The Russo brothers and Kevin Feige recently discussed the decision to not kill anyone off in Captain America: Civil War over at Hitfix.
Anthony Russo: We never talked about killing Cap in this one, right? no.
Joe Russo: We did for a beat. We talk about everything.
Anthony Russo: I think the thing to remember is, we do talk about every possible scenario over and over and over again for months and months and months. We talked about it. But it never made its way into a realistic outline.
Feige: Well, the ending was always more about fracturing the team completely before getting into Infinity War.
Joe Russo: We talked about lots of potential characters dying at the end of the movie. And we thought that it would undercut what is really the rich tension of the movie, which is this is Kramer vs Kramer. It’s about a divorce. If somebody dies, it would create empathy, which would change and allow for repair, and we didn’t want to do that.
Feige: In the amazing comic book story, which certainly the conceit of this movie is based on and some of the specifics — during their big battle, which has a hundred times as many characters, a character dies. And we talked about that for a while. And, ultimately, we thought what happened to Rhodey would be enough of a downer.
Anthony Russo: The tragedy is the family falls apart. Not that the family falls apart and then somebody dies.