The Russo Brothers on the First Scene They Ever Shot For the MCU — ‘It’s a Huge Turning Point in Captain America’s Arc

The Russo brothers are two of Marvel’s most valuable filmmakers. The two have directed several of the entertainment franchise’s most successful films, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, but they’ve got a soft spot for one of the movies, in particular.

The brothers made their directing debut with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so, understandably, the film has a special place in their hearts. Within the movie, there’s a specific scene that they feel not only meant a lot to them as directors but also to Captain America as a character. 

The Russo brothers’ first Marvel film was ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Chris Evans arrives at the premiere Of Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Chris Evans arrives at the premiere Of Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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The Russos looked back on their first-ever Marvel job during a resurfaced 2019 interview with GQ, noting how important it was to them at the time. 

“The first scene that we shot in The Winter Soldier was the elevator fight scene,” Joe said.

“Which is our very first scene we shot in the MCU, so it was a big beginning,” Anthony added.

Captain America’s elevator fight scene was very important to them

The Russos knew they had to make their film stand out, and they saw Captain America’s elevator fight scene as the perfect opportunity to make the film seem realistic. 

“It was a very important scene to us, emotionally, metaphorically for a lot of reasons we felt like the style of fighting in the elevator was what was going to make this movie distinctive,” Joe said. “It was visceral, it was hard-hitting, it was aggressive, it was violent and felt very real world to us.

Taking things a bit deeper, Joe also shared his thoughts on how the elevator scene articulated a change in Captain America’s character, as well. 

“What we’re trying to do was take Cap and pull him into some semblance of psychological realism, and with it, we’re trying to drag our corner of the MCU into that as well. And I think that elevator sequence not only represents mistrust and subversion, but it also represents a change in Cap forever. It would never—he’ll never be the same character again when he comes out of that elevator,” Joe said. 

They felt that the scene was a turning point for Captain America

The Russos really wanted to find a way to challenge Captain America, which was difficult since he was always characterized so rigidly. 

“One of the great thrills of that movie is we got to challenge Cap’s devotion to Authority and to the country he’s served,” Anthony said. “When we were pushing that movie, it’s like, ‘How do you challenge a character like Captain America? He’s so strong, he’s so resolute, he’s so single-minded in his purpose, and we thought it was very important to find a way to undermine that, strip away everything that he was relying on.”

Given the context of the scene, it makes perfect sense why the Russos are so emotionally attached to it. In their opinion, the scene lays the foundation for Captain America’s evolution.

“So this moment of revelation, when he realizes that he can’t trust the team that he’s serving, the authorities that he’s serving, happens in the middle of the movie in an elevator … He’s just lied to a superior … But he’s getting a little nervous about what’s happening and he doesn’t know quite how to react or who to trust. Then he gets in an elevator after that meeting and realizes … that he’s surrounded by … enemies. It’s a huge turning point in Captain America’s arc.”