LOS ANGELES, March 23 (UPI) -- Captain American Civil War co-director Joe Russo considers the upcoming superhero epic to be a love story between its two main characters, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes.
"What's fascinating about the Cap-Bucky story as well is it's a love story," Russo, who is helming the film with his brother, Anthony Russo, said to Empire during an on-set visit.
"These are two guys who grew up together, and so they have that same emotional connection to each other as brothers would, and even more so because Bucky was all Steve had growing up," he continued.
Civil War which opens in theaters May 6, follows the story of Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), who protects his best friend Winter Solider/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) from the government, which believes him to be a dangerous criminal. That in turn leads to a dispute between Captain America and Iron Man over the government's role in regulating super-powered beings. This forces the rest of Marvel's staple cast of heroes to take up arms and choose a side.
"Is he good or is he bad?" Russo says of Barnes. "Steve has to answer that question for himself, and there are other characters in the movie who hold the opposite point of view. It becomes a very explosive. It incites a lot of conflict."
Stan however disagrees with Russo's assessment that the film could be considered a love story.
"I think it's easy and generalizing it to say that they're lovers, when you're forgetting that one has a lot of guilt because he swore to be the protector of the other, the father figure or older brother so to speak, and then left him behind," the actor said.
"I have no qualms with it but I think people like to see it much more as a love story than it actually is. It's brotherhood to me," Stan continued.
Back in December as fans online were imagining the two heroes as lovers, the Russo brothers admitted that they had no problems with any fan interpretations of the characters from their movies.
"People can interpret the relationship however they want to interpret it," they said at the time. "For us, we've always interpreted the relationship as two brothers. They're very close characters, they have a relationship with each other that is very deep. The bonds between the characters are very strong. That's what motivates the storytelling."
Civil War will also mark the Marvel cinematic universe debut of Spider-Man played by newcomer Tom Holland.