The Russos' Captain America: Civil War featured a fair number of narrative twists and turns, including the reveal that Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) murdered the hidden Winter Soldiers instead of using them to topple world governments. It was a major plot shift to make room for the big showdown between Cap (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), but it also turns out that there was originally a bigger plan for those badass Hydra assassins in the film's climax. Scott Adkins, who was supposed to play one of those soldiers, opened up in a recent interview and explained:
Well again they say, you know I was almost in Civil War. There was a part. The, uh, super soldiers, they were meant to be a bigger part of the movie at one point. And I met with the Russos about that, but they decided to lessen those parts and make it more about Captain America and Winter Soldier and Iron Man, right? That fight at the end. So that didn't happen. I was devastated at the time, but obviously they remembered me and Doctor Strange came up.
Talk about a drastically different version of the story. It sounds like in its original incarnation, Captain America: Civil War featured a bigger brawl between the heroes and the squad of highly-trained Winter Soldiers hidden at the Siberian outpost. That was an early version of the climax, but it eventually changed when the Russos decided to streamline the story and make it more about the hero-on-hero combat. However, as Scott Adkins noted during his appearance on the Empire podcast, he did eventually get to star as a henchman in Doctor Strange instead (which led to him kicking Benedict Cumberbatch in the chest), so he can't be too upset about the whole thing.
In the movie's final cut, the Winter Soldiers featured in Captain America: Civil War acted more like red herrings than real bad guys. They were teased as the main threat that Cap and Bucky needed to stop, and Iron Man showed up at the end of the movie to lend a hand. However, once the three heroes arrived at the Siberian facility, Zemo revealed that he actually killed all of the remaining soldiers, with the real intent of pitting the Marvel heroes against each other upon the realization that Bucky killed Tony's parents. You can check out that full scene, below.
Of course, at the end of the day, there's a strong case to be made that this was the right call. Captain America: Civil War is regarded as one of the best Marvel Cinematic Universe films to date by many fans, with a significant portion of the film's praise stemming from its more contained third act that pits heroes against each other instead of heroes against traditional villains. We don't know precisely what that original version of the story would've looked like, but Civil War definitely works well the way it is.
With all of that said, we will see where Cap, Bucky and Iron Man go next when The Avengers assemble once again for Avengers: Infinity War on April 27. Make sure to catch the latest MCU adventure when it finally debuts, and take a glance at our movie premiere guide to see what other big movies are coming this year!