Before Marvel Studios made their big Phase 3 announcement, rumors had already started to circulate as to what movies could be moving into production soon. That initial schedule has changed quite a bit from including Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man and the Wasp, to having an alternate title for the fourth Avengers movie and removing Inhumans from the release calendar. Even at the panel itself Marvel made a change. Before revealing the would be official title Captain America: Civil War, the initial announcement had Serpent Society being the subtitle.
The ultimate sticking point for fans getting Civil War instead of Serpent Society was Robert Downey Jr. agreeing to extend his Marvel contract for another appearance. If that had not happened, Marvel Studios and the Russo brothers would have had to make a different movie. As they have recently revealed, a third act with zombie-like antagonists was once on the table.
During an interview to promote the upcoming Blu-Ray/DVD release of Civil War, EW had the chance to talk to the directors about alternative stories that were considered for the third Captain America movie. Instead of having Cap and Bucky faceoff against Tony in the final battle like fans saw, the concept of using Madbombs was once on the table. These bombs would have infected nearby citizens, giving them a zombie-like persona but filled with rage instead of hunger, as explained by Anthony:
“There was a period where we did discuss a third act that revolved around the Madbomb from Cap mythology. 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.”
Even though this was not the choice that ultimately made it into the movie, the directors thought that a third act featuring Cap versus a miniature army of deranged people would have been an exciting challenge for him to take on. Imagine the elevator fight in Captain America: The Winter Soldier but in a bigger area and more foes. Ultimately, the battle he ended up facing against one man was a more difficult fight both physically and emotionally. But the other aspect that interested them was Cap fighting regular people, not necessarily bad guys, explained Joe:
“The notion of the Madbomb would have been Cap having to fight civilians and how he would he handle that. We were always trying to put him into these interesting moral conundrums because of his nature. That would have made a compelling third act because if civilians are the antagonists, how could he stop them without killing them?”
The concept of a hero fighting civilians has not yet been explored on the big screen, but maybe Marvel could bring the concept back for a future movie. In fact, they already have some world building done for it. One of the final threats that Peggy Carter stopped in season 1 of Agent Carter was the release of Madbombs throughout New York City. If it is ever brought back, the similarities of Peggy and Cap fighting against the same threat decades apart would be very cool to see on screen.
Captain America: Civil War will be released in Digital HD on September 2nd and on 3-D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and Digital SD September 13.
Doctor Strange opens 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 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.