I was invited as media to cover this press event. All opinions are my own.
Our final interview coverage for Captain America: Civil War is with the film directors, Anthony and Joe Russo. The talented brothers directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and are currently working on Avengers: Infinity War, scheduled for 2018. During the interview the Russo Brothers spoke of their hope for the film, shooting tough scenes, and what’s next for the Marvel universe.
The Russo Brothers – Anthony and Joe
After a quick introduction, we were ready to delve into the great minds behind this Marvel Captain America film. Joe shared that their hope was to inspire conversation with the audiences’ friends and families after seeing Civil War. Regarding the two sides (Team Cap and Team Iron Man) Joe said, “We didn’t want to make a declarative statement one way or the other. We just want to represent both as accurately and emotionally as we could. It’s not the kind of story that the directors need to be too firm with their point of view.”
Q : Was there any rivalry between you guys writing the script and thinking out the process of the movie between Captain and Ironman?
Anthony : “No, I don’t think there was rivalry just because we both love both characters. We like very layered storytelling so we often times when we’re breaking the story or prepping a movie we’ll sort of step through the story from different characters points of view. And so it’s become part of our process to really have moments where the whole movie belongs to somebody else, just one particular character for a moment as we’re thinking about the film from beginning to end. So, I think that’s the process we went through on this movie as well with the writers, and producer, Kevin Feige.”
Adding, ” We always look for that side of the character. So for us it was very important to find where’s Steve Rogers vulnerable? Where is Tony Stark vulnerable? And sort of play to those in this movie in a way that would put them in conflict with one another.”
Q : Spiderman in the movie, where did you find him and are you going to hold onto that kid?
Joe : “Oh my God…doing everything we can to hang onto him.” Anthony : “Yeah. We’re more in love with him than anybody.” Joe adds, “There was a really exhaustive audition process for that role. You know Spider-Man was a very important character to me as a kid. I was a big comic book collector. I still have my collection in my closet to my wife’s dismay. That character was my favorite character growing up. So to be able to interpret him on screen was like a dream come true. The things that I loved about him as a character when I was a kid were his vulnerability, his insecurity, his sense of humor. He was a smart ass kid but he was a kid. And we felt that, our interpretation of the character, we wanted to have an actor very close in age to Peter Parker. We also wanted to make sure that the actor had both the vulnerability and a confidence at the same time. And Tom Holland just embodied all of that. He brought a real authenticity. We really wanted him to feel like he was of New York today, right now and not about comic book New York. He was a kid living in Queens who had a certain energy to him.”
Q : When you guys are taking stories that are from the comic books. There are so many fans that are loyal to these comic books, how are you able to translate what part of the story to keep and what to move away from? What’s involved with deciding what you’re doing with that?
Joe : “Well, as comic book fans ourselves – I don’t have a lot of interest seeing a straight interpretation of a comic book. I already know the story. So why would I go see the movie? The Marvel cinematic universe is also building its characters in a very specific way that is very different than a comic books. Film is a very different medium then comic books.” Adding, “So Civil War in the Marvel cinematic universe is very different than Civil War in the comic books. We don’t have the same characters, we don’t have the same storytelling. We borrowed the concept and applied it to our characters, but we also needed what we felt was a very emotional reason that would drive the story on both sides. We were really committed to making sure that when [the audience] got to the end they had a very difficult time deciding who was right.”
Q : What was the hardest scene to shoot?
Anthony : “Oh, that’s a good question. It depends on what you’re focusing on. These actors are good, right? They’re easy to direct, their amazing actors. So getting the emotional stuff like the performance stuff out of them is easy. The execution of action though is very, very hard. And we are action “fetishists” we always say. We use action very specifically to find ways to express character and express narrative through action. So, that airport scene was about the biggest thing we’ve ever attempted to do. It was almost like a mini movie within the movie. It took months and months and months to prepare that sequence.” Anthony went on to share that they did some scenes in Germany at an actual airport, and the rest was done at their Marvel studio where they pour an enormous slab of concrete and surrounded it with green screen. Joe added that the temps were 110 degrees when shooting as well, which made it more difficult.
Another tough scene the Russo brothers mentioned was the tunnel sequence in Romania. And of course the intense fighting scenes.
Q : The love story between Captain and 13, are you looking forward to furthering that and sharing more of that with the audience?
Joe : “Yeah. We’re sitting down and breaking into new war stories now and it might be in the next time that you see a lot of these characters on screen. Everything’s in the conversation. There’s really a connection between The Winter Soldier, Civil War and the Infinity war movies. It’s an arch and that arch is of this family. This movie is a downbeat in this family’s existence in the avengers. What we thought would be most interesting heading into Infinity War would be putting these characters in the most complicated position they could possibly be in to face the greatest threat that they’re ever going to face. Can they pull together? Can they forgive each other? I think you’ll see some fracturing as we move forward that Civil War is known for.”
Dun, dun, dun! What’s going to happen next? You won’t want to miss Captain America: Civil War, in theaters everywhere Friday May 6th!
Check out the trailer below for more: