Was looking for this, saw a similar question, but no good. Question is there is whole shipping container full of loopholes in Zemo’s plan:

  1. Suppose Steve Rogers did not go to talk with Bucky one-on-one. Instead he volunteers to lead the mission to capture him alive because he is the closest known person and has the best chance to persuade him to come peaceably.
  2. Suppose Steve Rogers demands to be present at Bucky’s interrogation and he is allowed to.
  3. Suppose that no one forgot that enemy interrogation should only be conducted in presence of two armed guards.
  4. How exactly did Zemo disable the backup power generator in the U.N. building? What if they discovered it before the interrogation?

I know, leaving solid proof that he framed Bucky for terrorism is a masterful stroke to have Tony make peace with Steve, but he might not have the chance to show the footage to Tony, maybe because of Tony not coming to Siberia or because he might come too late.

There are two directors and two scriptwriters. How do they account for all that?

  • Closely related, possible duplicate: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/141092/51379
    – Adamant
    Oct 17, 2016 at 3:31
  • 1
    “Question is there is whole shipping container full of loopholes in Zemo’s plan” — is statement, not question. Oct 17, 2016 at 12:37
  • If you are talking about my question, I purposely did not want to list these in case people tried to "solve" individual loopholes rather than address the core question. This solving, however, seems to the point of this question.
    – kaine
    Oct 17, 2016 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


The short answer is, we don't know how he would have handled these alternatives, because they didn't happen, so the movie never needed to tell us.

But his actions in the show indicate that he likey had a backup plan. Zemo was shown to be a meticulous planner, down to the last details. It's unreasonable to assume he didn't have many contingencies planned out. His very first appearance in the movie was a failure: he wanted to get the location of the Winter Soldier program from the HYDRA agent; getting it from Bucky was plan B.

For all we know, the plan we saw in the movie might even have been plan C or D. Was he expecting SHIELD to bring Bucky in on their own, and Steve almost ruined it? Did he plan on Black Panther going active at the same time? Did he expect Tony to show up at the end or did he expect to show that footage somewhere else? We don't and won't ever know, because things happened the way they happened, so whatever alternative plans Zemo had never came to fruition.

His plan seemed to consist of several very broad goals: get Bucky in custody, locate the Winter Soldier base, and get Steve/Bucky/Tony to the same place at the same time. If Zemo was as adaptable as he seemed, he may even have let the details fill in as events played out, as long as he hit his main goals.

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    “get Steve/Bucky/Tony to the same place at the same time” — I’m not even convinced that was particularly part of his plan. I think he just wanted to get proof that Steve’s buddy killed Tony’s parents, and get that proof to Tony, in order to drive the Avengers apart. Oct 17, 2016 at 12:39
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    @PaulD.Waite I think he expected at least Steve and Tony to be in the same palce sometime... I don't know that he needed it to be in Siberia where it happened, that was just lucky for him.
    – KutuluMike
    Oct 17, 2016 at 12:41

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