Once upon a time, both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America 3 were scheduled to release on the same day – May 6th, 2016. Eventually, Batman v Superman would move up to March 25th, while it was revealed that the Marvel threequel would adapt the Civil War storyline, which pits Captain America against Iron Man.
So, that’s two superhero versus films released in the span of a few weeks. And it turns out that one did in fact have a role in the creation of the other.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Civil War co-director Joe Russo discussed how the film is a “risky” deconstruction of not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but of the superhero genre as a whole. On being able to tell such a distinct storyline, he says, “You have to feel that the market is saturated enough that the audience is ready for something different. It’s a calculated risk. But again, that’s what gets me out of bed. I’m much more interested in deconstructing the genre than doing the traditional execution of it.”
Russo also praises fans and audience members for being more willing to accept stories that break new ground, citing Deadpool‘s huge success. He then comments on his and brother Anthony‘s desire to deconstruct the entire MCU. “There have been 11 or 12 movies so far, all with a fairly traditional structure. Our pitch to them was: People will tell you they love chocolate ice cream — until you give it to them five days a week. It’s time to give them some rainbow sherbet.”
And how did the announcement of Batman v Superman affect Civil War getting the greenlight? “Kevin [Feige] is a maverick and he’s very sensitive to how people are responding to his content,” says Joe, “He said he thought we might be right. And after they announced Batman v Superman, he said, ‘you guys are absolutely right.’ We needed to do something challenging with the material or we were going to start to lose the audience.”
For those who don’t know, Batman v Superman was originally announced in July 2013 at San Diego Comic-Con. Civil War wasn’t announced until October 2014. Say what you will about Batman v Superman, but the film sought to break new ground in the comic book movie genre, standing out from the norm. And Marvel seemingly took note of that significance. And thus, we have Civil War.
For the rest of THR’s interview with Joe Russo, where he discusses the Chinese film industry and collaborating with Marvel Studios, click HERE.