‘Captain America: Civil War’ Screenwriters Talk About Killing Superheroes

By May 7, 2016
captain america death featured image

Warning: There be Captain America: Civil War spoilers here.

Maybe one of the more surprising aspects of Captain America: Civil War, which is in theatres everywhere now, was the decision by the film’s creative team not to kill anyone in the film, differentiating it even more from the original comic book story and coming in contradiction to many previous reports leading up to the film’s release, with some saying that there could be as many as three notable deaths in the film.

However, the film ended up leaving all of the major characters alive, and instead, opted for a much more melancholy conclusion as the Avengers were splintered into fractions and left, for all intents and purposes, in pieces.

During a conversation with Comicbook.com as well, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, defended the decision not to kill anyone in the film, despite the reputation that Marvel and many of the other modern comic book films are beginning to receive:

“SM: Hey, we never told anyone someone was going to die!

CM: There is a corporate decision of, “We want that guy fighting in that movie, so you can’t kill him.” But, also, it would wrap up this conflict that we wanted to stay messy and keep it going so that everyone is still a little sick to their stomach about this conflict that they have not concluded.

SM: I see this all the time, like, “In order to shake it up they’ve gotta kill somebody!” Well, the challenge is, I think we shook it up plenty and there are ways to take big swings and move the ball down the field without just murdering half the cast. That’s not the only way you can change the universe.

CM: Plus, comic book movies in general – but Marvel in particular – is accused of none of the deaths last. So, even if you put a death in, people are gonna go, “[Grumbling sounds].” So, it’s like, why bother to do it? You can have more impact not killing somebody than you can killing people at this point. We’ll kill them if they need to die.

SM: We’re not afraid!”

I’ll be honest and say that I was one of the people who walked into the film expecting some heroes to die. In fact, I had even thought at one point that Cap himself might reach the end of his rope in the film, thanks to the inclusion of Frank Grillo’s Crossbones, before being brought back to life in Infinity War Part 2. However, I think that the movie actually benefitted from not killing anyone, as it would have not only slowed down the film’s pacing issues, but might have given one side a leg up over the other, instead of putting them on even footing.

At this point, I think that Infinity War is probably going to have enough death as it is, with several heroes already lined up for the possibility in one of the films (looking at you Vision, and your mind stone). As of right now though, Civil War is my favorite film that Marvel has ever put out, and I think, is up there as possibly being the best superhero movie ever made, Marvel or otherwise. By the time that the film was over, I didn’t even notice that no one had died.

Captain America: Civil War is in theatres everywhere now.

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Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable
  • David Johnson

    So they #TWDed it!!!!!!