Captain America 2 is arguably the best MCU movie for many of us. It was extremely action-packed, had a thrilling plot and Captain America kicked a lot of ass. While it surely set up the story of the Civil War, but it also managed to set up for Avengers: Age of Ultron beautifully. Although, there are 2 elements which weren’t used in the story. One of them is an alternate opening, and the other one is a battle between Captain America & Hawkeye.
Co-director Anthony Russo told CinemaBlend:
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier actually opened with a battle during World War II, in one of the drafts. That was a massive battle that ended with a significant moment for Cap that then fed into the story. And then we ended up cutting back about two months before shooting.”
Well, we did not get to know what that significant moment was, but knowing that it was a World War II scene, it does seem pretty cool when you think about it. Imagine the world war opening of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The Winter Soldier opening would’ve probably been something like that. But we’re glad that it wasn’t traded over the “On your left” opening because that turned out to be a set up for something much bigger in the MCU. Moreover, it allowed more time for us to know who Sam is. So the opening we got totally worked, and it being followed by the pirate ship showed us that Captain America does not mess around.
Now let’s get to another amazing sequence that was removed. Back in 2014, Joe Russo revealed that along with Black Widow & Falcon, Hawkeye was also supposed to be in the movie. When asked by Screen Rant, here’s what Joe Russo answered:
“Joe Russo: What it was going to be, we were trying to complicate the relationship between Cap and his S.H.I.E.L.D agent friends. If Hawkeye got a call from S.H.I.E.L.D saying Captain America is a fugitive, would he listen to that call or not listen to that call? That sequence actually was heartbreaking for us to cut it. I think it ultimately might have been a conflict with Renner’s schedule. But there was a great sequence where Hawkeye was chasing Cap through Washington D.C. there was an awesome sequence where they confronted each other in a ravine on the outskirts of D.C. and Hawkeye was shooting a series of arrows closing in on Cap, Cap closing in on him. And then Cap took him down and he realized for the first time that Hawkeye was trying to trick S.H.I.E.L.D, where he whispered something into Cap’s ear that Cap had a tracker on his suit and to punch Hawkeye to make it look real, because there was a Quinjet hovering above where they were watching the feedback back at S.H.I.E.L.D.
So it was a cool sequence. But look, there’s a million iterations of films, and especially when dealing with Marvel movies where characters can come in or come out during the creative process. And you keep working and working like a Rubik’s Cube till you find the right configuration where everything lines up. So even though we lost that sequence, I think we may have streamlined the movie and made it a little bit more propulsive.”
If Jeremy Renner would’ve been available to shoot, then we would’ve surely got this scene because it does two things very well for the story of the MCU. Firstly, we would’ve got a Hawkeye vs. Captain America moment which had never happened in the MCU and it never will. Hawkeye has had a lack of cool moments in the MCU as compared to the other 5 OG Avengers, so a fight with Cap would’ve given us a bit more of him. Secondly, this fake fight where Hawkeye lets Cap escape would’ve strengthened their friendship, and actually set up Hawkeye’s team up with Cap in Civil War. But it didn’t happen and we don’t have to fret about it because things might’ve felt overstuffed with Black Widow, Captain America, Wanda & Pietro already being in a Captain America movie. But it would’ve certainly been awesome.