Movies

The Russos Tease A New Steve Rogers In ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ And Kill Those Pesky X-Men Rumors

With the latest Marvel blockbuster Captain America: Civil War set to hit digital on Sept. 2 and Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 13, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been making the media rounds to talk about the past, present, and future of their comic-book movie exploits. For starters, the duo revisited a pre-Civil War dilemma that had us all wondering if we’d seen the last of Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Could the Marvel Cinematic Universe have thrived or even survived without its biggest star? Possibly. But Civil War would have had a much different story.

Downey’s contract with Marvel had expired, and while it was hard to imagine him turning down another monster deal to return for at least one more film, there were rumors that he was ready to move on. It didn’t help that his younger co-stars felt disrespected and underpaid, and so the Russos told Entertainment Weekly how they had to get rolling on a backup plan in the event that Downey was done. Instead of Civil War, the brothers would have gone back to a 1976 Jack Kirby story to have Chris Evans’ Cap taking on pissed off hordes of Average Joes.

“There was a period where we did discuss a third act that revolved around the Madbomb from Cap mythology,” Anthony Russo said. “It didn’t have anything to do with Civil War, and if we couldn’t get Downey – in the very, very early conversations before we nailed him – somebody pitched the idea of a third-act that revolved around the Madbomb, which makes people crazy. It almost like zombifies them – but not literally.”

“The charm of the Madbomb is that you turn hordes of people into berserkers,” Anthony said. “That was the physical challenge that Cap and company would have had to face.” (Via EW)

Alas for Madbomb fans, Downey is a wise man who knew it would be silly to turn down all that money — even though he said he stuck around because it felt nice to be needed — and so we’ll have to save the Madbomb for another day.

As for Civil War, the result of the fight between Tony and Steve Rogers over the Winter Soldier’s biggest kills left a huge question about what’s next for Captain America. Leaving the shield behind is a big indicator for devoted comic book fans, but the casual movie audience might not have understood the significance. It certainly doesn’t mean that Chris Evans is done, but it gives us an idea of how Avengers: Infinity War will begin, with Steve likely fighting crime under another name, as the Russos teased with the Huffington Post.

“I think him dropping that shield is him letting go of that identity,” said Joe. “[It’s] him admitting that certainly the identity of Captain America was in conflict with the very personal choice that he was making.”

We know Cap will be back in the “Avengers: Infinity War” movies. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely previously told HuffPost that part of the reason Cap wasn’t killed in “Civil War” is because the Avengers need him.

“There’s a big purple guy coming. He could be very helpful,” said Markus. (Via HuffPo)

If Steve doesn’t want to be Captain America, then we will likely see him help the Avengers battle Thanos as the Nomad, who looks like this:

Please, please, please use that costume design. But just as Steve’s run as the Nomad was short-lived in comic books, we can probably expect Captain America to pick up his shield once more when the world desperately needs him.

Perhaps the biggest mystery involving Infinity War, though, involves the film’s massive cast. We already know that the next Avengers movie features at least 67 “distinct characters,” and thanks to Vin Diesel’s big mouth, it’s certain that the crossover we were told would never happen is happening. So, the Guardians of the Galaxy are joining the Avengers, and we know Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel will show up, too. But what about that big rumor from several months ago? Are the X-Men finally entering the MCU?

“As far as we know, right now there isn’t talk regarding the X-Men,”Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War co-director Joe Russo tells ComicBook.com. “I don’t know if behind-the-scenes there were conversations or if there are conversations happening but we certainly haven’t heard of any.”

“Sony and Marvel had a relationship through Kevin [Feige] and Amy [Pascal] and through us and Amy,” Joe Russo explains. “That’s really how Spider-Man came about. It requires a certain alchemy and a very special situation for studios to share properties.” (Via ComicBook.com)

Joe also flat-out stated that there was never any talk of having the X-Men appear in Civil War, which makes perfect sense, because that would have been a pretty crowded movie. Infinity War, however, is going to be pretty darn crowded. Of course, the huge cast could simply mean we get to watch the Netflix and S.H.I.E.L.D. teams being wiped out by Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet to impress Death, but it would be pretty sweet (and sensible) to have Fox’s new stable of gifted mutants, including Channing Tatum as Gambit, introduced in a battle with a titan. Even if their presence is quick, it could still be astonishing.

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