Captain America: Civil War was almost a little more scary! It was scary enough watching out favorite characters beat each other to a pulp, so how could it get scarier? The answer would be zombies, of course!
It appears that while in negotiations with Robert Downey, Jr. for the film, some other ideas were being tossed around in terms of story. If RDJ refused to sign on to the film, it would have taken a very different direction. One of the ideas that was discussed was the “Madbomb” from Captain America. Basically, it’s like a nuclear bomb that doesn’t destroy anything but the minds of people in close proximity. Here’s what Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo had to say about the story:
Joe: It was not a given that we were even going to do Civil War when we were talking about the next movie after Winter Soldier. So there was a period of time when we explored possibilities for Cap stories that did not include it. We spent a few weeks doing that, although Civil War came up fairly early in the process and once that happened it took over our brains and we ran hard at it.
Anthony: There was a period where we did discuss a third act that revolved around the Madbomb from Cap mythology. It didn’t have anything to do with Civil War, and if we couldn’t get Downey – in the very, very early conversations before we nailed him – somebody pitched the idea of a third-act that revolved around the Madbomb, which makes people crazy. It almost like zombifies them – but not literally. The charm of the Madbomb is that you turn hordes of people into berserkers. That was the physical challenge that Cap and company would have had to face.
Joe: The notion of the Madbomb would have been Cap having to fight civilians and how he would he handle that. We were always trying to put him into these interesting moral conundrums because of his nature. That would have made a compelling third act because if civilians are the antagonists, how could he stop them without killing them?
Anthony: Somebody you know has turned into a zombie and now you have to fight them. And there would have been the emotional component of that.
So, there you have it. If Civil War hadn’t happened, we would have had a very different film.