Sequential Story Telling Vs Sequels – Looking At The Captain America: Civil War Commentary Track

captainamericacivilwarbluray-188282I got a review copy of Captain America: Civil War the other day and started off by watching the film with the commentary track on. Four people were on the track, directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo along with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. You can tell from the comments that these four have completely bought into the Marvel Studios way of making films.

The biggest thing that stood out to me was a discussion about sequential story telling verses sequels. The idea here is that Marvel is looking at their film universe the same way that a television show like the X-Files works. You have the individual episodes that are self-contained and add to the overarching plot that ties it all together. Ant-Man was a story about a heist, but it was also the origin story for a character that would play a big role in Civil War. Guardians of the Galaxy was stand alone except for the Infinity Gem aspect that feeds the overall story.

The basic idea, as they were talking about it, is that each movie not only tells a story but it deals with the ramifications of the previous movies. There is no clean slate going in. Where a normal sequel tends to acknowledge the previous film but not really deal with it. That's not saying all sequels are that way, but the majority are just the next adventure of these characters while Marvel is the continuing adventures.

This is also what DC is trying to do. As good as the Christopher Nolan Batman series was, they followed the typical loop of beginning-middle-end. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice set up a lot and felt like a continuation of Man of Steel.

The rest of the commentary track focused on the normal behind-the-scenes moments including how much of what we see on screen of Tony Stark is from Robert Downey Jr. How they would get together to work with RDJ on Sunday to go through the scenes for the week, talk about the motivation and allow him to add things that he felt were part of the character.

In the scene where Stark is visiting Peter Parker, they talk about how part of the nervousness Peter feels talking to someone he idolizes was natural coming from Tom Holland when working with RDJ. Also, there is a very Stark moment when he is going to sit down next to Peter on the bed and comments about him moving his leg… Holland was supposed to move over so Downey could sit but forgot, so it was an adlibbed line to save the scene.

Oh, and there is a Nomad reference as well… but you'll have to listen to it yourself for that.

Captain America: Civil War is available now on Digital HD and comes out on Blu ray / DVD September 13th.

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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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