Opening Phase 3 with a massive bang, Captain America: Civil War delivered in droves. Not only was it a game-changing superhero fray for the MCU, but it will also stand as an exemplar for superhero fare to come. The ensemble film brought together the sizeable Avengers squad – plus and minus a few folks – before ripping them to shreds over the Sokovia Accords.
Of course, with the culmination of eight years of MCU-based storylines into one action-packed film, and the addition of new characters like Falcon, Black Panther, and Spider-Man, could have confused the heck out of the casual moviegoer.
That is why, in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, scribes Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus explored the reasons for their slight backstory in Civil War. Similar to the massive undertaking of The Avengers: Infinity Wars, which McFeely says could contain “everybody,” there simply won’t be adequate screen time to explore anything beyond a smattering of character development. Despite the lack of info for casual audiences, the screenwriters hope their mega-ensemble film is still enjoyable in the same way popular HBO show Game of Thrones is to non-devotees. Markus expands on his thinking:
“Explaining quickly something that is going to be just completely incomprehensible to the average person is a tough one. [I’m] heartened by the popularity of things like ‘Game of Thrones’ where even the people who read the books and really love the show don’t always know what’s going on. Knowing 100% what a warg is, it’s not essential to the enjoyment of the show.”
Admittedly, even a casual comic book reader would need a triptych to navigate their way through the procession of superheroes in Civil War. In addition to the large troupe casual audience members may have seen in prior Avengers outings, Cap 3 introduces several new characters and not merely bit roles either. It’s true that Black Panther was given some background, but overall, the film simply didn’t have time to cover each and every newcomer. Like Infinity Wars, which McFeely recognizes as a “pie in the sky” film, or the aforementioned Game of Thrones, the writers tried to establish their main characters beforehand – and infuse their secondary characters with just enough charisma – that general audiences would merely enjoy the ride.
It also helped that Civil War focused less of its emotional heft on the resolution of The Winter Soldier’s plot (though mildly frustrating to some), instead transferring more weight to the superhero dispute which kicks off Phase 3. While the film completed the Captain America trilogy, the true measure of Cap 3’s success wasn’t in its ability to outmaneuver its own plot points. Rather, it was the film’s ability to please fans and also allow casual moviegoers to ignore the “who’s that lady/dude” effect of the massive cast.
Of course, the secondary result of Captain America 3 lies in the seeds it sows for future film endeavors. If audiences enjoyed their taste of other major characters, they’ll be more apt to catch Black Panther or Spider-Man when their solo films drop over the next couple years. It will also prepare fans (and the writers) up for the massive assemblage event of the Infinity War story arc.
Captain America: Civil War is now in theaters, and is followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Source: Los Angeles Times