Following on from our previous article, If Marvel Made Batman v Superman, we’ve decided to look at what it would be like if the tables were turned and Zack Snyder directed Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.
While Marvel’s cinematic universe has been accused of being too kid-friendly, DC’s cinematic universe has been criticised for being too dark, too angry, humourless, and too mysterious. They are two opposite sides of the spectrum and, while both have their merits, it is also clear that both have a defined audience. Calling DC’s multimillion-dollar grossing franchise a failure seems foolish. So what is it about the films that have fans and critics so divided? Is it the casting? Is it the tone? Is it the direction?
To get down to the bottom of it all, here we look at what Captain America: Civil War would have looked like in the hands of Zack Snyder.
First things first, if Snyder made Captain America: Civil War, all the characters would need to hit the gym pretty hard. Snyder is known for putting actors through their paces and ensuring that they look more like their comic book counterparts (or like Greek gods). This includes being overly ripped and muscular. While Marvel’s characters are well-built, the actors would all be forced to take their training to the next level. They need to be at least double the size.
The death of Tony Stark’s parents
Like Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark has also had a number of unresolved issues regarding his parent’s death. Although this is seen twice in Captain America: Civil War, I imagine that Snyder would treat this scene very differently. It would be incredibly dark. It would be in slow motion, and we’d see a young Tony Stark bitterly mourn his parents. We’d see that all Tony’s wild parties, his developing drink problem, and his relationship problems all stem from that moment. There is a dark cloud hovering over him and everyone but can see it but him.
A drunk Iron Man
Like the Demon in a Bottle comic book, Tony Stark would become an alcoholic. Following his actions that caused Age of Ultron, Tony’s relationship with Pepper Potts worsens as he becomes more addicted the bottle. Even F.R.I.D.A.Y. suggests that he stops, but he can’t. He is haunted by nightmares. Tony is becoming less and less like the Iron Man we know. He is unable to control his emotions, especially his anger.
Stark dreams of the dead casualties crying out to him after the events of the last few movies. He sees a little boy standing in the centre of a destroyed city. As he approaches the boy, he asks him about the whereabouts of his parents. A tear rolls down his cheek. The boy looks up and says, “You killed them.” Tony steps back in shock. With those words, the boy’s face transforms and he becomes a giant Hulk-like demon who faces off against Iron Man.
Tony also continues to dream of the appending doom seen in Age of Ultron, where all his Avengers teammates die by his side. As Tony is lured to the dark side, he begins killing his enemies one-by-one.
Captain America gets a girlfriend
He’s been single for most of his life. It’s time Cap finds love. Of course, he’ll choose the most obnoxious woman in town. Someone who constantly looks for trouble. And he’ll probably spend the majority of the film keeping her out of trouble, rather than focusing on the problems at hand. He’ll probably also spend a few minutes on screen without a shirt and frying eggs the night after having sex. While the world blames the Avengers for everything, he will sit in his home watching it play out on television.
Dark costume / darker color grade
Of course, Zack Snyder would re-wardrobe the whole team. Gone are the bright colours. They are all suppressed. It’s a bleak world. It’s all dark, brooding and hardcore. This is a serious world. There is no room for jokes. But, boy, is it epic! The visuals would be stunning. Think of the cinematography as Terence Mallick’s Tree of Life meets Snyder’s Watchmen.
Captain America gets Punisher, not Ant-Man
Let’s be real, if you are going to go head-to-head with some of the strongest superheroes in the world, you want someone really hardcore. The Punisher is just what Team Cap needs. He might be a little hard to control, but he’ll get the job done. Armed with a shotgun and a bad attitude, he’d had a field day with Iron Man and the lot.
Destruction of airport
Nobody does epic better than Snyder. The destruction at the airport would be a lot bigger. The fight would even be on a bigger scale. No, even bigger than the Giant Man attack. It would be dark. It would be raining. Lightning will strike as characters punch each other. People would be watching from a distance as the two teams go at it. There will be blood, sweat and tears.
A famous character dies
The fight would be so hectic that someone would die. Probably Hawkeye. All he really has are his arrows, and that wouldn’t be enough to survive such a violent fight. Instead of attending Peggy Carter’s funeral, we’d see Clint Barton’s. His family would be incredibly heartbroken and completely blame the Avengers. Tony would see this as a warning that his nightmares are becoming real. Captain America would feel guilty too, but believe that the fight was for a good cause.
Spider-Man is a man, not a boy
There is no room for kids to be part of this darker film. Spider-Man would be exactly what he is called – a man. Not a boy. We’d probably see someone like Jake Gyllenhaal in the role. Jake Gyllenhaal gets mistaken for Spider-Man all the time anyway. It would be great to see him as a darker, more serious Spidey.
Captain America sees dead people
Just when you couldn’t be more confused, Tommy Lee Jones’ Colonel Phillips appears to give him some sound advice regarding the current events. Yet, it all sounds like jibberish:
“Had dreams. Two of ’em. Both had my father in ’em. It’s peculiar. I’m older now than he ever was by twenty years. So in a sense, he’s the younger man. Anyway, first one I don’t remember too well but it was about meeting him in town somewhere, he’s gonna give me some money. I think I lost it.”
After this, Cap will know what is required of him, ditch his girlfriend and return to rescue the others from General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross.
Iron Man will build a new suit
Forget the Hulkbuster. Iron Man is seriously pissed about Bucky killing his parents and losing the fight at the airport. He builds a new suit. It’s bigger, better, and far more hardcore. It’s the type of suit that could be used to fight a god. It’s so heavy that he can barely fly in it. But at least this way, his punches against Captain America might actually be effective.
The film would have another villian
If Zack Snyder made Captain America: Civil War, Baron Zemo would be a real bad guy. He’d full on attack everyone in the climax of the film. He’d actually be a master swordsman and be a match for Captain America in hand-to-hand combat. He would use the other Winter Soldiers against the Avengers.
Bye, bye post-credits. When the film ends, the film ends. There are no gimmicks or any teasers for future films. Thankfully, you’ll be able to get an even darker extended version of the film on DVD and Blu-ray though. There you’ll get to see everything that was removed and helped the plot make sense. You’ll see more of Captain America and more deleted scenes with upcoming villains.
Recasting the team
Of course, we’d have a totally different cast. It would probably look a little like this:
Gerald Butler as Tony Stark – “This is shawarma!”
Patrick Wilson as Captain America
Malin Akerman as Black Widow
Emily Browning as Wanda / Scarlett Witch
Vincent Regan as Hawkeye
Matthew Goode as Bucky / Winter Soldier
Mekhi Phifer as Sam Wilson
Jake Weber as Ant-Man
Sarah Polley as Kate
Jake Gyllenhaal as Spider-Man
In the end, if Zack Snyder made Captain America: Civil War, we would have a much darker film. Critics will pan the film and call it depressing. Rotten Tomatoes will give it a score worse than X-Men: The Last Stand, Green Lantern, and even Daredevil:
“Why didn’t Tony crack a few jokes while he was struggling with his alcoholism? Why was Spider-Man so old? Why was there so much destruction? Why wasn’t it more fun? Iron Man doesn’t kill people! The story was confusing. They should have stuck to the comic books! Give Marvel back to FOX!”
I guess there is no pleasing everyone. No, we love both Marvel and DC for what they are. I am glad that the two universes are so different. If I want a light-hearted action extravaganza I am able to go see a Marvel film. If I want an epic film with breathtaking visuals and god-like characters I’ll go see a DC film. Two different worlds. Two different moods. Very different fans.