'Captain America: Civil War': Inside the Biggest Superhero Showdown
Captain America: Civil War is the cover story for EW's Summer Movie Preview, and here we present new images from the clash that will permanently alter both the future, and the way we look at the past, of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Steve Rogers is throwing down against Tony Stark to protect his only surviving friend from a long-lost former life: James "Bucky" Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier.
Here, the current members of the new Avengers squad – from left: War Machine, Black Widow, Cap, Falcon, Vision, and Scarlet Witch – are forced to confront the casualty count and damage estimates from past missions. Tony Stark, who is funding their operation, watches on from the background. "It's super important to us that you have a very difficult time choosing who you’re rooting for," says Joe Russo, who directed the movie with his brother, Anthony. "It doesn’t break down very cleanly in the movie. There’s a theme of brotherhood and rivalry between Cap and Tony that goes to some very complicated places." Anthony adds: "Let’s just say that metaphor is a very vivid one for us."
Anthony Mackie says there was no question which side Falcon would come down on. He's #TeamCap all the way. Not that Falcon (a.k.a. Sam Wilson) understands Steve Rogers' connection to The Winter Soldier. "He’s like, look, dude, we need to leave him alone,'" Mackie says. "But with Steve, that relationship is so deep and Steve is such a loyal guy from their history, their past, and their bond and kinship, that Steve sees more. But I think with Sam, it’s pretty much, 'Keep him over there and I’m over here.'"
As T'Challa, the prince of the secretive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda, Chadwick Boseman looks like a man in charge no matter which suit he's wearing – civilian or the vibranium-woven uniform of the Black Panther. He's on #TeamIronMan, supporting restrictions on the powerful (even though he's breaking a lot of those rules to get revenge on The Winter Soldier for a crime against his family.) "He comes into it because, as a world leader, there is a need to make sure there is some sort of control over these superpowers," Boseman says. "It’s like if there were nuclear weapons, the world leaders would come together at the U.N. and decide who should have them. It’s the same thing with superheroes. He has an interest in making sure this power doesn’t go without some restraints and control and some limitations."
As Helmut Zemo, Daniel Brühl is a mysterious, manipulative figure who is positioning the heroes against each other. Why? We know, but can't say. It's too much of a spoiler. This character is a significant variation on the cackling, purple-masked Baron Zemo from the Marvel Comics, who led a group that called itself the Masters of Evil. (No mystery about their intentions there.) “He’s still similar to what you know of Zemo, a revenge character,” Joe Russo says.
In this behind the scenes shot, Boseman's Black Panther gets to unleash some payback on Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier (while Joe Russo gets up close and Anthony Russo looks on from the left.) Panther had a very specific role in Civil War: tie-breaker. "We wanted someone who wasn’t on either side," says Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, the mastermind of its interlocked series of movies. "We wanted someone who could represent a third party in the argument, which in the original comics he did a little bit. We thought it would be interesting if we could find somebody who didn’t side necessarily either way, except for this very personal thing that happens to him – which is the only reason he’s really aligned in this argument at all."
Part One of EW's Four-Section Captain America: Civil War Cover Spread
This cover features Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, and Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier, a.k.a. Bucky Barnes – all members of #TeamCap. "Bucky’s huge in this movie. And it is a constant through-line for Cap and Bucky, from 1942 to now," says screenwriter Christopher Markus, who penned the script with Stephen McFeely. "That’s how we always wanted it to be. It’s like, those guys are sort of leapfrogging through time, experiencing worse things, terrible things, and then it kind of all comes together here."
Continue reading more on Captain America: Civil War in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday. To purchase Part One of EW's cover spread, order it here or buy all four collectible covers – and subscribe now for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
Part Two of EW's Four-Section Captain America: Civil War Cover Spread
This cover includes Chris Evans, Mr. Red, White, and Blue himself, along with Paul Rudd's Ant-Man and Anthony Mackie's Falcon – also loyal adherents to #TeamCap. Nate Moore, executive producer of Civil War, says this movie shows a different side of Steve Rogers, a man who has always been willing to follow orders and sacrifice for others. "Sometimes it can become personal. Sometimes you can find him off balance," Moore says. "And that’s more interesting because that allows your characters to grow and be different."
Part Three of EW's Four-Section Captain America: Civil War Cover Spread
Here's Don Cheadle's War Machine, hovering over Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow – both of them backing Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man. Downey, who launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008's Iron Man, says Tony Stark is feeling his years, and recalculating the losses that have come from his battles. "He’s a little more technical than emotional," Downey says. "But I think the other thing too is, it’s typical at this phase of someone’s life that ... he does not have an unexamined life. I think he’s bringing that into the conflict, you know?"
Part Four of EW's Four-Section Captain America: Civil War Cover Spread
This cover includes Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther, who makes a point of never removing his mask in public when he's in the vibranium uniform, and Paul Bettany's Vision, the synthezoid powered by the Mind Stone. Vision explains his calculus for siding with #TeamCap, in favor of government oversight of heroes. Screenwriter Stephen McFeely says Vision bases this on "the idea that the existence of the superheroes exponentially creates more threats. They just sort of invite this stuff. So there’s an equation, basically." Given how many new heroes are being added to the Marvel movie unvierse, the threats are just going to keep on growing.