By all accounts, Captain America: Civil War will be a gamechanger for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and its directors, the Russo brothers, are creating strong comparisons for the film. According to Collider, the Russos are comparing Civil War not just to David Fincher's Seven, but to the Coen Brothers' Fargo and Frances Ford Coppola's The Godfather.
While those are big comparisons to make, the Russos were quick to clarify that Civil War resembles The Godfather because it is a “sprawling film with a lot of characters that tells very intricate stories. Each character has an arc.”
Though Civil War will bring the larger story of the MCU forward, there are some major future plot points it won't touch on. When asked by HitFix whether the Inhumans would play a role in Captain America: Civil War, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely didn't give a firm "yes" or "no" but admitted they weren't up-to-date on the Inhumans storyline as seen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
However, the writers did offer some insight into the inciting incidents that will set off the superhero conflict, comparing the events of the film to the events that caused the comic book Civil War on which the film is based.
“There will be a Stamford Incident but it's not Stamford,” McFeely explained. “We'll have an incident that will force the governments of the world to go, ‘Wait a second. Let's talk about the laundry list of things that we're not happy about. Let's finally do something about that.’ It's more about oversight than unmasking or outing anyone.”
As for what causes the film's equivalent of the "Stamford Incident," executive producer Nate Moore coyly mentioned a returning villain from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
“Crossbones is interesting. Again, a character who we all love and an actor we all love. We felt like there was a really good way for him to, once again, kind of fan the conflict that was already brewing. Here’s a guy who is a free radical. Hydra has kind of gone under. He’s sort of doing his own thing now. What happens when he pops back up? He is, I think, probably more unhinged than he was in the last film. He is definitely serving his own agenda. He’s not afraid to kill people along the way. So he becomes almost the spark point for what happens with the rest of the film.”
Another major MCU throughline that the film won't touch on is the building conlfict with Thanos, who will be the villain of the Russos' next Marvel effort, Avengers: Infinity War Parts One and Two.
“Because we've got so much cosmic-ness waiting, we are more than happy to keep it waiting,” Markus told CinemaBlend. “Because, you know... Civil War is such a grounded argument, that you don't want to go, [whispers] 'Actually, that's not very important because there's a space man coming.' We all know there's a space man coming, but it's going to blow this argument out of the water if you bring it up. So all that has to stay far enough away.”
As for what will be in the film, one of Civil War's main setpieces will be a 15-minute battle sequence filmed entirely in IMAX. The sequence in question features Cap and Iron Man's teams facing off - a scene that's been featured prominently in the film's trailers.
“We’re referring to this sequence as the Splash Panel or the double panel,” co-director Joe Russo told SuperHeroHype. “If you’re a comic book fan you know that any epic book you would open it up, as a kid I would just go through and look at who was fighting who. I’d stand there in the store for 15 minutes until the guy told me to buy the book or get out. So this sequence is our live-action splash panel or double panel. It’s a big epic sequence.”
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6.