There are arguably just three things that stop Captain America: Civil War from being a fully-fledged Avengers movie: no Thor, no Hulk, and relatively low stakes. But as an all-star crossover experience, Cap’s third movie went bigger than any previous installment in the MCU, introducing the likes of Spider-Man and Black Panther (and almost The Wasp), while building on the tension previously witnessed between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. In that respect, the pic could almost be seen as a trial run for the even bigger Avengers: Infinity War, and needless to say, director Anthony and Joe Russo proved themselves to be up to the task.
In the new book Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years, Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito reflects on this elaborate production and how it connected to the MCU’s future.
“Civil War was one of the biggest comics. It was a story we wanted to tell. It was about identification in the comics, so it was a little bit different in the film,” D’Esposito shared. “At the beginning of Captain America: Civil War, I don’t think we were considering directors for Avengers 3 and 4 at that time. We didn’t know if we were going to film them together or not. I don’t think we’d ever do that again. It sounded fantastic in the room at the time. You have to do that because of the actors. There are so many actors and to go back in another year and try to get them all together again would be really difficult.”
D’Esposito goes on to commend the Russo Brothers for pulling off the picture, and after seeing how the pair managed to handle this ensemble actioner, he knew that they were ready to take on the next Avengers movies.
“The Russos had to juggle complicated storylines from previous films, especially with the Bucky storyline and the death of Tony’s parents. I think they’re formidable directors,” the co-president confessed. “They’re as hard-working as anyone that we’ve ever worked with. They love these characters. They love this genre. After Civil War, it became obvious to [Marvel Studios president] Kevin [Feige] and I that they’re the people for the job.”
Sure enough, Infinity War proved to be even more elaborate, and while the movie’s genocidal ending may look to have cut down the cast to a more manageable size for Avengers 4, it’s evident that plenty of these dusted characters will still have some part to play in next year’s release. In fact, based on the reports we’ve heard, you can expect the Infinity War sequel to have an even larger cast, ranging from familiar but seemingly deceased figures like the Ancient One and Hope van Dyne, to newcomers like Captain Marvel and whoever Katherine Langford’s playing.
Evidently, Captain America: Civil War paved the way for some ambitious ensemble work for the Russos, and we’ll see if they’re up to the challenge when Avengers 4 comes out on May 3rd, 2019.