Last night, the first trailer for Captain America: Civil War debuting during ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which gave us our first look at the massive battle that will ensue between Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and their respective teams. There is a lot to process in this footage, including our first glimpse at Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther, and a continuation of Ant-Man's end credit sequence, where Cap and The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) have finally tracked down Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). To help break down all of these details, Empire spoke with directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, who offered new insight into Marvel's Phase Three movie, hitting theaters on May 6, 2016.
The directors revealed that the trailer's opening shot, with Cap, The Falcon and Bucky, doesn't happen early on in the film, teasing that there is a "fairly involved" story about how Cap finally tracks down Bucky. We also saw in the trailer that Bucky is finally starting to remember some of his childhood memories with Steve Rogers. Joe Russo reveals that Bucky's memories are back, but they still aren't entirely clear.
"His memories are foggy. But he has them. He's also different now. There's a part of his personality that was under mind control, and he murdered a lot of people. So he's got a very complicated history. Who is that person? How does that character move forward? He's not Bucky Barnes anymore. He's not the Winter Soldier anymore. He's something inbetween."
Steve Rogers also tells Bucky that he's a "wanted man," as we see footage of a government building exploding. Bucky claims that he isn't in that line of work anymore, but it's still unclear whether or not Bucky is responsible for that massive explosion. The directors would only tease that his history with Hydra 'pulls him into a new conflict.' The trailer also gives us our first look at William Hurt's General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, who hasn't been seen since 2008's The Incredible Hulk. Here's what Joe Russo had to say about bringing Ross into this story, and how they examine the politics of Captain America.
"We thought it would be interesting to take a character who had a fanatical anti-superhero point of view. 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-maneuvering them. You cannot have a character called Captain America without examining the politics of what that means, especially in this day and age. 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?"
The directors also revealed how the iconic Civil War comic book, written by Mark Millar, served as a backbone to this story. While this story isn't a straight-up adaptation of the comic, they did use the aspects of superhero registration and the government overseeing these heroes. Anthony Russo revealed that the story shows how the idea of registration complicates personal relationships between these heroes.
"The challenge was, we're doing the story of Civil War. Which everybody knows is nominally about superhero registration. And in a lot of ways that can be a political issue, and we didn't want the conflict of the movie to solely exist on that level. We wanted to figure out very personal reasons why everyone's relationship to this idea of registration is going to become complicated. That's what the relationship between Steve and Bucky allowed us to do, to get very personal in terms of why people would lean one way or the other."
Instead of the Superhero Registration Act from the comics, the "registration" is pushed through an initiative known as the Sokovia Accords, named after the European town that was destroyed in this summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron. While the name may be different, the result is essentially the same, with the Accords causing a divide between these heroes. Here's what Joe Russo had to say about the Accords.
"The Accords are the world jointly trying to govern the Avengers moving forward. It has to do with the effects of Ultron and Sokovia, and New York City , and Washington D.C. 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?"
With Captain America: Civil War hitting theaters on May 6, 2016, it isn't known when the studio may release a second trailer, but it's possible that we may get our next glimpse during the Super Bowl in February. Then again, it's possible that the studio may air the trailer during an episode of ABC's Marvel's Agent Carter, which returns in January, or any other show on the Disney-owned ABC lineup. Let us know what you think of these new details, and visit Empire for the full trailer breakdown.