Captain America: Civil War – 20 Things you (probably) did NOT know about the Marvel stars
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- Published on Friday, 29 April 2016 11:02
- Last Updated on 29 April 2016
- Monica Costa
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Inspired by the Captain America: Civil War European press conference I am listing 20 behind-the-scenes things that you (probably) did not know about the Marvel stars in the highly anticipated movie from Marvel Studios, the third film in the Captain America franchise and the first film in what is called Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (following the events presented in the comic books).
It’s great to get star-strucked at these exclusive press events because they shed some light into the filming process behind the production of movies that make us dream and laugh. Spot me and Freda in this clip from the press conference.
It felt somehow really safe to be in the same room with most of the Avengers at the Corinthia Hotel this week. The Marvel stars attending the press meeting to promote Captain America: Civil War included Chris Evans (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Avengers”) as the iconic Super Hero character Steve Rogers/Captain America; Robert Downey Jr. (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3”) as Tony Stark/Iron Man; Sebastian Stan (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Black Swan”) as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier; Anthony Mackie (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Hurt Locker”) as Sam Wilson/Falcon; Jeremy Renner (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”) as Clint Barton/Hawkeye; Paul Bettany (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3”) as Vision; Elizabeth Olsen (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Godzilla”) as Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlet Witch; Paul Rudd (“Ant-Man,” “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”) as Scott Lang/Ant-Man; Emily VanCamp (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Revenge”, Brothers & Sisters TV series) as Sharon Carter and Daniel Brühl (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Bourne Ultimatum”) as Zemo.
For background information on the film check our features:
You can watch the full press conference on You Tube or read further for highlights
Here are the 20 Things you (probably) did NOT know about the Marvel stars.
Robert Downing Jr Stardom Perks
Robert Downing Jr (Iron Man) is the biggest star in the Avengers’ franchise with four trailers full of perks where he hosts parties and luncheons for his fellow co-stars during breaks while filming. Making his Captain America franchise debut, Robert Downey Jr. returns as the godfather of all Super Heroes—Tony Stark aka Iron Man.
Captain America v Iron Man – Friends or foes?
While Tony Stark is Captain America’s right hand man on the Avengers, the pair finds themselves having drastically different opinions on whether the team should sign the Sokovia Accords and limit the power and scope of the team. These quotes by the characters themselves explain their different positions in the movie.
“If we can’t accept limitations, we’re no better than the bad guys.” — Tony Stark
“That’s not the way I see it.” — Steve Rogers
However when asked which side he would choose to be on, Chris Evans (Captain America) said that he would be on Iron Man’s side as he believe that Avengers’ type of vigilantes (if they existed) would need to be supervised by United Nations.
To create tension and open storylines, the filmmakers decided to focus on the flaws within the characters and how they affect the relationships within the Avengers. President of Marvel Studios and “Captain America: Civil War” producer Kevin Feige said: “What’s fun about this film is it’s very much a ‘Captain America’ film and Tony Stark is very much a main player in that film. What is also great throughout the story is that we get to see the two sides of all the characters’ personalities, good and bad, their viewpoint on the world and their opinion on how the Avengers should operate.”
Another challenge for the screenwriters and filmmakers was deciding which characters would follow Captain America and which ones would follow Tony Stark’s lead when the Avengers become fractured after a tense meeting with Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross, who forces them to either sign the Sokovia Accords or no longer be part of the team. “We certainly shuffled lineups,” says executive producer Louis D’ Esposito. “In the comics there are 200 people in the Civil War, but fortunately we have to work only with the characters that are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
The truth behind the helicopter scene
Chris Evans strained his powerful and well toned muscles while filming the scene when he pulls the helicopter. He said his arm hasn’t returned to normal yet. Robert Downing Jr has helped him since with all sorts of natural aids. They might be foes in this movie but they are great buddies in real life!
No CGI was used to enhance Cap’s muscles which were the result of hard training.
