With the home release of Captain America: Civil War to digital purchase on Friday and the Blu-Ray a mere two weeks away, Joe and Anthony Russo have been making the press rounds to promote the release. In these recent interviews, the brothers, who are currently in the midst of pre-production for Avengers: Infinity War in Atlanta, have hinted at what is to come, as well as how Civil War will impact the next two Avengers films. In this latest interview with Independent, however, Anthony Russo dove a bit deeper into the repercussions of Civil War and how the division of the Avengers affects Infinity War.
When asked what the status was regarding the Avengers following Civil War, Anthony went on to state that they (he and his brother) love where the film leaves off in regards to the once unified group and the possibilities it allows for going forward. They also explained that the ending of Civil War essentially sets the stage for what’s to follow with Infinity War.
At the end of Civil War, characters are split and there’s a whole new generation of superheros being trained up. What is the state of the Avengers at the start of Infinity War?
There’s a writing adage that says “write yourself into a corner.” My brother and I have always loved that adage. That was one of our favourite things about Civil War – that it ended in a difficult place where it’s hard to imagine what the road forward exactly is for both Tony Stark, Steve Rodgers and these two sides that have suffered the consequences of this division. On a storytelling level, it is a very difficult place and yes, that is very much the condition of the world as we move forward after Civil War. This very much sets the stage for where Infinity War begins – it’s a place of a strong divide.
These comments suggest that fans shouldn’t expect too much from any of the pre-Infinity War films as far as Cap and Iron Man relations. Though we know that Robert Downey Jr. will appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming, his time there will likely focus on his rebuilding of his “official” team regardless of what the renegade Avengers are up to. Also, it makes it sounds like Captain America will be largely unheard of in the films to come. Maybe he’ll be a bit exhausted from life on the lam by the time we see him next. The status quo of the MCU today is going to change little in 2017.
Of course, with tensions still high among former team-mates, it’s safe to say that things won’t snap back into place quite easily. Some felt like that tension was significantly cut by Cap’s “Tony Stank” package at the end of Civil War, but the Russos don’t think so. When asked about easing the tensions between the heroes before we next see them, Anthony answered by saying they don’t believe the issues between the superheroes are issues that can be solved off-screen – meaning they’ll definitely continue to play a part in future films.
Will some of the tensions have been resolved when we next meet those characters?
We believe things that are important and complex for a character to go through should be seen on camera. The divisions that happened at the end of Civil War were so deep they’re not the kind of things you can resolve or move through off camera; they’re the kind of things you have to directly deal with in the storytelling.That’s our philosophical approach to how we handle those things.
Although it’s far too early for Marvel to confirm anything regarding Infinity War, we do know that the film will not only serve as a culmination of everything before it but also the ending and beginning for various story arcs. This, of course, means we can expect to see some characters fall, with new heroes rising in their place. Trying his best not to spoil anything, Anthony Russo commented on the possibility of Infinity War serving as a swan song of sorts for some of the current Avengers.
There’s a hint that some stories could be coming to an end. Could Infinity War be the swan song for certain characters?
Without getting too specific with the surprises that the movies hold, we very much think of these [next two Avengers films] as a culmination of everything that’s happened in the MCU. And in some respects, they’re going to be the end of some things and the beginnings of certain things. And there’s a big catharsis that happens in these movies in terms of what the MCU is and how it is formed.
Going into Infinity War, the Russo brothers will be working with their largest cast thus far. With the cast of Civil War set to return, as well as new heroes such as Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the Wasp (Evangeline Lily), it’s safe to say they’ll have an excellent array of talent at their disposal, something Anthony agrees with. While talking about the characters he’s most excited to work with, he was quick to cite the level of talent involved with the project.
Personally speaking, which characters are you most excited to direct that you haven’t yet had the opportunity to?
This might sound like a diplomatic or political answer but the cast is so large and there are so many amazing actors playing these characters, it’s an embarrassment of riches for storytellers and directors. Joe and I can’t believe we get to play with this level of talent all in one movie. It’s a challenge because the characters themselves and the actors that play them all deserve their own movie, but now you’re dealing with an ensemble picture where they’re only going to get a portion of the storytelling. But the trick for us is how do you have the most amount of fun with the portion a certain character gets? You can sometimes do a great deal with very little, and again to reference Spider-Man and Ant-Man who aren’t in much of Civil War, but I think leave a big impression on an audience. We have the same sort of opportunities for Infinity War – very talented actors playing really awesome characters that we love who can come in in very unexpected ways.
While most of the big players were featured in Civil War, there were two fan-favorite characters missing – Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth). (If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi‘s Thor/Civil War Mockumentary.) And while we don’t know what’ll happen in next year’s Ragnarok, it’s safe to assume both Thor and the Hulk will return for Infinity War. For the Russo brothers, this will be the first time they’ve worked with either character and they’re incredibly excited.
We bet you’re excited to get to play around with Thor and Hulk in Infinity War…
Oh yeah, absolutely. We’ve been talking a lot with both Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth about what we’re doing with the characters in this movie and they’re really excited.
Have all the Civil War promos gotten you more excited about what’s to come in Phase Three? Are you happy to see the Civil War fall out continue, or are you ready to see Captain Rodgers and Mr. Stark on speaking terms again? What new characters are you most excited to see the Russos’ take on? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Captain America: Civil War can be purchased for download on Friday and hits Blu-Ray and DVD on September 13th, while Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t hit the big screen until May 4th, 2018.