Well, this could have been interesting.
As we all know, the awesome Marvel entry that is Captain America: Civil War explores the conflict that arises between a number of our MCU heroes, particularly between Cap and Iron Man. The film culminates in quite the dramatic fallout, with Steve Rogers and Bucky coming to blows with Tony Stark. And to think, it could have all been so different.
Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo have revealed just how different the film’s ending could have been, assuming Robert Downey Jr.’s contract with Marvel had not been renewed and he had not been brought back to play Iron Man.
Speaking to EW, the Russos shed light on a hurdle the creative team took into account when considering Downey’s possible exclusion from the film. After all, as the site reports, both the actor and studio “were playing hardball.”
If Iron Man was not to be included in the film’s plot, the writing team had an idea that would see Chris Evans’ Cap attempting to stop the effects of the Madbomb, a device introduced in a Captain America comic back in January 1976. The device emits sonic waves and destroys the minds of everyone in the blast proximity, kind of zombiefiying them.
“There was a period where we did discuss a third act that revolved around the Madbomb from Cap mythology,” Anthony Russo explained. “It didn’t have anything to do with Civil War, and if we couldn’t get Downey — in the very, very early conversations before we nailed him — somebody pitched the idea of a third-act that revolved around the Madbomb, which makes people crazy. It almost like zombifies them — but not literally.”
Joe Russo further elaborated, saying that the finale of the film would have seen Cap fighting civilians, which would pose quite the dilemma for Cap’s ideals.
“We were always trying to put him into these interesting moral conundrums because of his nature,” Joe said. “That would have made a compelling third act because if civilians are the antagonists, how could he stop them without killing them?”
Added Anthony Russo: “Somebody you know has turned into a zombie and now you have to fight them. And there would have been the emotional component of that.”
There’s no denying how fascinating and, let’s be honest, awesome it would have been to see Cap and his team taking on waves of crazy civilians. And yet, there’s also no denying that we ended up with the best option for this stage in both the MCU’s evolution and Cap’s narrative. Thank goodness Marvel and Downey came to an agreement.
The Russos are now in the process of prepping Avengers: Infinity War, the first of two more Marvel films the duo will be tackling over the next few years. Infinity War will hit U.S. cinemas on May 4, 2018. Their second as-of-yet untitled Avengers film will hit screens on May 3, 2019.