To say that this summer's Captain America: Civil War was Marvel's biggest movie to date is almost an understatement. With the exception of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), all of the Avengers from Phase 1 and Phase 2 suited up in this movie, but it seems likely that another Marvel Phase 3 adventure, Avengers: Infinity War, will be even bigger. The story is so massive, and evolving so much, that writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely don't even know when the script will be completely finished. Today we have more details from directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, who explain how the ending of Civil War actually helps set up Avengers: Infinity War. And how the filmmakers plan on continuing a comedic casting tradition.
Captain America: Civil War was based on Mark Millar's iconic 2006 comic book that divided the entire Marvel roster of comic book heroes. While specifics about how the divide started are different between the comic book and the movie, this rift will set the stage for the rest of Phase Three, leading into Infinity War. Anthony Russo and Joe Russo recently spoke with IGN to promote the Blu-ray and DVD release of Captain America: Civil War, with Joe Russo teasing how the ending of Civil War will help set up Avengers: Infinity War. Here's what he had to say below.
"Part of what excited us about how we could end Civil War, and the fact that there is this divide between Cap and Tony and their relationship that will be very, very difficult for them to ever repair, the fact that the Avengers are divided in two and half of them are now wanted by the law and the other fact are not too comfortable with their fate moving forward, and the fact that Thanos and the Infinity War are coming -- the greatest threat the universe has ever seen is going to come at the moment where the Avengers are arguably at their lowest, at their worst, at their least strong and most divided since they've been formed -- that for us was a very exciting place for us to be as storytellers because of the vulnerable nature of our heroes in that kind of a situation. For us, as we move forward into Infinity War, the condition of the Avengers is very much an important part of how that story starts and what dangers they face moving forward."
Of course, while Civil War may set up Infinity War, there are still several more movies to debut in between them both. Fans will be introduced to Doctor Strange on November 4, with the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 kicking off the 2017 slate on May 5, 2017, followed by Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017) and Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017) arriving next year. Black Panther will return for his stand alone movie on February 16, 2018 before Avengers: Infinity War arrives on May 4, 2018. When asked if they consider Infinity War a direct sequel to Civil War, Anthony Russo had this to say.
"From the point of view of Joe and I, we think about all of these movies as a continuity. The story that we told in Winter Soldier set the basis for the story we told in Civil War, and the story that we told in Civil War is again laying the groundwork for the story that we're going to tell in Avengers: Infinity War. For us, there's a narrative continuity between the movies, and each movie is in many ways setting the stage for the ones that follow. For us, we have a very specific through-line for all those films."
Before making their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut with 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Russo Brothers were best known for their work in comedy, executive producing hit shows like Happy Endings, Arrested Development and Community. Captain America: The Winter Soldier featured cameo appearances by Community star Danny Pudi and recurring star DC Pierson, while this summer's Captain America: Civil War continued the tradition by casting Jim Rash, appropriately, as a liaison at M.I.T. who interacts with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). During a separate interview, Joe Russo confirmed that tradition will continue, but they don't know which Community star will come aboard.
"We're literally in that phase of the pre-production where we start thinking about those kinds of things, and right now we're looking for the right part to see who's a match for the next cameo. Yeah, absolutely. We've got to keep the streak going."
The directors, who are working from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely recently teased that there would be upwards of 67 characters featured in this movie, but they later backed away from that exact figure. Production is scheduled to begin in November, with the directors shooting this movie and the untitled fourth Avengers movie back to back, which is slated for release on May 3, 2019. Stay tuned for more on the highly-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War as we get close to production starting.