Every year around this time, we movie fans start getting a little excited. It's time for the Summer Blockbusters! This year, we have been waiting, rather impatiently, for the release of the newest addition to the Marvel Universe - Captain America: Civil War.
Part excitement, part curiosity. How are they going to craft a story where the Avengers get so torn apart that they actually turn on each other? Ah, but this is where we have to trust in the genius that is Marvel.
I recently had the wonderful opportunity to attend the press conference for the new film, which was presented in two parts. (I think because all that Awesome on one stage would have melted our cameras, but that's not important right now.)
First up was Team Ironman:
- Director Anthony Russo
- Paul Bettany (“Vision”)
- Robert Downey Dr. (“Tony Stark / Iron Man”)
- Don Cheadle (“James Rhodes / War Machine”)
- Emily Van Camp (“Sharon Carter / Agent 13”)
- Producer Kevin Feige
I found Robert Downey Jr. to be more generous and gracious than I've ever seen him. The film obviously has a very emotional center and Robert praised Marvel profusely for not losing any of the emotional impact while maintaining all the amazingly heart-stopping action.
He deferred often to his colleagues and had nothing but love for his team, in particular, he praised the younger members of the cast, notably Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spiderman). Of course, at the end of the day, he's still very much Robert Downey Jr. the Showman and provided lots of delicious moments in the press conference and received the greatest applause in a room full of nerdy fan-boy(& girl) journalists.
He just commands your attention when he's in the room. Robert really does bring all the fun. And he fully embraces that leadership role as does his character, Tony Stark. He can dish as well as take it. And his team members are pretty merciless in making him the butt of their jokes (with love).
It was delicious to watch.
Next up was Team Cap:
- Producer Kevin Feige
- Director Joe Russo
- Jeremy Renner (“Clint Baron / Hawkeye”)
- Elizabeth Olsen (“Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch”)
- Chris Evans (“Steve Rogers / Captain America”)
- Sebastian Stan (“Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier”)
- Anthony Mackie (“Sam Wilson / Falcon”)
- Paul Rudd (“Scott Lang / Ant-Man”)
Just when you thought this press conference couldn't get any better, here came the 2nd group of Beautiful People.
We had SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. I appreciate that when Marvel takes on such a tremendous undertaking as making another film for the Marvel Universe that they don't take shortcuts. My favorite was the all-out action fight scene at the airport. (I don't think I'm giving anything away here.)
Chris Evans talked about the personal discomfort during the filming - "It was great. It was hot. It was Atlanta in August." But then he went on to express his certainty that Marvel and his directors, the Russos knew exactly how to tell the story and make the action a natural part of it. "You have confidence that it is going to be something special. There is an energy on the set and an excitement that keeps you invested."
The absolute surprise to me in all of this was Paul Rudd (Ant-Man). He ruled that stage. Quick with a quip and a comeback. It was obvious to all that they were delighted to welcome him as the newest member of this amazing team.
The biggest question of the day was: What about Spiderman? (I'd put it in all caps, but then you'd think I was yelling and I don't want to scare you.)
Kevin Feige said it best, ”There has never been an ensemble like this in cinematic history.”
Russo expounded, “It was very important to everyone. We knew we wanted to tell a complicated story that went to very dark places. We like very well-rounded movies that make us laugh and cry. It became important to change the dynamic by bringing in characters that didn’t have the same emotional investment that the Avengers had.”
Through the entirety of the press conference, I was taken aback by what great camaraderie was displayed by the actors and the film makers. In particular how they trusted each other in the making of the film.
But still, it all came down to: Which team would you choose to be on? Team Cap? Or Team Ironman?
Full disclosure: I've already seen the film (twice!) and I am firmly and devotedly #TeamCap.
See what I mean?
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, May 6th, 2016.