He’s a legendary actor who’s played the Sundance Kid, Jay Gatsby, Bob Woodward and more. So now it’s time for Robert Redford to play…a SHIELD Agent?

Robert Redford, Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

Robert Redford will play a senior SHIELD agent Source: Newscom

A week ago, it was announced that Redford, better known in recent years for directing movies such as Lions for Lambs (1997) and running the Sundance Film Festival, would be joining the cast of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The former golden boy of Hollywood will reportedly be playing a senior SHIELD agent named Pierce, in a role similar to that of M in the James Bond franchise.

Now, I know fanboys won’t find this quite as exciting as the reports that UFC champion Georges St Pierre will be playing French baddie Batroc the Leaper, but Redford is still the very DEFINITION of a movie star. It’s unclear how big his role will be, but the thought of Redford giving marching orders to Captain America (Chris Evans) and co is an intriguing one. It’s also ironic to think that, once upon a time, Redford himself might have been in contention to play the all-American hero.

Captain America 2, Chris Evans

Chris found himself mesmerised by Redford. ©Marvel Studios

This is not Redford’s first time portraying a hard-bitten spook, after his turn in Spy Game (2001) as a veteran CIA agent. He’s also played mentor to both Brad Pitt and Andrew Garfield a.k.a Spider-Man in previous films, so it’s quite conceivable that he may become a father figure to Cap. But will he end up butting heads with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Motherf***ing Jackson) along the way?  And if so, who will win the battle to be the coolest figure in the movie?

Samuel L. Jackson, Captain America 2

“You ain’t the motherf***ing boss of me, Redford!” ©Marvel Studios

So just why did Robert Redford, honorary Oscar-winner and acclaimed director, decide to be in a comic book movie  that could not be more far removed from indie? The 76 year old elaborated on his reasons for joining the film just a few days ago, at the LA Times Indie Focus Screening Series. One of them was: “This is the kind of film I would have loved to see as a kid.” You can see the full video of his interview with LA Times staff writer Mark Olsen here.
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Redford may not have a whole lot of geek cred, though he was once considered for the role of Superman back in 1978 (#truestory). But he’s an actor I’ve always admired, and just like Tommy Lee Jones in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), he’ll add gravitas to proceedings.

Now, here’s what I want to know: will Redford be making an appearance at Comic Con in July, potentially sending the fanboy hordes into a frenzy? One can only hope. In the meantime, the movie comes out April 4, 2014.

What do you think about Robert Redford’s casting in Captain America 2? What are your hopes for his role in the film?