The first trailer for Captain America: Civil War hit the Internet a couple of days ago thanks to Jimmy Kimmel Live and it is a wonderful, almost joyous look at what’s going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s no big alien cloud threatening the world, it’s just what we’re willing and eager to do to one another regardless of the consequences. That means this movie is a lot more about characters and their motivations, but don’t worry, just like the trailer showed us, there will be plenty of fighting action. The Russo brothers are the creative force behind the camera on Captain America: Civil War and they talked with Empire about the movie, deconstructing the main plot lines.
Before we get to what the pair had to say, let’s just take a moment and re-watch that trailer to refresh our selves.
Damn, that is one fine trailer, setting up the movie. It was billed as a teaser trailer, but it had everything one would need to know before a screening.
Joe Russo starts us off saying:
The job is to tie all these films together. To be able to pull from The Hulk, which may have been forgotten about a little bit, and make it relevant again within the cinematic universe, is important to us. We thought it would be interesting to take a character who had a fanatical anti-superhero point of view. Ross [William Hurt’s General Thunderbolt], who once saw his prospective son-in-law turn big and green and mean. Now he’s become much savvier and more political and has put himself in a position of power, not unlike a Colin Powell. He’s cornering the Avengers politically now, he’s out-maneuvering them.
I was happy to see Ross in the trailer, it fits his character so much and is a great translation from the comic. Instead of just worrying about the Hulk, he’s worried about all these spandex wearing vigilantes. Joe Russo goes on to say:
You cannot have a character called Captain America without examining the politics of what that means, especially in this day and age. The heroes in this universe operate under their own auspices, not under the directive of a government, and that can cause a lot of problems. There’s a certain level of imperialism that we’re examining – what right do those that have power have to use that power, even if it’s to do good? How do you govern that kind of power?
We’re using the essence of what Civil War was about. The comic book isn’t applicable to the storytelling that we’ve structured up to this point, but the concept of registration, the notion that heroes need to be either monitored or controlled because their power can be scary, is applicable.
The political mirror this movie is holding up is very timely, and would be at just about anytime in our past. There has always been a simmering national fear of boogie men lurking in the shadows. There was the Soviets and Communism after World War II and during the cold war, now we have Terrorists and the collective fear their acts of violence feed upon. Anthony Russo talks about the Superhero Registration Act:
The challenge was, we’re doing the story of Civil War. Which everybody knows is nominally about superhero registration. And in a lot of ways that can be a political issue, and we didn’t want the conflict of the movie to solely exist on that level. We wanted to figure out very personal reasons why everyone’s relationship to this idea of registration is going to become complicated. That’s what the relationship between Steve and Bucky allowed us to do, to get very personal in terms of why people would lean one way or the other.
He then goes on to talk about Steven Rodgers and his development after coming out of that long cold sleep.
The arc we’re tracking for Captain America, the thing we thought would be most interesting with this character when we came on board to direct Winter Soldier was to take him from the most ra-ra company man that you could get, this character who was a somewhat willing propagandist, and by the end of the third film he’s an insurgent.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is my favorite Marvel movie so far, just beating out Iron Man by a hair, but Captain America: Civil War looks like it might be vying for that top spot. There’s still six months until the May 6th, 2016 release date.
Until then we’ll just have to make due with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Deadpool… I think we can manage.