“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was one of the pleasant surprises to come out of 2014. Sure, we expected a decent film, but the gap in quality between “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “The Winter Soldier” was immense. Overnight, Cap seemed to go from one of the least liked superheroes in the MCU to everyone’s favorite (at least for mainstream fans). Needless to say, the Russo Brothers have a lot to live up to for their second film in the franchise, “Captain America: Civil War.”
But at this point, fans are starting to wonder if “Civil War” is a Captain America film anymore. Already, the film has more Avengers in it than either of the “Avengers” movies, and while “Age of Ultron” was a fun film, a lot of fans seem to agree it was overcrowded and a bit unfulfilling. With the cast of “Civil War” already so swollen, will Captain America just fade into the background of the piece?
In an interview with IGN, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige addressed that very concern.
"There were a lot of characters in ‘The Winter Soldier,’ but it felt like a very singular and relatively simple thriller. ‘Civil War’ follows in that same way. I think that's something [directors Joe and Anthony Russo] pride themselves on, and our screenwriters Chris Markus and Steve McFeely are excellent at giving each character just enough. They're not full arcs for everybody; it's just enough that their presence is felt and important, but that the very clear single story that is being told is being served at all times."
With “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” writer/director Joss Whedon definitely had his work cut out for him, as the movie is more like a big TV episode then a film. He needed to give each character their time to shine, as well as mini-arcs for each member of the ensemble. Based on Feige’s comments, this is NOT the approach they are taking with “Civil War,” which is incredibly comforting.
While I’ll disagree that “The Winter Soldier” had a lot of characters—at least compared to “Civil War”—it’s great to hear that the filmmakers don’t feel the need to provide full-fledged fan service for each character on screen, but to give them "just enough." First and foremost, “Civil War” needs to be a Captain America movie. In order to carry the same weight as the previous film, it really needs to continue the character arc that began in “The Winter Soldier,” and that can’t really be done if the filmmakers feel obligated to juggle all the other characters.
Of course, the potential consequences with that move is that some superheroes will get shortchanged, but, we’ll just have to wait and see how it’s handled.
What do you think? Do you agree with this approach to “Civil War,” and more importantly, do you actually think this is the approach the Russo Brothers are using? It’s very possible this is just lip service to quash all our concerns. Deep down, Marvel may feel obligated to give every Avenger their time to shine. Let us know your thoughts below!