Captain America: Civil War was generally well-received by audiences, but one of the main criticisms leveled against it is that it didn’t go far enough in fracturing the Avengers. In particular, some fans have questioned why Captain America wasn’t killed off at the end of movie; the original Civil War comic arc ended with an epilogue called “The Death of Captain America,” which saw Steve Rogers bite the dust, so why didn’t the movie follow suit?
During a recent Q&A event promoting the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film, producer Kevin Feige and directors Anthony and Joe Russo were asked whether they had talked about killing Cap off. While they did tease the idea of putting Cap six feet under, it ultimately didn’t fit with their objectives for the film.
“We did [consider it] for a beat, but we talk about everything…we do talk about every possible scenario, over and over and over again for months and months,” Anthony Russo answered. “So yeah, we had talked about it. It would never have made it’s way into a realistic version.”
He continued. “We actually talked about lots of potential characters dying, but that it would undercut what was really the rich tension of the movie, which was that it’s Kramer vs. Kramer. It’s about a divorce. And if somebody dies, it would create empathy [from the other characters], which would change [things], and allow potential repair. We didn’t want to do that.”
Kevin Feige explained that while the film is based on the basic conceit of the Civil War comic arc, they ultimately decided that a character death wasn’t needed in the film to achieve the tone they wanted. “In the comic, in the amazing comic book story, which certainly, the conceit of this movie is based on, some of the specifics, during their big battle, which has a hundred times as many characters, a character died. And we talked about that for a while, and ultimately, what happened to Rhodey (Don Cheadle) in the movie we thought—it would be enough of a downer for the tone of the movie.”
Anthony reaffirmed this stance, stating, “The tragedy is that the family falls apart. Not that the family falls apart and then somebody dies.”
While Marvel has killed off minor characters in the past, including Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), they have yet to showcase the demise of a bigger name hero. Will they finally kill off someone as important as Cap in Avengers: Infinity War? With many of their franchise stars hitting the ends of their contracts with the release of that film, not to mention the subject matter of the film itself, Infinity War certainly feels like it could feature the death of one or several of the Avengers. We’ll know for sure when it hits theaters May 4, 2018.