You would think that Marvel would sit back and relax before The Avengers hits theaters next month, but in fact, the company is doing the exact opposite. Iron Man 3 is already in production, Thor 2 is gaining momentum, and today Walt Disney Studios announced that Captain America 2 will be released on April 4, 2014, according to Super Hero Hype.

There are two things to note from the announcement. First, the news was announced by Walt Disney Studios, further proving that Marvel's parent company is taking a much more visible role in its properties. And second, the movie's April release date is a change from the normal summer timetable that most superhero flicks shoot for. 

Last week, a shortlist of directors rumored to take over Captain America 2 from the original's director, Joe Johnston, was released. A decision hasn't been made yet on who will helm the film, but one is expected to take place this month. There are a number of different directions that the movie could go in, but the one that most fans are eyeing is a return of Bucky, Cap's wartime companion that was assumed dead in the original film.

In the comics, he comes back as a brainwashed Soviet assassin named The Winter Soldier. We're not sure if The House of Mouse would go for a psychotic communist in its most high-profile movie of the year, but we would personally love to see it.

[via Super Hero Hype