The Third ‘Captain America’ Movie Almost Wasn’t Civil War, But Had Zombies In It

By August 25, 2016

The Russo Brothers have talked extensively over the past few months since Captain America: Civil War‘s release about how many different versions of the film there were during the creative development process of it, and backup versions in case they couldn’t get characters like Spider-Man in it, or couldn’t sign contracts with actors like Robert Downey Jr. for the film.

In fact, it turns out there was even a backup story that was going to be used for the third Captain America film, if they couldn’t do Civil War.

While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, The Russo Brothers revealed that the other comic book storyline they were looking at for the film, if they couldn’t sing RDJ for it, was a crazy 1976 comic book arc story “Madbomb”:

Joe Russo: It was not a given that we were even going to do Civil War when we were talking about the next movie after Winter Soldier. So there was a period of time when we explored possibilities for Cap stories that did not include it. We spent a few weeks doing that, although Civil War came up fairly early in the process and once that happened it took over our brains and we ran hard at it.

Anthony Russo: There was a period where we did discuss a third act that revolved around the Madbomb from Cap mythology. 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.

They added:

“The notion of the Madbomb would have been Cap having to fight civilians and how he would he handle that. We were always trying to put him into these interesting moral conundrums because of his nature. That would have made a compelling third act because if civilians are the antagonists, how could he stop them without killing them?”

Similar to plot devices used in movies like Kingsman: The Secret Service or even the first season of Agent Carter really, the comic book story featured a bomb deployed on New York City that used sonic waves to drive the citizens of NYC into fits of violent, nonsensical rage. While it would have been cool to see Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers have to fight through hordes of mindless, violent zombies as well, it looks like that was never meant to be.

It’s an interesting idea for sure, and one that could have offered some difficult moral dilemmas for Cap, a man who has devoted his life to fighting for the freedom of the American people, though I do wonder how generic of a plot device it could have become if handled even a little poorly. Not to mention how careful the film would have to have been in handling its violence as well. Probably a good thing that we got the emotional battle between Cap, Bucky, and Tony at the end instead.

Still, it’s nice to know that if we hadn’t gotten Cap vs Iron Man, we would have gotten Cap vs Zombies. You really can’t rule out anything these days.

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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