The most recent major comic book studio release — Warner and DC's Suicide Squad — has come under the microscope recently when it comes to discussions about the production and editing process. Erstwhile star Jared Leto has spoken out about the vast amount of his Joker scenes that were left on the cutting room floor, relegating him from major audience draw to a glorified cameo appearance.
According to Leto, the production crew on Suicide Squad shot enough material to piece together an entire Joker-centered movie. The slightly disconnected editing of the final cut reveals a lot of narrative variations from the original script, including a possible romance between Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Deadshot (Will Smith) and a much darker take on Joker and Harley's relationship.
On the other side of the coin we have Captain America: Civil War directors Anthony and Joe Russo — known popularly as the Russo brothers — whose ship is seemingly run much tighter. In fact, only around 13 minutes of footage was cut from the final product of Civil War, as opposed to a whole movie's worth from Suicide Squad.
According to the Russos, their collaboration with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely was focused around not including any material that ran surplus to requirements, and so they shot very little material that wasn't necessary to telling the story. As McFeely told SlashFilm:
"The brothers pride themselves on shooting only what they need, but shooting the hell out of it."
Perhaps this has something to do with the massive divide in critical reception between Civil War and Suicide Squad, as the former feels like a much more cohesive piece of work than the latter. But there is one sad side to this story for Marvel fans, which is that we'll be getting very little in the way of deleted scenes when Civil War is released on home media next month.
Captain America: Civil War is due to be released on Blu-ray and DVD next month, landing September 13. So what about those deleted scenes? Here's what we know so far.
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Black Widow Vs. Black Panther
One of the few scenes that we know for sure was cut from the final product was an interaction between Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). The two shared a few scenes in Civil War to great effect, as Natasha struggles with having to turn against her friend Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), whilst T'Challa is out for the blood of Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
Speaking to ComicBook.com, Joe Russo recalled one cut scene that he remembered in particular. Following Bucky's capture in Bucharest, there was originally a very short scene featuring a conversation between Natasha and T'Challa at the German Ops Center where the Winter Soldier was being held. Joe Russo explained:
"There was a scene between Natasha and T’Challa at the German Ops Center, halfway through the movie when he was sitting in that room. Cap and Falcon had been isolated in the other conference room. We didn’t feel like it was moving the story telling forward and they had already had a scene so it felt repetitive so it was something we excised from the movie."
Likely this snippet will appear on the Blu-ray and DVD copies, giving us more of an insight into T'Challa's emotional state following the capture of the man whom he believes killed his father, T'Chaka (John Kani).
The Battle Of Leipzig
While the majority of the action from the Leipzig Airport Battle remained intact for the final cut, there were some bits and pieces chopped from this sequence. A few action sequences were cut for time and to make the scene flow a little easier, and some jokes were removed. Perhaps this means we'll get some more banter from Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) in the deleted scenes?
One specific moment that was reportedly removed was a short sequence between Captain America, Bucky, James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie), in which they play keep-away with Cap's shield. There was also a fight sequence between Captain America and Black Widow removed for time purposes, which takes place before her change of heart when she stalls Black Panther to allow Cap and Bucky to escape in the jet.
Not exactly deleted scenes, but there have already been a few animatic mock-ups that have made their way online and likely will also be featured on the Blu-ray and DVD. The aforementioned fight between Cap and Widow is one of these, which you can check out below courtesy of Marvel Studios storyboard artist Darrin Denlinger who originally released the sequence via YouTube.
Another animatic reveals an alternative take on the initial meeting between Cap and Bucky in Bucharest. Bucky enters the apartment and finds Steve looking through his notebooks. They have a shorter exchange than we saw in the final cut before Bucky begins gathering his memory research materials into his precious backpack.
A third animatic presents a different version of the scene where Bucky is being transported to the German Ops Center following his capture. It features a surprising face in the form of Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who stands guard over Bucky as he's transported, while War Machine provides air support from above.
This scene was likely cut or not filmed due to the fact that we later see Hawkeye coming into play when busting Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) out from the Avengers Facility, and later joining Team Cap for the Leipzig battle.
Scenes Cut From Shooting Script
As per McFeely's description of the Russo brothers' shooting process, very little material that made its way into the final script was cut before shooting — but there are a few examples of scenes removed from the final script. While we won't see these as there's no footage or animatics created for them, we will probably get a more detailed explanation about them in the "Making Of" featurette.
Ant-Man And The Wasp
Civil War nearly saw the introduction of a major founding Avenger from the comic books in the form of the Wasp — or in this case, the second Wasp, Hope van Dyne, portrayed by Evangeline Lilly and first introduced in Ant-Man.
Wasp will make her superhero debut in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp, but she almost appeared alongside Ant-Man during the Leipzig Battle. As per Kevin Feige's comments at a Civil War press event earlier this year:
"There were drafts where Wasp participated in the splash panel fight — the airport battle. And the truth is, it took away the fun of seeing her suit up for the first time — seeing her on that road to being a hero. We experienced that with Ant-Man in his own movie."
There was also initially a longer introductory sequence for Scott Lang himself in Civil War, which would've featured an insight into his home life in San Francisco before being drafted into Team Cap. As Markus told ScreenRant:
"There was a point where we went all the way with Scott Lang in San Francisco and got to have a little more taste of what his life was like, and it was fun to write for us. But it was unnecessary, so it never made it to the camera."
However,in addition to the filmmakers feeling that this exposition was ultimately unnecessary, Scott Lang's part of this script was also written before Ant-Man had even been released, so the screenwriters weren't confident that they'd gotten the voice of the character correct. Ultimately, these parts were left in the early drafts, but perhaps we'll learn more about them when the DVD releases.
Big, Green, And Mean
There were rumors aplenty about Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) appearing in Civil War, despite the fact we knew he was being saved for the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. Speaking to the Huffington Post, Markus and McFeely explained why Hulk ultimately didn't make the cut for Civil War — despite the fact he was initially supposed to appear in a post-credits scene.
"Mark Ruffalo shot no scenes. We talked about having Bruce Banner at the very end of the film, and it just, again, seemed like we’re sticking people in just to stick them in. He has clearly gone somewhere at the end of ‘Ultron,’ and that’s a story. Don’t blow it off and put it in a little tiny chunk just to put in a little extra filigree on our movie. That’s a story."
Though early drafts featured a Hulk themed "stinger," Markus and McFeely ultimately thought that including him in Civil War would take away from his own story in regard to where he went after Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Like Wasp, they thought it was better to have Bruce Banner be given the screen time he deserves in a later movie, instead of having him appear as a gimmick in Civil War. So no Hulk, and no word on exactly what this post-credits scene would've been.
Another mainstay character of the Marvel Cinematic Universe who didn't make the cut for Civil War was Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), an MCU vet and hugely important character in her own right. Pepper was mentioned a few times over the course of Civil War, most notably in a conversation between Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers, when Tony tells Cap that she broke up with him.
It's a sobering moment, and it alludes to problems with Tony that run deeper than just the Accords. But it was originally supposed to happen on screen, with Paltrow making an actual appearance in Civil War.
Reportedly she was supposed to appear for an on-screen break up between Pepper and Tony. The filmmakers ultimately decided this would be unnecessary though, as it left Tony in a more vulnerable state of mind with the break up already having happened prior to the events of Civil War. Poor Tony, he can never catch a break.
Captain America: Civil War releases on digital September 2, with the Blu-ray, DVD and on-demand versions arriving September 13.
What do you want to see as part of the special features? Tell us in the comments below!