The Winter Soldier has taken hits from Captain America’s shield before, but in a new deleted scene from the Civil War Blu-ray, he gets a taste of what it’s like to dish it out.
In the rough-cut sequence above, Team Cap is in the midst of its airport clash against the forces of Iron Man, who wants them to stand down and submit Winter Soldier into their custody for the terror attacks that have ripped the Avengers apart.
Cap knows his old friend Bucky Barnes didn’t do what he’s accused of (although he did lots of other terrible things while under HYDRA mind-control), so they’re not willing to go without a fight.
An aghast Black Widow climbs atop a structure for a bird’s-eye view of this part of the conflict as War Machine swoops in low to strafe Cap – and demolish a lot of luggage.
As the hero falls, his iconic, vibranium shield rolls into the hands of Winter Soldier, who distracts War Machine with an impromptu game of Frisbee, with an assist from Falcon.
It all culminates in a deadpan bit of envy from Winter Soldier, whose mechanical arm could make good use of such a tool.
Readers of Marvel Comics may see something a bit more ominous in this exchange. Someday, somehow, if Cap ever falls, Bucky could very well find himself in permanent possession of that shield.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who are currently in Atlanta prepping Avengers: Infinity War (which starts shooting later this year) explained how the sequence came about – and why it had to go.
“The airport sequence was obviously complicated,” Joe Russo says. “We wanted to track everybody’s arc and we felt like it was a hair too long, and that beat was coming at a spot when the energy was dropping.”
But the brothers both loved that beat. “We actually made that up on set. It was not scripted,” Joe says.
Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely drafted the moment the morning of the shoot to solve a problem that … it turned out the movie didn’t have.
“We were looking for a transitional moment to get Cap and Bucky back together, but in editorial we ultimately realized we didn’t need that transition,” Joe says. “It’s actually one of my favorite beats in that whole sequence, but it’s just a function of storytelling and editing, and wasn’t something we needed to tell the story, but it’s a great bit for the DVD.”
It was actually tough to come up with deleted scenes for the in-home release, which is available as a digital download on Sept. 2 and as a Blu-ray collection on Sept. 13.
“We’ve been very fortunate on Winter Soldier and Civil War that we didn’t cut that much from the film. We didn’t have that much to pick from for DVD bonuses. We used almost everything we had,” Anthony Russo says.
Their criteria is that the scene has to actually work, has to be good and fun to watch, to justify putting it out for the public. If it’s a bad joke, or a plot point that ultimately didn’t make sense, it remains forever on the cutting room floor.
“Sometimes you do get a little experimental when you’re shooting, and if something just doesn’t work, that’s something we wouldn’t put on the DVD,” Anthony says.
This moment, however, felt like a good one. They hated to see it go.
“There’s certainly a category of things that may be beats you really like, but for whatever reason the rhythm of the film isn’t asking for it at that particular moment,” Anthony says. “You want to cut it out just because the movie’s stronger, more propulsive and cleaner and tighter without it.”
Tomorrow: More from the Brothers Russo about storylines the third Captain America movie would have explored if they hadn’t done the Civil War arc.
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