Directors Joe and Anthony Russo joined the MCU with directing Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And the Russos were brought back to complete the star-studded Avengers trilogy with Captain America: Civil War.
Civil War was a heavy crossover movie for the duo, however, they did exceptionally well. They also worked on Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. But before the movie was fully made, the Russo brothers had almost quit directing the movie. If this would have happened at the time in 2015, MCU would have looked entirely different.
What made the Russos almost quit directing Civil War?
Civil War was very much like the movie Avengers. The movie had a star-studded cast with massive production costs. The movie also set a lot of events that will affect the MCU moving further. The core story shows Avengers divided into two teams: Team Captain America and Team Iron Man.
The superheroes are standing against each other and fighting out their conflict over the Sokovia Accords. In the end, the movie becomes personal as Tony Stark gets to know how Steve Rogers hid the fact that Bucky Barnes killed his parents as Winter Soldier. And this leaves the Earth more vulnerable and gives Thanos a chance to make a move in Infinity War.
Civil War was a critical and box office hit. However, as revealed in The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the brothers were about to quit the project. The brothers were unhappy about the changes made by Marvel Creative Committee to the story. These changes included an alternate ending to the third act of the movie.
“We reached a point where we said, out loud in a room, ‘We’re not interested in continuing as directors of this movie if it is going to be about managing politics and a third act,” Joe Russo says in the book. Anthony chimes in, “And I think Kevin was very energized by that. And also, maybe it gave him some leverage in the situation because we were so clear about our point of view.”
What happened next?
The Russos were very fortunate as MCU mastermind Kevin Feige was on their side. He took the matter in his hands and took it to Disney’s Chairman Alan Horn who ruled in their favor. And this might also be the reason why Marvel Creative Committee was eventually abolished.
Although everything worked out in the favor of the Russo brothers, it shows how much they value creative freedom. So much so, they were ready to quit the high-profile project for the same. But fortunately, the brothers were also part of closing the Infinity Saga.
Since the brothers know Kevin Feige supports their creative freedom, there is a high chance they might return to MCU. In fact, it is said a new contract for the brother is underway. So, clearly, there is nothing hindering them from coming back to MCU, only if they want to.