Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.
Courtney Howard // Film Critic
There’s an epic battle being waged in director Anthony and Joe Russo’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. It’s one that pits one brother in arms against another. Tony Stark/ Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers/ Captain America (Chris Evans) are experiencing a falling out with each other over the collateral damages incurred in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. It not only turns into an argument about morals and ethics, it becomes a brawl of muscle.
At the film’s recent Los Angeles press day, the cast and crew shared a few fun facts about your new favorite Marvel movie.
Robert Downey Jr. gets to travel back in time. Sorta. Director Anthony Russo stated that the technology has come a long way. “Part of the popularity of these types of special-effects driven movies is that the technology has reached such a high level. This movie has a very remarkable sequence where Robert Downey Jr. plays a twenty-year-old man. It was pretty incredible. He plays someone around the age when we first saw him on screen. It took us months and months of work on that shot. In fact, it was the last shot we completed in the movie.” Downey Jr. joked, “It’s expensive nostalgia.”
Paul Bettany didn’t mind all the wire work. “I dream of flying – being suspended by my testicles. It’s really a double-edged sword.” Anthony Russo chimed in, saying “That was done in the Georgia sun in the Summer.”
A new Spider-man makes his debut. Anthony Russo said it was integral to the film’s tone to bring in new characters to achieve a balance to Cap and Tony’s ethical struggle. “To bring in characters like Spider-man, like Ant-man, into the movie – who don’t have that baggage – gave us an opportunity to bring new colors into the film. Lighter colors. More whimsical colors. We tried to find very organic ways into the movie.”
Don Cheadle thinks we’ll see more from War Machine. Cheadle dropped a hint that, “I think there are potentially more tricks up War Machine’s sleeve.”
Action sequences tell just as much story as the dialogue-driven ones. Joe Russo mentioned, “The characters express themselves through action. Action has to have storytelling to it. You’ll get tired of an action sequence if it’s not defining a character or moving the story forward in some way. Thank God we have collaborators to keep us honest.
Paul Rudd’s line “this belongs to you, Captain America” was scripted. Even though it sounds like it was an ad-lib, Rudd said his line, “was always in the script.” However, having Ant-man be in a mask was a benefit in the post process. Joe Russo said, “Paul is one of the great improvisers of all time. It was a benefit in terms of modulating the tone in that section of the movie. He had an endless amount of jokes that [we] had to figure out which was funnier. He gave us a wealth of material.”
‘Wasp’ was originally going to be in CIVIL WAR. “There were drafts where Wasp participated in the airport battle. But the truth is, you took away from seeing her suit up for the first time – the fun of seeing her on the road to becoming a superhero. We have very big plans to unveil her where she can be the entirety of the movie and not a moment,” Kevin Feige explained.
That airport scene. I’m not just using hyperbole to say that the scene set at the abandoned airport is the best scene in any Marvel film to date. Joe Russo confessed it proved to be the most difficult to execute. “The hardest thing to do is executing the action. The toughest was the airport sequence. It’s filled with a lot of moving parts – lot of different characters who we’re moving each forward and making sure we’re not leaving anyone behind. Well into the post process we were re-thinking, re-shaping and reconfiguring that sequence to make sure it had its maximum storytelling to it.” Evans added, “That energy on set keeps you invested.” Olsen found it challenging due to her costume’s restraints. “These guys run really fast. I’m in heels and a corset. I wanted everyone to slow down just a little bit.”
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is now playing. Click here to read our review.