- Title: Politics, continuity and casting behind Marvel's 'Civil War'
- Date: 25th April 2016
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (RECENT) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-DIRECTOR ANTHONY RUSSO SAYING: "Look, we started as indie film makers. The very first movie we made, we financed it with credit cards and we love indie film making, so we've never looked at the budget as an impediment to creativity. Budget limitations, you have to find a way to let them lead you to creative solutions that were better than what you were looking for in the first place. That's always been our process as film makers but yes, even though these movies have enormous budgets, you do run into financial limitations but again when one door closes another opens."
- Embargoed: 9th May 2016 20:11
- Keywords: conflict Superheroes Civil War Captain America Joe Russo Anthony Russo Chris Evans
- Location: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS
- City: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA0084EW9HE5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: With glowing reviews, big budget effects and a cast of colorful superheroes played by famous faces, 'Captain America: Civil War' looks set to be the first summer blockbuster of 2016.
As the title suggests, civil war breaks out in the superheroes' Avengers camp when they are asked to sign a United Nations treaty to ensure they are kept in check following the collateral damage caused in the previous films in the various Marvel franchises.
The treaty causes internal politics within the group and the superheroes are divided into two camps.
Chris Evans, who plays the eponymous superhero told Reuters regarding the plot, "There's a million references in politics where you can question that some things make sense to your heart that it's the right thing to do, but it just doesn't work that way in life and you have to go with your head. And this is where the layered dynamic of conflict comes into play because even in American politics, no-one is right or wrong, there's no evil here, we're not fighting Nazis or aliens, this is just a matter of whether we're fighting for our head or our heart."
Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo are once again at the helm of 'Captain America' after directing and writing 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier', which made over $700 million worldwide.
Joe Russo explained, "We like to liken it to a fight at a wedding. It's something that's been brewing in a family for some time and something happens that instigates a fall-out amongst all of the characters."
In 'Captain America: Civil War', the Russo brothers have to juggle between 12 Avengers, while keeping continuity from the 12 previous films and moving the story forward to the 2018/2019 two-part 'Avengers: Infinity War'.
"We all sit around for hours on end, for months, discussing what can we do with the characters moving forward, where is the story going, what is the thing that makes us the most excited about where those characters can go. My brother and I have been lifelong comic book fans so we have this internal metric that guides us," Joe Russo said.
Despite having a wealth of acting talent and comic book source material, the Russo brothers didn't always have the budget to do what they'd planned.
"Budget limitations, you have to find a way to let them lead you to creative solutions that were better than what you were looking for in the first place," stated Anthony Russo. "That's always been our process as film makers but yes, even though these movies have enormous budgets, you do run into financial limitations but again, when one door closes another opens."
One of the greatest challenges facing the brothers was not only to introduce Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) ahead of his Marvel cinematic universe solo movie but more importantly to bring the fan favorite Spider-Man into the fold.
The web-slinging character is owned by Sony Pictures, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege negotiated an agreement where Peter Parker could be introduced in Disney's 'Captain America: Civil War' before headlining Sony's 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' in 2017.
Getting the character involved in 'Civil War' was a crucial choice for the directors.
"He adds a whole other dimensionality to it. He is a very youthful, very innocent, very vulnerable, very funny, very confident kid who stands in very stark contrast to these very experienced human beings, these very experienced superheroes that populate the world around him and we thought that would add a fresh element to the Marvel Universe going forward," said Joe Russo.
After an "exhaustive process" including screentesting actors alongside both leads Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., the brothers picked British actor Tom Holland.
"Tom not only brings the right youthful quality to the character, he has a real physicality to him," explained Joe Russo. "He's a gymnast and he can execute things in a way that other people can't and these characters are really physical. They're about as physical as it gets from an acting standpoint and you have to be able to embody the physicality of a character or it's not being realised in the best way possible."
According to industry trade magazine Variety, 'Captain America: Civil War' is expected to make between $175 and $200 million at the North American box office when it's released on May 6.
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