Co-director Joe Russo praised Chris Evans’ multiple talents: “There’s a real gravitas and maturity that Captain America naturally exudes. I also think it is reflective of where Chris Evans is in his life. He’s an incredibly technically gifted actor who has a great understanding of where the cameras are and what he needs to deliver. He also is amazing with physicality and we let Chris do a lot of his own fighting and stunts. I think that adds a level of realism that we crave. Over the course of the franchise he really has successfully taken the character from someone who is taking orders in the first movie to becoming an institution and who is now giving orders as a kind of revolutionary. So it’s a really interesting arc for somebody named Captain America.”
The ‘hot’ costumes
Responsible for all the costumes Marvel stars wear in this movie is costume designer JUDIANNA MAKOVSKY, a 3-time Academy Award® nominee for her work on the films “Seabiscuit,” “Pleasantville” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” for which she was also nominated for a BAFTA award.
The hot suites are really well designed but apparently hot if worn for long hours.
Chris Evans said that acting in the Avengers action movies requires strength and physical preparation and that at the end of the shooting everyone tends to loose weight for being in hot suites for many hours. The toughest costume was confirmed to be Paul Bettany’s Vision. Cap/Chris said he loves his character but would not like to wear that outfit for as long as Paul did during filming.
If you have the time, watch the press conference video to see the Avengers joke about their tight costumes. They are hilarious especially Paul Bettany and Paul Rudd. At some point, a journalist asked the question ‘Do you guys compare who has it worse as far as the costumes, especially the new guys?’ and Paul Bettany said: ‘I think it’s a photo finish. But, I think, Chadwick (Boseman aka T’Challa/Black Panther) with the whole not being able to breathe business …’. Then Robert Downing Jr replied: ‘You can’t tell with Paul (Bettany) because he’s British. It is hard to know how excruciating it is (Note: referring to Vision’s costume). We should all be more like Paul.’ Chris Evans loved Vision’s costume but he said he would not like to be in it for too long and also he would not enjoy sitting for hours to get the make-up done.
Black Widow’s new look
When it comes to Scarlett Johansson’s looks for her character Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, costume designer Makovsky states that they “are dictated by the script and the story.” ‘In the ‘Captain America’ films she is in clothing more than Super Hero clothes,’ she explains. ‘Her Black Widow is much sleeker in this film. Her suit is not leather, but a more tactical stretch cordura rather than the usual printed stretch fabrics we use, although there is some of that in strategic places for mobility. I wanted a more cat-suit feel to it.’
Continuing, the costume designer offers, ‘Most of Scarlett’s clothing was custom made for her, except things like jeans and t-shirts. I like to make contemporary clothing as much as possible so it reflects the feeling of the script, the action requirements, as well as a controlled palette.’
Elaborating on her character’s look, Scarlett Johansson adds, ‘The suit has had many incarnations but it’s pretty streamlined. This time around we gave her a sleeker uniform look. In the past it’s been utilitarian-looking. This time it’s a little bit closer to the actual comics, which I think the fans will like.’
Stan Lee’s Cameos
All Marvel films are united by one thing: 93 year old Stan Lee cameos. For those readers out there who are not familiar with Stan, he is the man whose superheroes propelled Marvel to its preeminent position in the comic book industry. Stan Lee’s co-creations include Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange.
Now the chairman emeritus of Marvel Media, Lee first became publisher of Marvel Comics in 1972. He is recognized as the creative force that brought Marvel to the forefront of the comic publishing industry. In 1977 he introduced Spider-Man as a syndicated newspaper strip that became the most successful of all syndicated adventure strips and now appears in more than 500 newspapers worldwide—making it the longest running of all superhero strips.
His work spans from 1939 to 2016 covering the development of the movies from the origins. Over his career he has made almost 30 cameos in Marvel movies. During the press conference Emmy® Award-winning directors Anthony and Joe Russo have confirmed that Lee makes his appearances depending on his time, schedule and willingness to travel to film locations. The cameo in Captain America: Civil War is absolutely brilliant and apparently the last Stan Lee will be filming. He stars here as the FedEx guy who delivers an amicable letter from Captain America to Iron Man right at the end. He says: There’s a parcel for Mr Sucks …. Hilarious. Watch it carefully!
