This year is the clash of the superheroes in the movies. At one side of the ring, DC Comics, which tried to establish his universe with Batman vs. Superman: The Origin of Justice, directed by Zack Snyder, grossed over $ 850 million in a month of release, way below industry expectations. On the other side, Marvel, which inaugurated the phase 3 of its planning with Captain America: Civil War, directed by the Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe, who debuted last Friday, May 6 here in the US, with an rivalry between Steve Rogers/ Captain America and Tony Stark/ Iron Man. The weekend box office was over $179.1 million, and according to the Box Office Mojo website “Captain America: Civil War not only scored the fifth largest opening of all-time, it is the third largest opening for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Aside from that, the film opened a week before globally and, so far, opened with $673.1 million.
The film came at a warning time for Marvel when the studio suffered from the departure of famous directors such as Joss Whedon and Edgar Wright and stagnating at the box office.
“This was our biggest challenge” says Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios during the press conference in Los Angeles. “We didn’t have contract with various actors, including Robert Downey Jr., and the heroes were separated (Marvel didn’t produce the last Spider-man movies). Always I wanted to adapt Civil War so I thought: ,’It’s now or never’”.
During the press conference, the directors said they are happy with the critics and fans receptions, but they are very diplomatic to comment on what it takes to not irritate the superhero followers. “We take very seriously the time we invest and fans’ emotion and don’t want to repeat experiences of comics that the audience already had,” says Anthony Russo who directed the film with his brother Joe. In the Captain America: Civil War, one of the objectives was to turn upside down the psychology of Marvel characters.
And Chris Evans who played Captain America added, “I say, let’s keep going, let’s let the wave get bigger and bigger.” “It’s not like they’re making bad movies, they’re making great movies and if you want to put them in this superhero box you can but they’re good movies.”
Marvel and the directors did this by injecting some or let’s say a lot of politics in the storyline. Captain America has a conflict with Iron Man when the group formed by them and Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Hawkeye, Hulk and Thor, who are not in this film, are accused of acting without measuring consequences, causing thousands of deaths in an attempt to save the world. Stark believes that the Avengers must be supervised by an authority, while ‘Cap’ thinks they will become puppets on the government. “We read a lot, and we are interested in what happen in the world. It is inevitable that this plots are in our stories,” said Joe. For the filmmaker and director, there is a radicalization in the world today, in the US or another countries. In the film, the Avengers terrified some of this radicalism and many of the victims are the collateral damage of their actions. “These people are present in the film. One of them is Zemo, played by Daniel Brühl. He became a radical because of the loss suffered. ”
“We knew we wanted to tell a very complicated story between Captain America and Iron Man and we’re big fans of balance in storytelling, movies that make us laugh and cry,” said Russo of their approach. “We wanted to bring in characters that didn’t have the same emotional investment that The Avengers had. Bringing in characters like Spider-Man and Ant-Man, who don’t have that baggage, allowed us to bring new color to the film.”