There’s so much anticipation surrounding Marvel Studios’ future plans since they announced their full Phase Three slate that many seem to be overlooking the fact that a new Marvel movie will be in theaters in a little over two months. But it’s hard not to be excited about the prospect of the next Marvel movie set to begin production, Captain America: Civil War.
We knew there were big plans for the third Captain America movie, but I don’t think anybody really dreamed it would be this big. Robert Downey Jr. is co-starring opposite Chris Evans, kicking off the comics storyline of Civil War in which Tony Stark aligns himself with the U.S. government in an effort to control the actions of superheroes now that the world has become super-aware. Marvel has also confirmed that Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther will be making his first appearance in the movie, and early word is that the new Spider-Man (being shared by Marvel and Sony) will also be making his MCU debut in Civil War.
With so much going on in one movie, fans would be forgiven for wondering why Captain America is still the main title, but in a recent interview with Empire (conducted before the Spidey news broke), Downey Jr. stressed that Civil War will still be Cap-centric:
“Ultimately it’s Steve’s story; it doesn’t say ‘Iron Man 4: Civil War’. I think that’s great too.”
Downey Jr. went on to discuss the fact that Evans will get to dive a bit deeper into the character of Steve Rogers in this film:
“I think Chris [Evans] has been hungry to bring even more of an underside and some shadow to that. I remember the comics – on the surface you got the sense that Cap was baseball and apple pie, but underneath there was all this churning stuff of being a man out of time. Now we know he’s made his peace with that. What’s the bigger issue? It can have a little something to do with the past, but it can be about someone becoming more modernised in their own conflict.”
When asked if Tony is the “bad guy” in Civil War, Downey Jr. replied, “I wouldn’t put it that way.” He went on to say that this May’s Avengers: Age of Ultron directly influences where we’ll find Stark in Civil War, adding that the Cap sequel will have some thematic parallels to the world we live in today:
“The clues are in Ultron about where we might find [Stark] next, but what would it take for Tony to completely turn around everything he’s stood for, quote-unquote, because he was the right-wing guy who could still do his own thing. The idea of Tony being able to march into Washington and say, ‘I’ll sign up’, wouldn’t have made sense if the political climate in the real world hadn’t shifted the way it has. It’s a little bit of things following a real world continuum in, ‘What would you do?’ You have to figure, ‘Were you to ask the question, what would the American government do if this were real? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Tony doing something you wouldn’t imagine?’”
Production on Captain America: Civil War is set to begin this spring under the direction of The Winter Soldier helmers Joe and Anthony Russo, but as Downey Jr. says, look for clues in Age of Ultron for how the Tony/Steve relationship will develop in this sequel. Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters on May 6, 2016.