Marvel Studios Co-President on Why 'Captain America: Civil War' Was So Important

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen multiple important milestones, from the first time we saw a post-credits scene in 2008's Iron Man to Earth's Mightiest Heroes finally coming together on screen in Marvel's The Avengers. According to Marvel Studios co-president Louis D'Esposito, another one of those defining moments came with Captain America: Civil War.

"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 in the new book Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years. "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."

He continued, "It has been a daunting task but the production crew has been absolutely amazing. [Producer] Mike Grillo and his team have been managing this tremendous cast and all the scheduling problems you can imagine. The Russos bringing together the storylines in Civil War was quite a feat. It was a complicated ending because two of the most beloved characters fought each other at the end. How can we make the audience swallow that?"

Throughout much of the MCU, various films had borrowed elements from a number of well-known comic book storylines, though Civil War was one of the more literal interpretations of a famous storyline. In addition to having to adapt that storyline to make sense in the state of the franchise, the film also had to balance a massive roster of characters.

The adventure was so expansive, in fact, that most people considered it to be Avengers 2.5 as opposed to a Captain America film.

"It’s hard because we go to the movies for a lot of reasons, but I think we go to see these big franchise films for a laugh and to forget our troubles. We like to leave with a satisfying ending because we put ourselves in the shoes of the protagonists," the co-president admitted about the film's somewhat conflicted ending. "People want to live vicariously through these characters, so when they fight each other, it’s quite disturbing. I know a lot of people were affected by that."

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo came from a TV background before helming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with their successes solidifying them as powerhouse directors in the MCU, going on to direct Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.

"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."


Avengers 4 lands in theaters on May 3, 2019.

What do you think about the co-president's remarks about Civil War? Let us know in the comments below!