 1994 for "The Fugitive." Perhaps for "The Winter Soldier," the film's producers are hoping to trade up by casting a Hollywood legend who has two Oscars: Redford was named Best Director for "Ordinary People" in 1981, and was given an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar in 2002.
Redford broke through to stardom in 1969, co-starring with Paul Newman in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and he headlined some of the biggest movies of the 1970s and '80s, including "The Sting," "The Way We Were," "The Great Gatsby," "All The President's Men," "The Natural," and "Out Of Africa." Redford also established himself as a talent behind the camera, making his directorial debut with "Ordinary People" and helming a number of successful, well-reviewed projects, including "A River Runs Through It," "Quiz Show," and "The Horse Whisperer." And Redford also established the Sundance Institute, a non-profit organization to provide support and resources for independent filmmakers; the institute spun off the Sundance Film Festival, which has become one of America's most prestigious film events.
Redford has more than enough to keep him occupied - he directed and stars in "The Company You Keep," a thriller co-starring Shia LeBeouf that will go into limited release in April. But he's been less visible as an actor in recent years, having appeared in only eight films since 2000, and he hasn't appeared in a bone fide hit since "The Horse Whisperer" in 1998.
Redford's casting in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" would seem to be a win-win situation - the film would get a genuine legend for their cast, and Redford would present himself to a new audience unfamiliar with his glory days. And with Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, and Toby Jones joining Chris Evans in the cast, Redford would be in pretty good company.
See Robert Redford in the trailer for 'The Company You Keep':