It was a title fight worthy of a weekend card in a Las Vegas casino. In one corner, Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America 3, the follow up to their massively successful Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Across the ring, Zack Snyder promised to pair Batman v. Superman in Dawn of Justice. For a short amount of time, both blockbusters circled the same release date. Then, Warner Bros. blinked and shifted Batman v. Superman to March 2016.
In an exclusive interview with the Russos today, they told me the shift was inevitable… and ultimately great for fans. "We knew when they announced that it was somewhat of a placeholder, that it was a game of chicken to see if Marvel really had a film that was going to land on that date or not," Joe Russo explained.
Which is understandable. Both Marvel and DC, in a race to corner as many available weekends as possible, have leaked possible future release schedules that take each studio through the next few years of programming. But outside of a handful of titles (mostly on the Marvel side of the battle), those dates do not have official titles plugged in to them. When Marvel responded by placing the much-anticipated Captain America 3 in that prime slot, the studio called DC and Warner’s bluff. And it worked to Cap’s favor.
"We knew it was never going to happen," Joe Russo said. "We knew those two films would never stay on that date. So we knew somebody was going to move."
But as Joe Russo explained, this glut of superhero blockbusters all vying for greener release-date pastures is the best possible problem to have if you are a fan of superhero cinema. He tells us that the market nowadays is so healthy, that a superhero blockbuster can open any time between January and September and still do well. Heck, November has even become a stable launching point for Marvel film’s like Thor: The Dark World. Russo said to us:
We’re filmmakers. But we’re also comic-book geeks and movie fans. I want to go to the theater and be excited and see shit that inspires me, and gets me excited as a filmmaker. And so we wish success on everybody! Now that we’re in the sort of heyday of comic-book films, you don’t want anybody sort of spoiling the party. This summer was actually great because boy did we get treated to some pretty great movies this summer. So you keep hoping that’s the case moving forward.
Obviously, Joe and Anthony Russo did outstanding work with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It remains the highest-grossing movie of 2014 (for now, at least), and charmed the shield off of audiences and critics. They have their work cut out for them on Captain America 3, and we will bring you plenty of more information on that sequel from our interview with the siblings. But for now, you can rent Captain America: The Winter Soldier on various online outlets today, or pre-order a Blu-ray and DVD to own when it reaches shelves on Sept. 9.