Joe-and-Anthony-RussoWith Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s spring release date right around the corner, Marvel is already keen to start thinking about the future, with word surfacing today that brothers Joe and Anthony Russo are expected to return to helm Captain America 3.

Variety reports that whilst the third instalment in the hero’s stand-alone franchise hasn’t officially got the green light, the studio is so impressed with the brothers’ work making The Winter Soldier, and has been getting strong results from recent test screenings, that they’re keen to attach them to direct the sequel.

Negotiations wouldn’t begin until after The Winter Soldier hits cinemas, but given the studio’s successful track record, things are looking good all round.

Chris Evans will of course be back in the lead as Cap, with Kevin Feige producing. The writer for the sequel is still pending, but insiders say that the studio and the brothers are already putting together an outline for what the film’s arc would look like.

Whilst Captain America: The First Avenger was the second-least-successful film of Phase One, outperforming only The Incredible Hulk, there’s no doubt that Joss Whedon’s The Avengers changed the game completely for everything to come in Phase Two.

Thor netted just shy of 0m. back in 2011, and Thor: The Dark World has gone on to earn $630m. and counting in recent months. And all expectations are for The Winter Soldier to follow a similar pattern, making Captain America 3 all but a foregone conclusion.

Back in the summer, the studio confirmed three release dates for still-to-be-announced projects, slated for May 6th, 2016, July 8th, 2016, and May 5th, 2017. In all likelihood, if all things go to plan, Captain America 3 will be filling one of those slots in Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we won’t know for a good few months which, if any, it will be.

Feige has previously said that the studio won’t be announcing which projects will be following Ant-Man in Phase Three, and there’s a good chance we’ll have to wait until Comic-Con to find out.

For now, we can all look forward to seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier arrive on our screens in a few months’ time. Here in the UK, it will be released on 28th March, following soon after in the US on April 4th. If you missed it, make sure you catch up on the first teaser trailer, because it really sets an epic tone for what’s to come.