Marvel Studios is having a big year in 2015 with the release of both The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, but they have something equally as exciting brewing for next year. As was confirmed in late 2014, Captain America 3 will be titled Captain America: Civil War, and will feature heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe clashing with other heroes over a very divisive issue that could determine their entire future as costumed vigilantes. It promises to be a complex, action filled blockbuster event, and it’s one that we’re already set to start analyzing one year out from release.
Like the first two Captain America movies before it, Captain America 3 will be based off of a script written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley, and it will be an adaptation of one of Marvel Comics’ biggest crossover events: Mark Millar’s Civil War. The movie’s plot will be tied into the aftermath of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and the conclusion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Two, and should be one of Marvel Studios biggest ensemble films to date.
According to an official press release, the movie will begin with Captain America leading the new team of Avengers around the globe and stopping threats. Unfortunately, one stop on this tour leads to an international incident involving a good deal of collateral damage. Mounting political pressure results in a regulation that will force superheroes to register with the government, but while some individuals are on board with this idea, others very much aren’t. This leads to a clash of the titans where heroes aren’t fighting villains, but instead other heroes.
Though they went into making Captain America: The Winter Soldier with zero blockbuster directing experience, brothers Joe and Anthony Russo absolutely blew audiences away in 2014 with their first Marvel film – and it came as a surprise to nobody when news came around that the studio wanted them back for Captain America 3. Given that the Russo’s work with the comic book company earned them an incredible amount of acclaim, it was equally unsurprising when they accepted the gig.
Feeding off of inspiration from 1970s conspiracy thrillers, Joe and Anthony Russo crafted Captain America: The Winter Soldier into a tight, tense, thrilling blockbuster that to this point arguably represents the best work we’ve seen from Marvel Studios. Their presence is a more than welcome addition to Captain America: Civil War.
When considering the events of Captain America: Civil War it’s not hard to see why Captain America a.k.a. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) might take issue with something like the Superhero Registration Act. This is because the last time he put his trust in a government body, it wound up being entirely rotten at its core and needed to be destroyed. It’s this viewpoint – and its contrast with Tony Stark’s – that will wind up driving the drama in Marvel Studios’ first 2016 blockbuster.
In the Civil War crossover comic book arc, Captain America was eventually driven underground and seen as a fugitive in the eyes of Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. following his resistance to the new legislation. Along with other heroes opposing Superhero Registration, Cap led a resistance movement, leading to both guerrilla attacks and all-out battles with Iron Man and his allies. At this point, it’s not entirely clear exactly how close to the source material Captain America: Civil War be will staying, but we can probably assume that the basics here will all be featured.
Tony Stark really isn’t the same character we first met on the big screen back in 2008. As seen in Iron Man 2, the guy used to be all about personal freedom and spitting in the government’s face. But that was before the trauma. The events of the first Avengers film left him with a serious case of PTSD, and it was pure fear that led him to try and solve all of the world’s problems through A.I. There is an argument to be made that Stark is actually the real villain of Age of Ultron - and that very much sets things in motion for his behavior in Captain America: Civil War.
In the Civil War comics, Tony Stark actually made himself the face of the Superhero Registration Act, feeling an immense guilt for the lives lost due to the recklessness of powered individuals. This obviously puts him in direct conflict with Captain America, however, and it’s expected that the dynamic between the two characters is what will drive the movie.