Earlier in the year, two superhero films were released. Both were high-budget, high-concept hero-vs-hero struggles, which saw well-known characters battle over ideology while seeding future spin-off movies –but only one won the love of both audiences and critics, while the other struggled to live up to its own hype.
Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War was that winner, while DC’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice limped away with bad reviews and less-then-expected box office returns. So what went wrong? What defining factor led Civil War to triumph, and Batman v Superman to disappointment?
Well, one person who might know is someone who actually starred in the more successful of the two films, Civil War’s Chadwick Boseman, aka Wakandan hero Black Panther, who made his Marvel debut earlier this year. Just where did Batman v Superman go wrong that Civil War went right?
“I was there the first night to see Batman v Superman, got my popcorn and everything, and I’m not exactly sure what they did wrong,” Boseman told RadioTimes.com.
“But I feel like sometimes you see a movie – and I could be wrong, or saying this because I’m in the industry – you can see that there’s at times [too] many people deciding something. That there’s not a clear voice from the director.
“Sometimes when you watch movies you see that the producers are saying something, someone else is saying something, the directors are saying something. And sometimes, it doesn’t work.”
Comparing the observation with his own superhero experiences, Boseman went on: “I don’t know if that’s why it doesn’t resonate, if it’s because maybe the director didn’t get his cut, I have no way of knowing that.
“I just feel like, what I have experienced at Marvel is that the directors are very much making the movie. So maybe that’s it.”
Boseman will be keen to avoid similar pitfalls in the making of his solo movie Black Panther, which is set for release in 2018 and has previously been described by the actor as a “grittier” take on superhero films.
“I think that’s part of what [director] Ryan Coogler is gonna bring to the table,” he said.
“You know, in his prior movie (Rocky Balboa boxing spin-off Creed), I think there was a certain grit to that fighting, to that boxing, a certain realism that he brought to the table, with the choreography and just the way he was looking in terms of the story. Because there’s always storytelling in fighting.
“I also just feel like [Black Panther] in general is a strategist. He’s the person that tries to stay a step ahead. He’s not necessarily the comedic element, the sparky stuff that actually works with many of the other characters that you see in comic books. That’s not necessarily who he is.
“There’s a mystery and a mystique to him,” Boseman concluded. “So all those things to me sort of present a recipe for a darker drama than you might normally see.”
Hopefully, the end result will be the cat’s pyjamas.
Captain America: Civil War is available on 3D Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray, DVD and digital download now