As evidenced by the title, “Captain America: Civil War” will see a great ideological divide emerge within Marvel’s heroes. A line will be drawn, sides will be chosen, and then a battle between friends and allies will go down. We already know that the Sokovia Accords play a major role in the dividing Iron Man and Captain America, and now we’re learning more about why every other hero stands with the Avenger they’ve rallied behind.
In the “Civil War” feature in the latest issue of “Empire” magazine, directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo revealed that a lot of thought went into each character’s alignment. “We worked hard to figure out very specific reasons why these characters would get pushed to one side or the other,” said Anthony Russo. He also added: “Spectacle can only carry you so far. If you don’t have character then it’s empty spectacle and the movie starts to run out of gas pretty quickly. You can only watch so many explosions and unmotivated car crashes.”
For Team Cap, a few characters were obvious choices. “Sam and Steve have become close confidants and good friends,” said Anthony Mackie, whose Falcon has grown very close to Cap since the events of 2014’s “Captain America: Winter Soldier.” “Steve is the leader but he definitely comes to Sam and bounces ideas off him.”
It might delight fans to know that Falcon and Bucky were referred to as “Cap’s two girlfriends” on set; Cap’s actual girlfriend (in the comics, at least, and maybe eventually on film) Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) is also on the team. VanCamp said her character is “willing to go the distance to protect him.”
There’s also Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), who represents a potentially powerful ally for Cap’s team. “She’s a complex person, and extremely powerful,” said Joe Russo. “She doesn’t really understand the depth of her power. I don’t think anyone does. That can make her a frightening character, especially to the government. In this movie, we find her at the beginning of Cap’s tutelage. He’s showing her the ropes as an Avenger.”
Team Iron Man — which includes Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), War Hammer (Don Cheadle) and Vision (Paul Bettany) — also includes one surprising addition: Black Widow. Scarlett Johansson’s Avenger has worked very closely with Captain America, most notably in “Winter Soldier” as well as “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Johansson spoke of her character’s motivations for siding with Iron Man over her frequent partner.
“Our new challenge is that this universe is bigger than the Avengers,” said Johansson. “There’s a school of thought that it needs oversight and management, some kind of ground rules. That seems logical — though Cap and I have had a bad experience with ‘The Man,’ so to speak.” What Black Widow’s really concerned with, though, is Bucky Barnes — the Winter Soldier. “Barnes is a total wildcard. He can’t really be trusted because he’s been psychologically compromised. He still poses a threat. I think that’s how Natasha would see it.”
The one major player that we’ve yet to see or hear much about, though, is Tom Holland’s Spider-Man – and the Russos remain quiet about which side he’s on, although “Empire” notes that the web-slinger joins the film after “battle lines have been drawn” and will form a strong bond with one character.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and more, “Captain America: Civil War” opens on May 6, 2016.