Although deep into post production on this year’s Captain America: Civil War, one of the most – if not the most – anticipated films of 2016, the Russo brothers have been making the rounds as of late to talk about what fans can expect, as well as what they have planned for their next project: Avengers: Infinity War. They’ve previously hinted at big arcs for newcomers Spider-Man & Black Panther, as well as the introduction of Wakanda, and they’ve confirmed that there will not be a Red Hulk appearance in Civil War. They’ve even teased the possibility of a huge cast for the two-part epic, as well as the change in the Avengers line-up with Infinity War. So what more is there to talk about this far out from the release of Civil War? Plenty!
Last night, the folks over at Collider held a special screening of Captain America: The Winter Soldier alongside directors Joe and Anthony Russo. Following the movie, the Russo brothers held a Q&A with the audience and divulged a few interesting bits of information. During the Q&A, the directing duo noted where they were in post, what went into bringing Spider-Man into the fold, and what they really meant when they said they were looking at 67 characters for Infinity War.
One thing the Marvel Studios films do so well is that they constantly change genres, presenting themselves as more than just your average comic book movie. When it comes to the Captain America films, that’s no different. While The Winter Soldier was described as a political thriller, according to the Russo brothers, Civil War will be a psychological thriller.
“Of course, Winter Soldier was a political thriller. We think of Civil War as a psychological thriller. It’s a complicated movie. And yes, it divides these people that you’ve known to not only be a team, but Cap and Natasha, in this movie, they’re evolving into a surrogate family for each other. So, it’s a closer group of people that’s being divided. That’s a difficult thing to do.”
“There’s a good portion of [Civil War] that’s actually funnier than Winter Soldier, because there are characters in that film, that come from worlds where the tone is more comedic. Not all the characters in that movie have the same history as the Avengers. They’re coming at the problem of the film, not embedded with that baggage.”
“They’re not tied to the central arc of the movie with the same motivation as the other characters, so they can be lighter. I think there are a lot lighter moments because there are much darker moments as well. We did have to work very hard at that.”
When it comes to Spider-Man, the Russo brothers talked about the exhaustive process that led to him appearing in the film. They noted that they’d already had the character written into the film, and that he’d already been established within the story before they had full confirmation that he was able to appear in Civil War. More importantly, however, is that they describe Spidey as the character that helps to balance the tone of the film.
“It was a very long process. Kind of thing we had to lobby for for months. What happens during a long process like that, you’re continuing to develop the movie and the character. During the time that it takes you to convince the powers that be to make the jump and let you do that, you’ve ingrained the character so deeply into the story at that point that you’d have to destroy the story to take him out. So, by the time we found out that he’d be in the movie, it wasn’t so much elation than like ‘Thank God! We don’t have to blow the whole movie up.’”
“I’m a comic book fan and collector, since I was a kid, and he’s my favorite character. And to get a chance to reinvent that character…For me, I really wanted to see somebody cast who was very close to a high schooler’s age…What was so valuable to me about the character, when I was a kid, is that he’s a high schooler with this power and responsibility, and it makes him very distinct as a hero. It makes him distinct from the other characters in the Marvel Universe, who are confident, experienced superheroes. It’s super important to have that color of the movie, and we felt that it was invaluable and we do think it goes a long way. That character helps us balance out the tone of the movie.”
As for where they stand in editing, they state that they are about two and a half months out from completing the film, and that they are around a month out from the “locking picture” cut. They also confirm that they have scheduled reshoots this week, meaning we could see a few new set photos make their way online.
“This has been the easiest post process we’ve ever had on a film. We’re very happy with how the movie was. Everyone is very happy with where the movie was. For us, the tricky thing is the effects because it’s a very complicated movie and there are some really big sequences in the film. The effects are on a much larger scale than the work we did on Winter Soldier. That’s the part that becomes really difficult because you don’t have a lot of time and everyone has very high standards. So everyone starts killing themselves at this point. We’re finishing up the music – Henry Jackman is back to score and we’re really happy with the score. He leaves for London in two weeks and we do a few reshoots next week…we’ll be done with the movie in 2 and a half months.”
If you’ll recall, while at the New Orleans Wizard World Comic Con, the Russo brothers made an comment about looking at 67 characters for Avengers: Infinity War, something that people took as meaning there’d definitely be 67 characters in the film. We touched on how it was more than likely that was just a number they were throwing out there in this one shot, and that there was no cause for concern about overcrowding. This was something they confirmed themselves last night, stating that they were merely being figurative when they threw out that large number. They also went on to confirm the shooting schedule for Infinity War, something Chris Evans previously hinted at last April.
“We were being figurative when we said [67 characters] and people took it as literal but there’s a lot of characters. Infinity War is meant to be the culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe up to that point. It’s very ambitious in its scope, it wants to take everything that you’ve seen before and coalesce into some kinda of climactic ending. It’s complicated , ambitious storytelling…We’re not talking about lead characters, just people that make an appearance.”
“We start shooting both of them later this year in November and we’re primarily going to be based in Atlanta again. That’s where we’ll do out stage work and some exteriors. There will be locations from around the world involved as well. We actually relocate to Atlanta in late July to finish up pre-production there. We don’t come back to L.A. until the following June.”
“We’re shooting them concurrently, meaning that some days we’ll be shooting the first movie and some days we’ll be shooting the second movie. Just jumping back and forth. We won’t look like this next year.”
Don’t forget to check out the Captain America 75th Anniversary Special on ABC on January 19th, leading into the season two premiere of Agent Carter. While there has not be any confirmation that new footage from Civil War will be shown during the special, it’s more than likely they’ll sneak something in for fans!
Captain America: Civil War will hit movie theaters on May 6th, 2016.