Spoilers ahead for Captain America: Civil War.
Let”s dive into more nitty gritty nerdy details of Captain America: Civil War. Here we”re taking a close look at the new Marvel movie”s production design.
HitFix chatted with Civil War production designer Owen Paterson on a phone call that was late afternoon for us and mid-morning for him – he”s based in Australia – and he revealed some intriguing details about various locations in the movie. From Paterson (whose credits include The Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta, and the 2014 Godzilla movie) we got some insight about Scarlet Witch, Peter Parker, and more of the Avengers via details about the spaces they inhabit.
Read on for scoop about five key Civil War sets.
Image credit: Marvel Studios
The Avengers Compound common room
A bed and breakfast for a biker gang the Avengers Compound is the superteam”s HQ. The building”s interior has a modern and domestic yet corporate feel to it – Paterson picked up that vibe from the Compound”s appearance in Age of Ultron. (Its exterior also was featured in Ant-Man.)
The Avengers” base of operations is located in Upstate New York in the film – in reality, it”s in Atlanta, at One Porsche Drive, the German car company”s North American HQ.
In the common area of the Compound, Paterson”s team has a chess set there because “they”re smart people,” Paterson said. MCU Vision is likely as much a chess enthusiast as comic book Vision. We can imagine the Avengers challenging each other to a game of chess while waiting for the next crisis to avert (or perhaps not, if the U.N. has its way). The common room “is the sort of place where you lived, you had breakfast, you got briefed, you went out on your mission,” Paterson explained.
Scarlet Witch”s room
In the Avengers Compound, a conversation between Scarlet Witch (a.k.a. Wanda Maximoff) and Cap with an amusing entrance by Vision gives us a chance to check out Wanda”s room.
Its color palette has some muted blues and purples, and there”s some eye-catching decor, like a wooden globe, an hourglass, and a lava lamp. But don”t dig into Wanda”s psyche thinking she picked any of that out herself.
“The Compound is where our heroes lived, and they could sleep in a room which are very much like hotel rooms almost, not very personalized,” Paterson said.
The production designer actually modeled Wanda”s room off his own daughter”s dorm room at Leiden University, where she was studying in the Netherlands just before he started work on Civil War. He used a photo of her room as a reference for how a simple room like that could be personalized a little. There are photos that Wanda”s pinned to her desk – “without being too specific, we were trying to reference her brother and her family,” Paterson said.
There”s also a guitar in the room. “Like many of us at some point, we”ve strummed on a guitar to take our mind off things that are conflicting us. In none of the scenes do we really see her pick it up, but she”s really conflicted as to which way she wants to go,” Paterson said.
The underwater prison where Tony Stark visits imprisoned members of Team Cap takes its inspiration from Marvel Comics” Raft, where super-powered criminals are kept behind bars. It made its first appearance in the comics in a 2003 issue of Jessica Jones series Alias.
From what Paterson tells us, we realize Wanda, Clint Barton, Sam Wilson, and Scott Lang didn”t even get to breathe in some fresh ocean air on the top of the submersible prison when they were transferred from an aircraft to their cells.
“The plane can land and unload a container like the cage Bucky was in, which might have, say, had Scarlet Witch in it,” Paterson explained. “And she”s restrained in the chair, and she goes down into the prison on an elevator, and it autonomously travels around to the back of the cells, and they”re clicked into the cell – all without a human being having to have any interaction with these people.”
Hydra”s Siberian bunker
The remote bunker housing Hydra”s supersoldiers where Zemo lures Cap and Bucky is meant to be a Russian nuclear rocket launching facility that was abandoned or overtaken at the end of the Cold War. In reality, Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan et al only had to travel a bit north of Atlanta, where much of the movie was filmed, to a factory where the set for the bunker was built in a subterranean area of the building.
The cylinder where Bucky is trying to escape from a vengeful Tony Stark would have been the missile launching tube. The platforms where he”s climbing are where technicians would have worked to prep the missile, Paterson said.
The concrete area with slits open to the outside where Bucky, Cap, and Tony end up is where exhaust from the missile would have been released.
“[Directors] Joe and Anthony [Russo] really wanted – when Iron Man was really on his last legs and he's smashed down – they wanted to be able to look out and see the exterior. It”s very hard and cold,” Paterson said. Though you can see the bitter cold of Siberia outside during that dramatic fight, Paterson at the same time aimed for a claustrophobic feel with a low concrete ceiling.
Peter Parker”s room
In Disney and Sony”s team-up, bringing Spider-Man to the MCU”s Avengers, we get another re-introduction of Peter Parker. The walls of Peter”s room in Queens are bare save for a dartboard.
“The [Russo] brothers wanted something that was very very ordinary, like a real 16-year-old kid would live in,” Paterson said. “But they didn”t want to decorate it with posters or anything like that. You kind of got the feeling that he and his aunt hadn”t been there a huge amount of time. I imagine it”s a very temporary space that they”re in.”
So Peter and Aunt May”s lives have been upended by the loss of Uncle Ben even more than you may have assumed. The film takes place less than six months after Uncle Ben”s death (six months after Peter got his powers). It”s likely they had to say goodbye to their home and find a smaller place when their family went from three to two.
More coverage of Captain America: Civil War from HitFix:
Drew McWeeny's review
Alan Sepinwall's spoiler review
Captain America: Civil War: Let's talk about Tony's new tech
Marvel picked the best possible MC for the Captain America: Civil War premiere
The most badass woman in Captain America: Civil War didn't even throw a punch
That shocker in Captain America: Civil War was right in front of your face in Winter Soldier