Comic readers who have turned the pages of Marvel's original Civil War story know that the adaptation coming to the big screen is quite a bit different from the one they read years ago. While Captain America: Civil War contains several of the emotional beats and some other moments pulled straight from the pages of those books, it is overall a quite loose adaptation.
Talking to the writers behind Captain America: Civil War at the press junket in Los Angeles last weekend, ComicBook.com had the chance to find out how the minds behind the film's story decided what to keep from the comics and what to leave out or change.
"We did the same thing with Winter Soldier," Stephen McFeely says. "If you went into Winter Soldier thinking you were getting an exact Brubaker, Red Skull, cosmic cube, and then the Russian's head, you weren't gonna get that but you were gonna get a lot of the character stuff out of it. Same thing here. We have to honor the thirteen movies and in that universe we're not necessarily honoring the 200 characters on the splash page universe."
"We're also, as everyone knows since this was announced, there are virtually no secret identities in the MCU so we can't do the whole unmasking plot," Christopher Markus chimed in. "We don't have 200 super heroes to have a fight with so this has to come from a character issue as opposed to this, 'We want to take off your mask' thing."
A 200 character line up was completely unnecessary for Civil War. Its airport battle sequence is very much the pinnacle of cinema, filmmaking technology, and the characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The writers especially agree with that last bit.
"The movies have provided it for us," McFeely goes on. "We looked at all the third acts and went, "Oh, maybe we should talk about that." They keep raining shit down on top of all these cities, that probably will have some sort of effect on people's opinion of them."
"And then, the characters were headed organically toward conflict," Markus adds. "More so than in the comics, which as fun as Civil War is, Tony seems a little like he had a personality transplants at a couple points to keep the plot going. [Captain America: Civil War's] Tony, it's organically exactly where he would be."
See for yourself how closely Captain America: Civil War follows the comic book source material when it hits theaters May 6.