THE DIRECTORS & THE STORY
With the box office and critical success of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” producer Kevin Feige and his team were excited to bring Anthony and Joe Russo back to direct the third movie of the franchise.
With each of the first two films in the franchise having different styles and tones, the Russo brothers explain how they approached “Civil War.” “The concept of Civil War is very important,” says Joe Russo. “We felt like we needed to go in a radical direction if we were going to direct another Captain America installment. We immediately sat down and started carefully discussing the arcs of each character, which helped us figure out what we wanted the movie to be.”
“I think maybe the most important thing when we were having these preliminary discussions was that we didn’t want to fall into a structure where the Avengers move into a conflict mode with one another then sort of repair that and then go out and fight another bad guy together,” adds Anthony Russo. “It was very important to us that the structure of the film be such that the Act III climax was between the actual Avengers themselves. We wanted all of the characters to be both protagonists and antagonists in the film at the same time. It was very challenging on a storytelling level to put them in a head-to-head conflict for the climax of the film, while at the same time finding a way for everybody to be a little bit right and a little bit wrong.”
The director continues, “Our goal was to tell the story in such a way that both sides have really compelling cases. Both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers individually as characters have very compelling points of view. We wanted people to be conflicted and torn, which creates a sense of tension about what’s going to happen going forward after this film.”
While the Russo brothers wanted to continue the visceral tone established in “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” they also wanted that dynamic to permeate throughout the entire cast of characters. “Every character in this film has a distinct voice,” says Anthony Russo. “After working together on ‘Winter Soldier,’ they deeply understand the tone that we like to bring to these films. It’s more grounded; it’s based in realism. There are also political undertones that reflect real world issues in the story, which gives it an immediacy for the audience.”
For Kevin Feige, another challenging aspect of the story was that, as a Captain America film, it also had major implications on storylines that would play out in upcoming Marvel films. “‘Captain America: Civil War’ is a storyline that we couldn’t have done years ago because it really focuses on all of the heroes that audiences have already met up to this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
THE DIRECTORS & THE STORY