I feel it’s safe to say that the vast majority of fans were pleased with Captain America: Civil War. The battle royal between Cap and Iron Man struck both a powerful visual note as well as an emotional one. And now that the dust has settled from the superpowered shake up, it’s hard to imagine a different third entry in the Captain America franchise. Speaking to EW, the Russo Brothers elaborated on how they planned the film’s plotline.

“It was not a given that we were even going to do Civil War when we were talking about the next movie after Winter Soldier. So there was a period of time when we explored possibilities for Cap stories that did not include it,” Joe Russo says. “We spent a few weeks doing that, although Civil War came up fairly early in the process and once that happened it took over our brains and we ran hard at it.”

Unsure if they could get Robert Downey Jr. to be in the film, due to his contract needing to be renegotiated, the film’s creators had to think of some other options. Taking a look back to some vintage Captain America comics for plotlines, the filmmakers landed on the ‘Madbomb‘ storyline for inspiration.

“There was a period where we did discuss a third act that revolved around the Madbomb from Cap mythology,” Anthony Russo said. “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.”

The ‘MadBomb‘ was from a classic Jack Kirby story. The weapon was a device that when detonated set off a sound wave that drove people into a mindlessly violent state, very much like the device deployed by Samuel L. Jackson‘s character in the ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service‘ film. Zemo would have been the mastermind, much like how he was in Civil War. The bomb would have had Captain America fighting against friends that had succumbed to the weapon’s effects, as well as innocent civilians, creating a problem Cap couldn’t easily punch his way out of.

“The notion of the Madbomb would have been Cap having to fight civilians and how he would he handle that,” Joe Russo says. “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?”

Captain America going up against ‘28 Days Later‘ style rage zombies could have made for an interesting film. But at the end of the day, it’s probably for the best that they didn’t go that route. While the ‘Madbomb’ would have led to some possibly engaging conflicts both between Cap and his friends as well as the civilians he’s supposed to protect, a genuine disagreement between friends, as depicted in Civil War, left the characters in a more interesting emotional and story space. Though the creators ultimately didn’t go with the ‘MadBomb’ idea, a similar concept did appear at the end of the first season of Agent Carter in the form of Howard Stark’s stolen ‘Midnight Oil’ weapon, in a plan orchestrated by long term Cap villain Doctor Faustus.

Source: Entertainment Weekly.