Why Bucky Had To Be A Major Part Of Captain America: Civil War

You probably noticed by now, but there are a lot of superheroes in Captain America: Civil War. Next year, the various costumed crusaders will come to blows over the Sokovia Accords, legislation that seeks to regulate such characters and make them accountable for their actions. That’s the big political picture, but there’s a much more personal side to this conflict, and, according to the director’s, this is why Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier, had to be a big part of Civil War.

The first Civil War trailer dropped yesterday, and Empire sat down with the sibling director duo of Joe and Anthony Russo to break down the big moments, of which there are many. Talking about how they tried to ground this larger issue, Anthony said:

The challenge was, we’re doing the story of Civil War. Which everybody knows is nominally about superhero registration. And in a lot of ways that can be a political issue, and we didn’t want the conflict of the movie to solely exist on that level. We wanted to figure out very personal reasons why everyone’s relationship to this idea of registration is going to become complicated. That’s what the relationship between Steve and Bucky allowed us to do, to get very personal in terms of why people would lean one way or the other.

More than all the action, all the explosions, and all the bells and whistles and first appearances of Black Panther, this trailer is all about emotion and friendship and feelings. There’s definitely a much wider reaching agenda in play, with consequences that will be felt across the globe, but what is really going to hammer this home and make it stick are the relationships between the characters.

Bucky and Steve Rogers obviously go way back, as they were childhood friends in the years leading up to World War II, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier is all about the Star-Spangled Avenger trying to get through to his old pal who has been brainwashed into becoming a mindless assassin. Steve is all about friendship, willing to do anything for his people, and that’s going to play a big part in Civil War.

But Bucky isn’t Cap’s only friend, he’s a popular guy after all. We saw the beginnings of the fraying relationship between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark in Avengers: Age of Ultron (even as far back as Avengers they come into conflict), but that comes to a head here. How can that moment where Steve says, "He’s my friend," and Tony replies, "So was I," not absolutely tear you up? What, are you made of stone? Are you dead inside?

As excited as I am to see all of the spectacle level action, new characters like Spider-Man and Black Panther, and all the rest, I legitimately love these characters, and this side of the story is, by far, what interests me the most.

Captain America: Civil War opens everywhere on May 6, 2016.

Brent McKnight