Sherlock star Martin Freeman is in this movie too!
Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies”) stars as Everett Ross who deals with high security prisoners. He brings his usual British humour to a character who would be a bit boring or too serious otherwise.
Who is Captain America’s right hand? Bucky/Winter Soldier or Falcon?
Returning after his debut in “Captain: The Winter Soldier” is Sam Wilson aka Falcon. A fully initiated Avenger now, Anthony Mackie plays the Falcon who has become Steve’s right hand man on the team. “In this film, Sam Wilson has moved into a more authoritative role,” informs Mackie. “He’s more of an ally and companion to Steve. He has more input on the missions and what’s going on.”
Mackie, who in the flesh seems really hilarious and a good fun member of the cast, continues, “Sam truly believes that sometimes you can’t walk the straight and narrow to do good all the time because guys doing bad definitely aren’t walking the straight and narrow. So Sam completely disagrees with the Accords. He completely disagrees with Tony and the way the Avengers are perceived. Captain America was designed as a super soldier for the betterment of all men. So why now would you look at him and say that he’s a detriment to all men?”
My perception of fun Falcon / Mackie is confirmed by the directors. “Anthony Mackie has really added so much to the character since his first appearance in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’” says Joe Russo. “The character popped up in both ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and ‘Ant-Man.’ Anthony is such a great actor, and he and Chris make a really great on-screen duo. Sam really brings out the lighter side of Cap and helps bring some lighter moments that play so real and grounded.”
For Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson is also a beacon of support when circumstances are revealed that find him struggling in his personal life and relationships. “Falcon is Captain America’s brother in arms and best friend in the modern world,” says Anthony Russo. “He believes deeply in Captain America and is his meter for honesty and truth, and he really supports Steve in every way.”
“Sam Wilson has been Cap’s right hand man for a while now,” says Chris Evans. “Over the years they have grown close on a personal level as he is one of the few people that Cap feels like he can trust. Sam also has a military background so they can relate to each other on that level and have a lot of the same values and virtues.”
Is Hawkeye a bad boy?
Jeremy Renner (who plays Hawkeye in the Avengers) was the real joker during the press conference. He pretended not to listen or to keep his ears shut to avoid spoilers as he apparently hadn’t seen the movie yet. Robert Downing Jr suggested that he is the real party boy on set and outside. Apparently he’s the one you can ‘guarantee good entertainment although not to get you back home in one piece’.
His character Clint Barton aka Hawkeye, returns to the mix. “It’s really like a direct link from ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ into ‘Captain America: Civil War,’” says Renner. “When we last left Hawkeye, he went back to see his family. That was where he was the entire time until the Avengers started fighting. So he comes out of retirement, if you will, when he is asked to come help out Steve.”
Why does Iron Man recruit teenager Spiderman?
Making his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland. Playing Spider-Man is a dream-come-true for the 19-year-old Holland, who became a Spider-Man super-fan after seeing the first movie. ‘I remember watching that as a kid and just losing my mind,’ says Holland. ‘It was the first superhero film I had ever seen and ever since then I’ve just been hooked. I have countless photos of me as a kid dressed as Spiderman. I have Spiderman toys everywhere and I used to have Spiderman bed sheets. So I remember when they were casting ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’—I was probably 15—I asked my agents if there was any chance. They said no, but then the third time it came around I was like, ‘Come on guys, third time lucky, can I please get an audition?’ And here I am today.’
For directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the opportunity to introduce Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War was an interesting and exciting challenge. ‘We had a very strong point of view of what we wanted to do with the character in this film and what we felt Marvel should do with the character moving forward,’ explains Joe Russo. ‘We were very aggressive on the casting front, looking for the right actor, the right age. I felt it was better to go much younger and to not have somebody who was 30 playing a 16 year old. It was more important to find somebody more age appropriate that would convey that energy and that naiveté that would come from being that age and having that kind of power. We also thought it was really interesting to take that naiveté and smash it into the cynicism of Tony Stark. What better way to bring that character into the MCU than through Tony Stark?’
In Civil War, Iron Man feels ‘understaffed’ while fronting the growing number of Avengers supporting Cap so he seeks out teenager Peter Parker to join his team as he believes that Spiderman is one of the most powerful superheroes (in the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Co-director Joe Russo explained that Spider-Man had particular skills set for Tony to help in the fight against Captain America’s team. During the press conference he said: ‘There’s a certain narcissism to the character and Tony doesn’t want to lose this fight, and he also sees Spiderman as the greatest living non-lethal weapon. If you’re going out to capture a bunch of people who you don’t necessarily want to hurt, you couldn’t ask for a better character than Spiderman to take with you.’
We assume that Tony can access super intelligence to find out Peter Parker’s secret and his address. When he shows up to convince the teenager, he shows him a video where Spiderman stops a car moving 40 miles an hour, catches it and puts it back on the ground. He feels Iron Man could act like a tutor or patron to Spiderman. One of the journalists jokingly questioned the recruitment of such a young person to be an Avenger and even mentioned exploitation of minor labour. To this fellow director Anthony Russo joked ‘It’s still very irresponsible’.
British Teenage actor Tom Holland (“In the Heart of the Sea,” “The Impossible”) as Spider-Man was so promising that according to Robert Downing Jr he will be great when he’ll have his own show. British actor Holland would be the youngest Peter Parker ever. Marisa Tomei (“My Cousin Vinny,” “Love the Coopers”) as Auntie May Parker would be one of the youngest and certainly the most glamorous auntie on Spiderman’s history.
From various comments among the actors, the directors and Marvel president Kevin Feige we understood that with Captain America: Civil War started a wonderful ‘father-son’ type of relationship between Iron Man and Spider-Man and that Robert Downey Jr will star in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which will be the first film where Tom Holland will own his own Spiderman ‘show’. The new Spidey movie is supposed to be released on 7 July 2017.
Why we don’t see Thor and Hulk in Civil War
With screenwriters Markus and McFeely putting the final touches on the screenplay, the filmmakers turned their sights on finalising the cast of characters that would be included in the epic “Civil War” story line. “We really started the process by taking a cue from the previous films,” explains executive producer Nate Moore. “We looked at where these characters left films like ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ and even ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ and vetted ideas on the best way to plug them into story we wanted to tell. That’s the reason why you don’t see Thor and Hulk. It’s not because we don’t like those characters, it’s just that their stories naturally took them to a place that meant they didn’t need to be involved in this film.”
Ant Man or Gi-Ant Man?
Another new face on the Avengers team is Scott Lang aka Ant-Man. For actor Paul Rudd, making his first crossover into another franchise was a bit surreal for the actor. ‘It’s been a real trippy experience so far and amazing,’ says Rudd. ‘When we shot ‘Ant-Man,’ I thought, it’s amazing, it’s great, it’s really fun, but we were also kind of working in a bubble. When I showed up here for the first time and was doing a scene with Captain America and Falcon and all of them, I turned into a bit of a 10 year old. It was pretty strange and really cool. For the first time I thought, ‘Man, I really am part of it,’ and it’s exciting.’
Rudd describes how his character comes into the film. ‘In ‘Ant Man,’ the character has a bit of a run-in with Falcon, so the Avengers are aware of him. Ant-Man unknowingly gets recruited by Falcon into this whole scenario, which is confusing to him. He doesn’t really know exactly what’s happening. Nonetheless it’s like you’re meeting Captain America, so thanks for calling.’
