cap­tain amer­ica

Di vided t he y s ta nd! As Cap­tain Amer­ica: Ci vil War

SFX - - News -

“This is un­like any Marvel movie we’ve seen be­fore”

There’s a fault­line in the block­buster bedrock of the Marvel Cin­e­matic Uni­verse. A frac­ture that’s about to deepen and widen, tear­ing he­roes apart and ide­o­log­i­cal cer­tain­ties asun­der. It’s time to choose teams, peo­ple. Time to ask “Whose side are you on?” This is war. And it’s go­ing to be emo­tional…

“Tonally, and from an ex­e­cu­tion stand­point, this is un­like any Marvel movie we’ve seen be­fore,” prom­ises Joe Russo, co- di­rec­tor of

Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War. “It’s cer­tainly got more edge and, on an emo­tional level, darker things hap­pen in this movie than peo­ple have ex­pe­ri­enced in other Marvel films.”

It’s a re­turn to front­line fran­chise duty for Joe and his brother An­thony. Two years ago the fra­ter­nal cre­ative team gave us Cap­tain

Amer­ica: The Win­ter Sol­dier, an ad­ven­ture that thrust its pure- hearted pa­triot into the treach­er­ous realm of the con­tem­po­rary con­spir­acy thriller.

“That was the most im­por­tant thing for us in that movie,” says An­thony Russo, “fig­ur­ing out a way to bring Cap­tain Amer­ica into the mod­ern age. The First Avenger in­tro­duced Golden Era Cap, the clas­sic, old- school Cap­tain Amer­ica that ev­ery­one knows and loves and as­so­ciates with the ori­gin of the char­ac­ter. We had to fig­ure out a way to mod­ernise him and make him fully of the mo­ment. All of our stylis­tic choices flowed from that cen­tral idea.”

And that, Russo tells SFX, is the mo­men­tum that brings us to Civil War, a film that vows to ex­plore the heart of the man be­hind the shield.

“What we wanted to do was keep Cap evolv­ing for­ward as a char­ac­ter,” he ex­plains. “Where do you take the world’s great­est sol­dier? Where does that guy’s story even­tu­ally go? Where does it end? That’s what we were think­ing about – mov­ing him into places that sur­prised and ex­cited us and felt like they chal­lenged the char­ac­ter.”

The Rus­sos were drafted for Civil War on the strength of ini­tial buzz for The Win­ter

Sol­dier, ac­claimed for its mus­cu­lar ac­tion se­quences and grounded tone. It’s a gritty, hard- edged vibe pre­served – and ex­panded upon – in the se­quel.

“We’ve kept it rooted but we wanted to evolve it,” An­thony Russo ex­plains. “In our

We think of i t as a psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller. We l i ke psy­cho­log­i­cal re­al­ism. We run with i t as hard as we can

own minds we al­ways thought of The Win­ter Sol­dier as a political thriller. And we think of Civil War as a psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller. So they’re re­lated in tone and tex­ture but there is a dif­fer­ent cen­tral dy­namic at work.”

“We like psy­cho­log­i­cal re­al­ism,” Joe Russo chips in, adding: “And we run with that as hard as we can.”

The third Cap­tain Amer­ica movie takes its cue – and its ti­tle – from Mark Mil­lar and Steve McNiven’s 2006 comic book se­ries. While it shares the key con­cept of a schism in the su­per­pow­ered ranks of the Marvel pan­theon, the Rus­sos tell SFX that the film sig­nif­i­cantly di­verges from its source ma­te­rial, shift­ing the comic’s fo­cus on se­cret iden­ti­ties to broader ques­tions of power and ac­count­abil­ity.

“It’s a loose adap­ta­tion,” says An­thony Russo. “It takes the cen­tral idea but there’s a lot of char­ac­ters that are in­volved in the comic book who aren’t in the film. And with how the whole story un­folds we kind of mod­ernised it and made it more spe­cific to the MCU.

“Civil War is nom­i­nally about the idea of su­per­hero reg­is­tra­tion. It’s a political con­cept. And we love the political, we love lay­ered sto­ry­telling, we love it when sto­ries touch us on dif­fer­ent lev­els – but at the end of the day it doesn’t lead to re­ally emo­tion­ally sat­is­fy­ing sto­ry­telling and com­pli­cated char­ac­ter work. In or­der to get to that, which is what we re­ally thrive on, we had to come up with very per­sonal mo­ti­va­tions for ev­ery­body’s lives to be­come com­pli­cated by this idea of reg­is­tra­tion. We went through ev­ery char­ac­ter in the story and tried to frame them in a way where they had very per­sonal rea­sons for feel­ing com­pli­cated and trapped and mo­ti­vated by this idea of reg­is­tra­tion. That’s how we found our way through the nar­ra­tive.”

Civil War, the Russo brothers say, is about the reper­cus­sions of the city- flat­ten­ing, Boss Level slam­downs that tra­di­tion­ally pro­vide a pop­corn- rat­tling third act punch to any su­per­hero movie. In a post- SHIELD land­scape, the dev­as­ta­tion un­leashed upon East­ern Europe at the cli­max of Avengers: Age Of

Ul­tron leads to the es­tab­lish­ment of the Sokovia Ac­cords, an at­tempt by the Pow­ers That Be to rein in mankind’s cos­tumed saviours. This dik­tat di­vides the Avengers into pro and anti camps – and pitches Steve Rogers into di­rect con­flict with Iron Man, alias weaponised one- per­center Tony Stark.

More mar­vels

And, as the first en­try in Marvel’s Phase 3 cam­paign, it’s a movie whose emo­tional col­lat­eral will res­onate through­out this big- screen mythol­ogy.

“In many ways this movie has more Marvel char­ac­ters in it than Age Of Ul­tron did,” says An­thony Russo. “It is very much about the Marvel Uni­verse hav­ing a mo­ment where more of the Uni­verse is be­ing pulled into a sin­gle movie than ever be­fore. So it’s a touch­stone that is go­ing to rip­ple through more of the in­di­vid­ual films than nor­mal. It’s so funny that Cap is one of the lead­ers of the Avengers with Tony – it’s like his sto­ry­line tends to drive the wider MCU in some re­spects. In the same way that in The Win­ter Sol­dier we had the fall of

The job in­ter­view was go­ing well un­til he asked about the pen­sion plan.

Is wear­ing your corset on the out­side the fe­male ver­sion of wear­ing your undies out­side?

I dunno, I just felt my out­fit needed a mask...

Af­ter that Ul­tron busi­ness, the tax of­fice got a lot more se­ri­ous about its au­dits. Black Widow: gets im­pa­tient at air­ports.

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