civil war trailer breakdown

This past week was made even sweeter by the Captain America: Civil War trailer. Marvel debuted our first-look at the film on Thanksgiving eve, on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The trailer for Joe and Anthony Russo‘s sequel promised a fun blend of action and emotion.

After the jump, the Russo brothers give their Captain America: Civil War trailer breakdown.

Empire ran a great feature with the directors explaining what to expect from the battle between Tony Sark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). They don’t divulge too much information, only discussing the set up and the core relationships. If you’re excited for the film, it’s a great read.

Here are six things we learned from the Russo brothers regarding Captain America: Civil War:

The Return of the Thunderbolt 

William Hurt was a fine choice as General Thunderbolt Ross in The Incredible Hulk. The general we’ll see in Civil War, though, is a very different man.

“We thought it would be interesting to take a character who had a fanatical anti-superhero point of view,” says Joe Russo. “Now he’s become much savvier and more political and has put himself in a position of power, not unlike a Colin Powell. He’s cornering the Avengers politically now, he’s out-manoeuvring them.”

Should Superheroes Have Unlimited Power?

What does it mean to be a superhero in today’s world? That’s a question the film will, hopefully, explore.

“You cannot have a character called Captain America without examining the politics of what that means, especially in this day and age,” says Joe Russo. “The heroes in this universe operate under their own auspices, not under the directive of a government, and that can cause a lot of problems. There’s a certain level of imperialism that we’re examining – what right do those that have power have to use that power, even if it’s to do good? How do you govern that kind of power?”

Deviating From “Civil War”

Don’t expect Captain America: Civil War to be too faithful to Mark Millar‘s comic.

“We’re using the essence of what Civil War was about,” says Joe Russo. “The comic book isn’t applicable to the storytelling that we’ve structured up to this point, but the concept of registration, the notion that heroes need to be either monitored or controlled because their power can be scary, is applicable.”

Third Act Mayhem 

There’s a lot of destruction in most of Marvel’s third acts, which is why the ending of Ant-Man is such a breath of fresh air. The Russo brothers want to truly examine what that mayhem means to the world and the characters.

“The Accords are the world jointly trying to govern the Avengers moving forward,” says Joe Russo. “It has to do with the effects of Ultron and Sokovia [the small city that Ultron tried to drop on the Earth from a great height at the end of Age Of Ultron], and New York City [roundly trashed at the end of The Avengers], and Washington D.C. [nearly devastated by falling helicarriers at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier]. Examining the third acts of all the Marvel movies, we’re saying, if you could point to the collateral damage in all those incidents, could you use that against the Avengers to control them?”

Natasha Romanov vs. Steve Rogers

Winter Soldier was somewhat of a two-hander with Rogers and Romanov. Because of how well that bond worked in the sequel, the Russo brothers decided to put that friendship to the test.

“We thought it would be interesting to take that relationship that was so strong in Winter Soldier, and test it,” says Joe Russo. “She sees that they have made mistakes, very public mistakes and she’s trying to convince Steve that it might not be as black and white as he sees it and maybe they have some culpability, and maybe they have to accept that culpability, and then find a way to work within the system so that the Avengers aren’t disbanded.”

No Right or Wrong

There’s one major advantage Captain America: Civil War has over Batman v. Superman: audiences already have a strong connection to these heroes. They’ve seen these relationships build over the years, so once they split, Captain and Iron Man throwing punches at each other should carry some emotional weight.

“When people leave the theatre, they’re going to be arguing about who was right in the movie, whether it was Tony, or whether it was Cap,” says Joe Russo. “Tony has a very legitimate argument in the movie that’s a very adult point of view, about culpability, about the Avengers’ responsibility to the world, and the world’s right to have some sort of control over the Avengers. It’s a very complicated emotional arc for Tony Stark in this movie. Downey is utterly amazing in the part. I think he’s taking this character he’s been crafting for years and goes to some very risky places in the movie with the character.”

Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016.

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