Ever since it was announced that Robert Downey Jr. was reprising his role as Iron Man (Tony Stark) for Captain America: Civil War, fans were eagerly anticipating the showdown between the two leaders of The Avengers. When the third Captain America film was first teased, the title had “Serpent Society” before “Civil War” was revealed. This means we could have had a completely different film. It all depended on RDJ wanting to come back to the table and reprise his role as Iron Man. After all, his Marvel Studios contract was up. Even though we love his take on Iron Man, the role he was born to play, he’s not going to do it forever. Luckily for everyone, Downey agreed to extend his contract with Marvel Studios and will continue to be Tony Stark for the foreseeable future. But what if he didn’t come back as Iron Man? What would the third Captain America film look like?
The Russo Brothers while promoting the upcoming Captain America: Civil War Blu-Ray/DVD release shed some light on possible alternative storylines if Downey did not return as Tony Stark. One of those storylines involved Madbombs: a device that made people go insane and attack each other.
“There was a period where we did discuss a third act that revolved around the Madbomb from Cap mythology. It didn’t have anything to do with Civil War, and if we couldn’t get Downey – in the very, very early conversations before we nailed him – somebody pitched the idea of a third-act that revolved around the Madbomb, which makes people crazy. It almost like zombifies them – but not literally.”
You heard that right, zombies! Not really zombies in the Night of the Living Dead sense, but more along the lines of 28 Days Later: rage monsters that would wreak havoc in their surrounding area. The idea appeals to the Russo Brothers because instead of fighting bad guys, he would have to fight the people he was sworn to protect.
“The notion of the Madbomb would have been Cap having to fight civilians and how he would he handle that. We were always trying to put him into these interesting moral conundrums because of his nature. That would have made a compelling third act because if civilians are the antagonists, how could he stop them without killing them?”
Now while this might have been an interesting moral take for Captain America to deal with, it might have been a “more of the same” concept. The first Avengers film had superheroes fighting a nameless drone army, the Chitauri. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers fought another drone army in the endless copies of Ultron. A third army fighting a drone army could have possibly weakened the brand, even if this army was innocent people before they got sick. Also keep in mind that this month’s Suicide Squad essentially had the same problem with the heroes of the film taking on all the “zombified” citizens of Midway City and those creatures had the same cannon fodder appeal of the Avengers movies as well.
By making Civil War such a personal film and a fight between friends, it raised the stakes for the film and actually affected the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward in ways that it would have not if they didn’t keep Downey in the film. So thanks RDJ for coming back and making the film better than it probably could have been!
Source: Screen Rant