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The Russo Brothers explain the distinct visual style of ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Thought the tones were a little grayed? There's a reason for that.

captain america civil war

Few films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe stand out above the rest; one is Captain America: Civil War — which is sometimes referred to as Avengers 2.5. The movie split The Avengers down the middle, standing on two distinct sides of a battlefield with one another as enemies.

Civil War elicited intense feelings and something that broke the hearts of viewers who had been rooting for the Avengers for so long. The film was meant to stand out among the others, and they chose several storytelling techniques to ensure that it would.

In a recent chat with Variety, Joe and Anthony Russo shared some insight into the scenes of their most beloved movies, and they stuck to their guns about the specific tone and style they used for Civil War.

“This movie is brutalist in tone. It’s meant to be devoid of color. The idea behind it was that all these characters were slipping into this morally gray area. They didn’t understand their identities. They, you know, they were in conflict with one another. And so we wanted to use a location where, you know, civilians wouldn’t be running away while they were fighting each other. We didn’t feel like they could recover from that. So we chose an airport tarmac.”

Yep, that’s right — the muted color tones in the film were chosen on purpose to really hit home that this movie was brutal. It was something that carried a massive weight, and that weight would change the future of their relationships forever.

The morally gray area is something each character slipped into in their own way, be it an unsure territory regarding a big decision, going out on a limb for a friend, or stepping away from their own pain to build something from it — they each had to take a hard look at themselves to move forward after Civil War. Some of them moved forward together while others took separate paths, but they would forever be bonded together.

In specifically noting the airport tarmac as a location, they also addressed something fundamental. Much of the storyline focused on the negative aspects of any battle fought between the superheroes and the evil they encountered. If they’d had the “civil war” in the middle of a crowded street or a mall, it would have only added to the destruction and made it harder for any of them to find solid common ground to move on.

You can watch Captain America: Civil War on Disney Plus now.

About the author

Ashley Marie

Ashley Marie is a staff writer, beat leader, Disney fanatic, and Yellowstone expert. When she's not filling her friends in on all the entertainment news they can handle, she's drinking her go-to Starbucks order — a caramel macchiato, thank you — and wishing she was at Disney World or spending time at the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. With a focus on positivity and kindness in journalism, Ashley has been writing for a decade and hopes to keep bringing you articles for decades to come.