The Russos considered killing several Avengers in ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Here's why they decided to let everyone live.

9:59 am EDT, September 26, 2016

Captain America: Civil War didn’t kill off any major characters, to Marvel fans’ relief. Now, Joe and Anthony Russo explain why.

Let’s be honest: Most of us walked into Civil War expecting this to be the final ride for Captain America in more ways than one.

When Steve Rogers didn’t die like he did in the comics, but instead threw down the shield and left the superhero mantle behind (for now), there was a collective sigh of relief and/or disappointment from the crowd — because while this allows for more Chris Evans in future Marvel movies, some might argue that the movie lacked a tragic ending to really fulfil its potential and make the spectacle of it all seem worth it.

Whichever way you stand on this issue, some new information from Joe and Anthony Russo should answer a lot of your questions.

HitFix reports the following exchange from a press Q&A following a recent Civil War screening, attended by the Russos and Marvel boss Kevin Feige:

Anthony Russo: We never talked about killing Cap in this one, right? No.

Joe Russo: We did for a beat. We talk about everything.

Anthony: I think the thing to remember is, we do talk about every possible scenario over and over and over again for months and months and months. We talked about it. But it never made its way into a realistic outline.

Kevin Feige: Well, the ending was always more about fracturing the team completely before getting into Infinity War.

Joe: We talked about lots of potential characters dying at the end of the movie. And we thought that it would undercut what is really the rich tension of the movie, which is this is Kramer vs Kramer. It’s about a divorce. If somebody dies, it would create empathy, which would change and allow for repair, and we didn’t want to do that.

Kevin Feige: In the amazing comic book story, which certainly the conceit of this movie is based on and some of the specifics — during their big battle, which has a hundred times as many characters, a character dies. And we talked about that for a while. And, ultimately, we thought what happened to Rhodey would be enough of a downer.

Anthony: The tragedy is the family falls apart. Not that the family falls apart and then somebody dies.

By this logic, any major death would be too easy of a resolve for the Avengers, who are now left fractured, betrayed and suspicious of each other. If Steve — or Tony, or Sam, Natasha, Clint or Wanda — had died as a result of the easily-preventable ‘war,’ their shared grief could have arguably built a bridge, as they would all have felt equally responsible.

On the other hand, one could also argue that if the Avengers’ short-sighted spar had resulted in anyone dying, that would have put a much more abrupt ending to the fellowship.

That airport scene was all fun and games, but at any moment, any one of those Avengers could have died a violent, painful death, and it didn’t feel like anyone but Tony and Steve had any good reason for inflicting that kind of fate on their not-actually-enemies (especially considering that Black Widow and Hawkeye were still friends throughout the fight, and Spider-Man just thought everything was awesome).

An actual death would have been interesting, even if it wasn’t Steve’s, because it would have seemed impossible that the band could ever get back together for Infinity War. Steve’s note to Tony at the end of the movie seems to imply that the ties haven’t been quite as severed as they should be.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments.

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