For the Avengers, encountering the powers of the pint-sized superhero creates a lot of havoc and new challenges. ‘At first glance you may think Ant-Man is going to be overmatched when he faces the other Avengers, but the truth is the power to shrink is something that shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated,’ say executive producer Nate Moore. ‘The way he uses his powers when he encounters some of the Avengers is going to be a lot of fun for audiences to watch and he has a few tricks up his sleeve as well.’
The biggest trick up Ant-Man’s sleeve is how he manages to reverse the miniature process and become a Gi-Ant Man. You have to see the movie to get this.
One of the most anticipated additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making his debut in Captain America: Civil War, is T’Challa aka Black Panther. In casting the pivotal character that will have the first film of its franchise in 2018, the filmmakers chose Chadwick Boseman, who caught the eye of Hollywood playing Jackie Robinson in the film 42. “We’ve been seeding the notion of the Black Panther and the nation of Wakanda all the way back to ‘Iron Man 2,’” explains Kevin Feige. “So it really felt like the time was right to bring in a character that had his own agenda and Chadwick Boseman was our first choice to play him. He is an incredibly talented actor who possessed all of the qualities that we wanted to inject into the character.”
Feige adds, “So much of the Civil War story is told from Captain America’s point of view. We’ve brought in Tony Stark to showcase the other side of that argument. But at the same time we thought it would be fun to introduce a third side and do it with a character that audiences have wanted to see for many years. So we meet T’Challa aka Black Panther, who really doesn’t agree with either side in particular and can represent sort of fresh eyes on the situation with the Avengers. But he also has his own agenda, which has a great impact on both sides.”
Describing Black Panther, Boseman offers, “He is a paradox. He is so aware of and so connected to tradition and lineage. Yet, he is a forward thinker, a maverick. He is very strategic. You never know quite what he’s going to do next, so there’s a certain mystery about the character. At the same time, he’s a public figure. Known by everyone but known by no one.”
On his approach to bringing Black Panther to life, Boseman says, “I think when you become an actor it’s very advantageous to be an avid reader, which I am, so I went out and collected as much source material as I could possibly find and started going through it all. There have been various writers throughout the years in the comics, so there were many possibilities on which way to go with the character. He’s a king, he’s a monarch and at the same time he’s a Super Hero. He has this quality of being very strategic and you never know quite what he’s going to do next because he’s always one step ahead of everyone. There is a light and darkness to play in this character, so there is a certain mystery about him, and I feel like it’s better to play a hero like a villain, which is the beauty of playing a character like Black Panther.”
Continuing, Boseman explains, “I wanted to be as true as possible to the comic-book character because it’s a character that people have been waiting on. The character and the world he’s from inspire you to pull from historical kings, warriors and kingdoms, especially those from African civilizations. That’s part of the fun of the role for me. You also want to ground the character in something tangible and real. Talking to African people, listening to people from the continent. And then there was definitely a lot of physical preparation for the role.”
For Robert Downey Jr., the addition of Black Panther to the film was a huge plus. “Of all the announcements that were made when we were at the Marvel Cinematic Universe event at the El Capitan, being able to say that Black Panther was going to be part of this film and get his own franchise was incredibly gratifying for me,” admits Robert Downey Jr. “I think it’s really a sign of how Marvel keeps reacting and responding to what the fans want and adding more diversity and new excitement to the universe.”
“Chadwick is a brilliant actor,” praises Joe Russo. “He brings a quiet intensity and regal wisdom to the part of Black Panther, which distinguishes him from other heroes in the universe. His intensity brings an edge to the character that helps us ground the film.”
The smart villain Zemo
While the Avengers are busy dividing into different factions, the mysterious Zemo, played by Daniel Brühl, is busy with his own agenda. ‘While the story of ‘Civil War’ primarily is about the conflict between Captain America and Iron Man, at the same time in the story there is somebody in the shadows operating who is not responsible for the events that lead up to the Civil War, but is someone who is fanning the flames,’ explains Kevin Feige. ‘He’s a very different kind of character who has his own backstory and motivation.’
