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Marvel Studios isn’t above using existing classic movies as templates for its superhero output. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the costumed version of The Parallax View, while Guardians of the Galaxy owed a clear debt to Star Wars.
But according to the cast and crew of Captain America: Civil War, the next Marvel movie has set its sights higher than ever in terms of inspiration.
“This is the Godfather of superhero movies,” Robert Downey Jr. told Fandango about the movie ahead of its May release.
Apparently, that wasn’t a sign that fans should expect a superior sequel a couple of years later that only deepens the inherent tragedy at the heart of the family epic, followed by a third installment almost two decades later that everyone likes to pretend didn’t happen.
Instead, according to co-director Joe Russo, it’s a reference to the number of characters in, and scale of, both movies. “That’s [also] a sprawling film with a lot of characters that tells very intricate stories,” he explained of the comparison.
However, The Godfather isn’t necessarily where he and co-director (and brother) Anthony Russo are looking when it comes to their own influences for the finished slugfest.
“The movie we’ve been referencing a lot on this one are Se7en, weirdly,” he told Fandango. “Se7en [and] Fargo, just as far as we’re not making comparisons in terms of quality, we’re just talking influences.”
Well, now we know what to expect if Captain America gets a mysterious box delivered to him toward the climax of the movie.
Captain America: Civil War lands in theaters May 5.
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The Woman King