If Joe and Anthony Russo treated the critically acclaimed Winter Solider like a political thriller, what with its throwbacks to the espionage films of yesteryear, then Captain America: Civil War is very much being pitched as a “psychological thriller.”
With a sprawling ensemble in tow, the directors went on to explain the sequel’s complex narrative in an interview with Collider, and why dividing the core roster of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and their surrounding ‘allies’ proved “a difficult thing to do.”
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Much like the ways in which The Winter Solider evolved from the militaristic Captain America: The First Avenger and its propaganda beats, Civil War is its own separate beast. The characters may be the same but, according to the Russo brothers, the world they inhabit and its subsequent tone are vastly different.
“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.”
But while the reveal trailer doubled down on the core conflict between Team Iron Man and Team Cap which was, at times, hard to watch for ardent Marvelites, the Russos stressed that Captain America: Civil War still finds humor amid the internal squabbling – particularly through the newcomers to the fold.
“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.”
Captain America: Civil War, essentially acting as Avengers 2.5, will land in theaters on May 6.