The Captain America: Civil War audiences see early next month nearly didn’t happen. At least not the way the filmmakers initially envisioned. In fact, there were multiple versions written up just in case certain characters weren’t involved, namely Spider-Man, who was added to the MCU last year. One version even omitted Iron Man.
Speaking to io9, directors Joe and Anthony Russo talked about the process of getting the rights to Spider-Man and how that affected Civil War’s production.
“We had to commit to him, on a creative level, many, many months before he was available to us on a legal level,” Anthony Russo revealed.
Early on, executives at Marvel weren’t confident about reaching a deal, so the two directors were instructed not to bet on Spidey being in the film. However, the Russo brothers didn’t listen, and instead went ahead with their original vision with the hopes a deal would be made.
“We had to will it into existence,” Joe Russo said.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige also chimed in, saying the movie’s writers had to chart out multiple versions without key characters just in case.
“[Versions] without Iron Man, [versions] without Spider-Man—but we’re lucky we got to make the whole one,” Feige said. “The one we really wanted to do.”
By all accounts, their original vision results in one of the best comic book movies to ever hit the big screen. And Spider-Man? Tom Holland steals the show. It’s a good thing the two directors stuck it out, otherwise, the movie audiences watch in just a few weeks would not have turned out the way it did.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6, 2016.