Spoilers follow for Captain America 2.
It was rumored that Alexander Pierce, played by Robert Redford, in Captain America 2 was actually the Red Skull, and that through use of the cosmic cube from Captain America: The First Avenger was somehow transported 70 years into the future and into Pierce.
After seeing the movie, we all know that isn't true, and now Captain America 2 co-director Anthony Russo comments on the Red Skull rumors (via io9).
We did hear that rumor. Fans are always trying to tie everything back to the mythology, and sometimes it's good to subvert expectations. We wanted a very grounded villain for this movie: Redford as a top level bureaucrat. He's sort of the Henry Kissinger for this generation, who's gone bad. That felt like that fit more into the struggle that Cap was going through in the film and it was a better villain for him to oppose. A sort of ideological villain, versus a science fiction creation?
Russo also teases the fate of Crossbones, which was played by Frank Grillo, possibly hinting at an appearance in Captain America 3.
What we'll say... We won't confirm or deny, but this could be perceived as an origin story for Crossbones.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currenly playing in theaters.