Why Civil War’s Fight Choreographer Prefers Planning Battles For Female Superheroes

While orchestrating the various action sequences in Captain America: Civil War, fight choreographer James Young had the opportunity to work with heroes of all sizes, strengths and abilities -- and one can online imagine the fun that comes with imagining battles with Iron Man one day, and then Spider-Man the next. There's a lot of variety in the work -- but Young has found that he likes choreographing the women characters more than the men, essentially because they're typically fighting from behind in the strength department.

With Captain America: Civil War set to arrive on Blu-ray and DVD in early September, I had the pleasure of chatting with James Young earlier this month to talk about his work on the blockbuster. Having had the opportunity to work with so many characters in the Marvel Universe (having also previously worked on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron before Civil War), I was curious if there was any character in the future he'd want the opportunity to work with. After making shout-outs to Taskmaster and the idea of creating an MCU-version of the X-Men, he revealed how much fun he has had choreographing the women of the comic book world. Said Young,

I love the female superheroes. I love building the female fights. They're so much fun! Black Widow is always at the top of my list. I've been lucky enough to choreograph her numerous times. Captain Marvel, I'm really interested to see what the direction is for Captain Marvel, and I'd love to see what that action is like.

Struck by his preference, I followed up by asking what it was about working with the women warriors of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that was particularly fun. Young explained,

Working with women versus men, there's always the strength question. With the female characters, they're not on the same strength level as the guy, most of the time. So it's a lot of fun to come up with a way to buckle someone stronger than you. I always feel like with Widow and her fights, it's always about kicking people to pieces, more so than about big heavy hits. So she'll kick somebody to pieces, then deliver a big strike, kick someone to pieces, then a big strike. I think with female characters in general, there's a lot more going on than there is when there's male fighting.

Just because it's oh-so-fun to watch, you can check out an example of Black Widow's special skills in the James Young choreographed scene below!

Having those trademark stingers certainly helps, but Scarlett Johansson is most definitely using a whole lot of leg power here, as James Young described.

Given that James Young was the fight choreographer on both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War there's high hopes that he will reunite with directors Joe and Anthony Russo on the upcoming The Avengers: Infinity War, but only time will tell. The good news is that you can pass the time by watching Civil War over and over again after it hits home Blu-ray and DVD on September 13th.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.