Avengers directors nearly quit Marvel over Captain America: Civil War ending

Filmmakers said they ‘drew a line in the sand’ amid disagreement with Marvel executives

Louis Chilton
Monday 25 October 2021 15:57
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Captain America: Civil War - Trailer

The Russo Brothers have revealed that they almost quit 2016’s Captain America: Civil War over a dispute about the film’s ending.

Anthony and Joseph Russo directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier before Civil War, and went on to direct two additional films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.

A new behind-the-scenes book, The Story of Marvel Studios, details the making of some of these films, and describes a creative stand-off between the Russos, screenwriter Stephen McFeely and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, and opposing them, a band of executives on the Marvel Creative Committee.

“We had to do a draft where they had a fight in a submarine base with five super soldiers,” said McFeely, as quoted in the book (per CBR).

“We kept saying, ‘There’s nothing interesting about that film. We’re not here to make that movie. We’re not interested in telling another superhero story,’” said Joseph Russo.

In the finished film, Captain America (Chris Evans), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) arrive at an abandoned lab to find a number of super-soldiers already dead. A fight between Captain America and Iron Man follows, ending with the two heroes at odds.

“But when we drew the line in the sand, it became a moment where that company was either going to slowly bend back toward where it had come from, or it was gonna slowly start to bend toward new territory,” continued the director.

“We reached a point where we said, out loud in a room, ‘We’re not interested in continuing as directors of this movie if it is going to be about managing politics and a third act.”

Anthony Russo added: “And I think Kevin was very energized by that. And also, maybe it gave him some leverage in the situation, because we were so clear about our point of view.”

Captain America: Civil War can be streamed now on Disney Plus.

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