LOS ANGELES —
Marvel's band of Avengers are usually a friendly bunch, but when faced with the destruction of their heroic efforts to save the world, the superheroes are split between maintaining control of their powers or going under government contract, leading to an explosive battle.
Captain America: Civil War, out in international theaters this week and in U.S. theaters May 6, holds the heroes accountable for the mass destruction caused by their efforts to save the planet. Last year's Avengers: Age of Ultron ended with an entire town being lifted into the air.
In Civil War, Chris Evans' Captain America fights for superheroes to govern themselves and goes head to head with his former ally, Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, who wants the heroes to be governed by the United Nations.
"We like to liken it to a fight at a wedding," said Joe Russo, who co-directed the film with his brother Anthony Russo.
"It's something that's been brewing in a family for some time and something happens that instigates a fallout amongst all of the characters so relevancy and topicality are really important to us because it makes the audience feel like it's part of their world."
Comic-book writer Stan Lee signs autographs as he arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Captain America: Civil War" at the Dolby Theatre, April 12, 2016.
Civil War sees Captain America's best friend the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) seemingly cause massive acts of destruction.
A divided superhero camp mirrors the complexities of the current U.S. political stage, Evans said.
"Even in American politics, no one is right or wrong. There's no evil here, we're not fighting Nazis or aliens. This is just a matter of whether we're fighting for our head or our heart," he said.
Moments of levity come courtesy of new additions to the superhero ensemble, namely Paul Rudd's smart-talking Ant-Man and the first appearance of British newcomer Tom Holland's Spider-Man, the latest iteration of the web-slinging hero.
Spider-Man is joining Disney's Marvel cinematic universe as part of a collaborative deal between Walt Disney Co and Sony Pictures, which owns the rights to Spider-Man.
Holland will be swinging his way into 2017's standalone film Spider-Man: Homecoming.
"I like the fact that they're skewing Spider-Man young because that's how he is in the comic books. He's a young kid, and Tom Holland has this really great innocence and naivete but sense of subtle maturity," Evans said.