One of the more surprising elements of Captain America: Civil War was its onscreen version of Baron Zemo, played by Daniel Bruhl, who felt less like his comic book inspiration and more like a comic book version of Kevin Spacey’s John Doe from Se7en. Manipulating the Avengers into fighting each other in a brilliant, if sometimes unexplainable ways, he’s one of the strongest villains in the MCU so far, and also perhaps the only one to truly win in his mission.
In the film itself, we meet Zemo for the first time as he acquires the Red Book from a former Hydra officer who worked closely with Sebastian Stan’s The Winter Soldier in the 1980s, but it looks like there was at one point another, much more grand introduction for the character planned at one point in the film.
On the film’s audio commentary, co-director Joe Russo revealed what the alternate introduction for Zemo originally was in Civil War (via Cinema Blend):
“We had an original scene where Zemo was at an auction, a black market auction. And that’s how he got his hands on the book, was at this auction. He killed everybody in the auction by gassing the auction. But we just didn’t get enough story out of him; it was too mysterious of an opening scene.”
Anthony Russo added:
“It did not connect him to the opening of the movie cleanly. This one does — you get the red book, and you literally get Karpov, which is perhaps the most important thing.”
So while seeing Zemo for the first time as he gasses literally an entire room full of people just to get the Red Book would have been interesting and made for a dramatic introduction for the villain, I see what the Russos are saying here. In the film’s introduction right now, we not only get to see him kill someone for information, but he also gets the Red Book and the first seeds are planted for what his overall mission is. In a film that balances about 100 different introductions, it’s one of the more effective ones.
Captain America: Civil War is available on Digital HD now, and will be released on Blu Ray and DVD on September 13th.
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