When we first learned that the third Captain America movie would be sub-titled "Civil War," it became pretty clear that Marvel Studios was planning a (loose) adaptation of Mark Millar's comic series of the same name - but it seems that wasn't always the plan.
While speaking to The Town podcast, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore - who also worked on Civil War with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely - revealed that the original idea for Captain America 3 was quite a bit different, and only changed when Kevin Feige decided that they weren't thinking "big enough."
"We knew we had to resolve, obviously, the Winter Soldier storyline," explained Moore. "We wanted Cap and Bucky to ultimately reunite. And we knew we wanted to use Zemo. What a great character. You know, he's obviously a classic Cap villain. We were building the movie around a MacGuffin around the Madbomb, which, the Madbomb goes off and causes normal people to start fighting each other. It's honestly a little similar to what I think they did in Kingsman."
Feige remained unconvinced, and pulled Moore aside to pitch the idea of going with the Civil War storyline.
"[Feige] was like, 'That's not a big enough idea, guys.' And we're like, 'Let us write a draft, we'll prove it to you.' [Feige:] 'Okay, prove it to me.' As we're getting done with it... he pulls me into his office and he said, 'You know, I think we should try to do Civil War," Moore continued. "And I was like, 'Kevin, we don't have half the stuff that's in Civil War. We don't have the New Warriors, we don't have... Here's all the reasons why we can't do it.' And he's like, 'Go home, read it, let's talk about it.'"
Of course, Moore was correct about the studio not having access to a good chunk of the characters that feature in the comics, but they were ultimately able to make it work with the core Avengers group and the addition of Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Holland's Spider-Man.
The movie did have to make a few significant changes to Millar's story, but most would tend to agree that they pulled it off. Audiences certainly seemed to think so, anyway, as Civil War remains one of the highest-grossing MCU movies.
Captain America: New World Order is set to hit theaters on May 3, 2024.