One thing is certain: when Captain America 3 rolls around, it won’t just be your standard sequel. This was probably clear from the time Marvel confirmed the title Captain America: Civil War and the fact that Robert Downey Jr. would be co-starring opposite Chris Evans. It was clearer when Marvel also announced its intention to introduce Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther in the film, as well as the inclusion of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. And the clarity kept coming when we learned that Marvel is also planning on making Civil War the debut for the new MCU Spider-Man. With today’s news, we’ve hit peak crystal clarity.
Somewhat buried in a casting story on a different film (more on that in a minute), THR confirmed that Jeremy Renner is poised to have a significant role in the Marvel sequel, saying he’s due to shoot the film this spring. Civil War makes a solid fit for Renner’s Hawkeye, as the character has yet to get his own spinoff film and, frankly, it probably wouldn’t make for the most compelling movie if he did get one of his own. The character was somewhat underutilized in The Avengers (Joss Whedon admitted he didn’t really know what to do with Hawkeye), but Renner recently told us that his role gets fleshed out much more in the upcoming sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo are helming Civil War, and the story will find RDJ’s Tony Stark and Evans’ Cap at odds over how to address a world full of superheroes from a governmental standpoint. I imagine Age of Ultron’s storyline—in which Stark’s effort to create an all-robot world police force gives birth to the villainous Ultron—will heavily inform where we find the characters in Civil War, and no doubt Hawkeye and Black Widow will have some passionate opinions of their own when it comes to the issue. Whose side will they take? We’ll have to wait until May 6, 2016 to find out.
But Renner’s 2015 won’t just be filled with superhero duties. The bulk of THR’s casting report is focused on the fact that the actor has signed on to star opposite Amy Adams in Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi drama Story of Your Life. The Paramount film kicks into gear when alien crafts land around the world, spurring Adam’s character—an expert linguist—to be enlisted by the military to determine whether they come in peace or not. As she begins communicating with the beings, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that hold the key to the truth about the aliens’ purpose on Earth.
In the film, Renner will play a physics professor who is paired with Adams’ character to help communicate with the aliens. Villeneuve has become one of the more interesting filmmakers working today, as he followed up the studio pic Prisoners with the head-spinning Jake Gyllenhaal-fronted thriller Enemy, which is great and which you should totally check out. Villeneuve most recently wrapped an action thriller called Sicario starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro, and we learned last week that he’ll be directing the Blade Runner sequel with Harrison Ford.
Renner will shoot Civil War this spring before moving into Story of Your Life in mid-June. Villeneuve teamed with master cinematographer Roger Deakins on Prisoners and Sicario, so hopefully their collaboration continues on Story of Your Life—what could be better than Deakins tackling a first contact sci-fi thriller? Oh yeah, probably Deakins shooting a Blade Runner sequel.