Captain America: Civil War may be smashing box office records, but it’s also channeling today’s charged political climate and upcoming election on its way to success as well.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo admitted as much in an interview with the Washington Post recently.
“I think that people, when they’re fearful, [can] be radicalized. There are candidates on each side of the line that are pushing the envelope farther than we’ve ever seen it … or [at least] in a while,” Joe Russo explained. He and his brother then went on to address how that tied into their record-breaking Civil War film, in which both Captain America and Iron Man are forced to pick a side and end up at odds with each other.
“There’s no answer, so you start to reach farther and farther for the answer, for a potential solution, right?” Anthony says. “Because you’re not seeing it in the zone where you normally live.”
This “solution” turns up in the form of government registration of super powers, a move championed by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) On the other side of the coin, Captain America, a former patriot and World War II hero, plays the more skeptical role, mistrusting of the government for which he now serves.
“Cap goes on a journey, from being a patriot in a black-and-white conflict to a complete insurgent. Once he goes to sleep for 70 years and wakes up and escapes sort of the deflowering of America, as we slowly were beat into a cynical state as a culture — he missed Watergate, Vietnam, he missed everything — he gets slotted into what is perhaps the most clandestine and secretive organization on the planet, which he doesn’t trust.”
Based on the 2006 comics of the same name from Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, Captain America: Civil War uses that mistrust to launch an all-out brother on brother conflict, with several heroes from previous films choosing sides and ultimately throwing down against one another. These heroes include recent additions Scarlett Witch and Vision alongside familiar faces like the aforementioned Iron Man and War Machine.
The film also sees the Marvel Universe debut of Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, who was rescued from the Sony movieverse. The deal, a huge gamble on Sony’s part, apparently paid off according to Business Insider.
“Though studios are extremely protective of their properties, Sony and Disney came to an agreement to allow Spider-Man to join the MCU, and having Spidey in the mix with the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Black Panther, and other Avengers in “Captain America: Civil War.” The move has given fans a glimpse at the future Spider-Man/Peter Parker, and we’re here to tell you it’s bright.”
In hindsight, of course, merging Spider-Man into the Marvel Universe was a no-brainer. If there was any doubt about their decision, studio execs need merely look to the weekend box office receipts recorded for Captain America: Civil War. According to Fortune, the film did monster receipts at the box office, trailing only a dinosaur, some previous Marvel installments, and oh, yeah, the return of the Star Wars franchise to theaters
“The third Captain America movie met lofty expectations with the fifth-best domestic opening weekend of all time—trailing only Star Wars: The Force Awakens at $248 million, Jurassic World at $208.8 million, Marvel’s The Avengers at $207.4 million and Avengers: Age of Ultron at $191.3 million.”
Curiously however, its Friday box office was unable to best Batman v Superman, according to Cinema Blend. DC’s entry into the mega-movie franchise world has been compared to Civil War on many levels, but failed to meet fans and critics expectations. Unlike Captain America: Civil War which will likely go onto lead all summer box office receipts.
[Photo credit Disney/Marvel. Donald Trump photo credit by Mark Lyons]