The producer continues, ‘We wanted to see what it would be like for someone to take on the Avengers without throwing a single punch and that really is something that has been intriguing to us as we put this film together. We cast Daniel Brühl (a big Marvel fan) to play this role, and he is so cunning and has such presence that even without an army or an armored suit he has an impact on what is going on in the story.’
‘Daniel has a very pivotal role in the film and it was very important for us to give Zemo a valid point of view,’ explains Anthony Russo. ‘The heart of how we constructed the narrative and the storytelling of this movie is that every character has some validity to their point of view. We’ve always been more excited by characters who do have a valid point of view and found them to be much scarier and more threatening than a character you can write off as crazy or hinged. So Brühl has this amazing ability as an actor to hold together both somebody who’s very dangerous and scary, while at the same time being very grounded in very relatable, human emotions and experience.’
That kiss! Has Captain America finally found a love interest?
We see Captain American kiss a girl in this movie. The lucky lady is Agent 13/Sharon Carter, played by Emily Van Camp (Brothers & Sisters), comes back to add some spark to Cap’s personal life. ‘Obviously there was a connection in the ‘Winter Soldier,’ but I think he was sort of taken aback by that as well,’ says VanCamp. ‘I love my character’s admiration for what she stands for, and we get to explore that a little bit in this. It’s very clear whose team she’s on and it’s nice to have a strong point of view.’
For Chris Evans, Sharon Carter finally gives his character a potential love interest. ‘Sharon and Steve had a budding romance in the ‘Winter Soldier’ prior to him finding out that she was deceiving him,’ says Chris Evans. ‘But in this film Sharon is moving more and more into the front of the options for Steve in his personal life.’
‘What’s great about this is that you get to see Steve Rogers as a man outside of the suit,’ informs Anthony Russo. ‘He’s a man who is faced with the opportunity for a relationship that he hasn’t had in 80 years. Putting him in those kinds of situations and facing him with decisions that he hasn’t had to make before was really important because we want to continue to grow the character and make him more interesting.’
International film locations
With the story of Captain America: Civil War taking place all over the world the production would find itself based in familiar territory, anchoring at Pinewood Atlanta Studios with various units shooting in Germany, Austria, Iceland, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Brazil and the United Kingdom during the film’s production schedule.
While the production would use Pinewood Atlanta Studios as its home base, it also ventured out to shoot many practical locations in and around the Atlanta area in order to capture the visceral and grounded tone that has become the trademark for the franchise.
While the filmmakers had solved the location problem, the only intangible they could not control was the weather, which proved to be one of the biggest challenges for the cast and crew when blistering summer heat wave in Atlanta kept temperatures in the mid-90s.
While the cast and crew enjoyed traveling overseas and taking in all the sights and sounds of Berlin and Leipzig, the German portion of the schedule was a homecoming for cast member Daniel Brühl who lives in Berlin and owns a restaurant in the city.
The airport battle
The epic, 16-minute battle required enormous preparation and took four weeks to shoot. The major challenge was making sure everyone and everything was in the right place. Young describes the excitement and challenges of shooting the scene: “There is so much going on, where at one point you have Panther, Cap, Widow and War Machine over here. And you have the Spidey and Iron Man, all these guys over here. So we’d try and map all the action to where at any time in the pre-vis we would know what part of the airport people are in. But it wasn’t just for the ground people because at the same time you had Iron Man and Falcon and Vision in the sky. There were always a lot of questions about whether or not someone was in the right place. If you had Black Panther fighting in the foreground, you had to match who’s in the background.”
One thing that was certain through all the action and fight scenes was that the filmmakers did not want there to be fighting for the sake of fighting. They wanted the fights to be fresh and instead of just punches and kicks, the filmmakers and the actors worked to bring something more heartfelt and emotional to the fights. As Hargrave concludes, “In this film you cover every spectrum of emotion and action. And it’s going to be one hell of a ride.”
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums