Everything You Need To Know About Marvel’s Phase Three Slate

Captain America: Civil War

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Release Date: May 6th, 2016

Character Synopsis: Physically unsuitable to enlist in the regular army, Steve Rogers is selected to participate in the U.S. Army program to create super-soldiers. As Captain America, Rogers led his squad against HYDRA, the rogue Nazi science division, and defeated its leader, the Red Skull. Rogers’ heroism led him to be frozen in suspended animation in the Arctic, until he was discovered and revived in the modern era. After leading his fellow Avengers in beating Loki’s alien army in the Battle of New York, he discovered that HYDRA had infiltrated the highest levels of S.H.I.E.L.D., and exposed the conspiracy with the assistance of his allies.

Origin:  In the comics, Civil War was born out of series of events that made the people in the Marvel Universe regard super-humans with increasing distrust, but it began when a group of reality show heroes called The New Warriors start a fight that ends with an explosion that kills over 600 people, including several school children.

In response, the U.S. government makes it mandatory that all people with super-powers register with the government, and reveal their secret identities. Captain America takes this as a violation of civil liberties and fights against registration with a group called the Secret Avengers, while Iron Man leads the pro-Registration forces, seeing it as the natural evolution of super-heroism. It’s already been discussed that the movie version will focus less on secret identities and more on who superheroes are accountable to.

Powers: As a super-soldier, Captain America has advanced strength, speed, and stamina. He’s also armed with a vibranium shield that’s practically unbreakable, and is renowned for his leadership and heroism in the Second World War, and as co-leader of The Avengers.

Greatest Enemies: When it comes to Civil War, the greatest enemy for our heroes is themselves. Captain America and Iron Man become so entrenched in their respected points of view that they end up nearly levelling New York City in their final battle. But it’s worth noting that the comic book Civil War ended with the assassination of Captain America after his surrender to the pro-registration side. The ones behind the death of Captain America are Crossbones (Frank Grillo’s character in The Winter Soldier), who’s the trigger man, with none other than the Red Skull (played by Hugo Weaving in The First Avenger) pulling the strings.

Casting: Of course, Chris Evans will return as Captain America. In addition to him, Civil War will mark the first appearance of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, The Black Panther, and Robert Downey Jr. will also appear as Tony Stark/Iron Man. There’s been a rumor that Jeremy Renner will appear as Hawkeye as well, and it would seem likely that Anthony Mackie will return as Sam Wilson/The Falcon to support his partner as he does in the comic book Civil War. But that hasn’t been confirmed just yet.

Given the grandness of the storyline and the fact that it comes from a crossover event that encompassed almost every single one of the Marvel heroes, the possibility of appearances from any of the characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is quite high.

History and Future: The comic book ending of Civil War isn’t the only thing that adds a tone of finality for Steve Rogers going into his third solo adventure; Chris Evans has made remarks that it’s his intention to retire from acting once his Marvel contract is fulfilled. Good thing there’s a back stop written in to the Civil War story: Bucky. Cap’s life-long friend (played by Sebastian Stan) was last seen as the titular antagonist in The Winter Soldier, but in the comics he succeeds Steve Rogers as Captain America. It might be an elegant way to continue Captain America’s adventures with a new Captain America in future Marvel movies.

– Adam Donaldson