Monday, October 13, 2014

Rogers and Stark

Marvel Studios essentially just gave the world a reason to see Captain America 3 opening night…

It has been announced that Tony Stark will most likely appear in the super-soldier's third solo outing.  Variety reports that Robert Downey Jr. is "on the verge" to sign on for the film. This is probably what he meant the other day when he said that big things were going to be announced soon. This lines up nicely with reports of the threequel getting its title soon and RDJ talking about the status of an Iron Man 4, too.

The Variety article mentions this…

"… a move that would bring the Civil War storyline from Marvel’s comicbooks to the bigscreen and trigger the start of a new phase of movies from Marvel Studios."

And this…

"The deal is significant for the Marvel cinematic universe considering the plot will pit Stark against Captain America’s alter-ego Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, as they feud over the Superhero Registration Act, which forces anyone with superhuman abilities to reveal their identities to the U.S. government and agree to act as a police force for the authorities.

Stark supports the program, but Rogers does not, saying it threatens civil liberties, causing sides to be taken and Rogers, among others, to go on the run to avoid arrest. The moral question and battle with his Avengers teammate essentially makes Stark a villain of sorts in Captain America 3, providing Downey with a meaty role he could play out into future Marvel films, including a fourth Avengers.

This all adds up. Earlier today Marvel announced that the Civil War storyline will be rebooted in the comics starting next year. Captain America 3 is set to come out on May 6, 2016. Coincidence, I think not! Everybody has been clamoring for the MCU to tread into Civil War waters, now it looks like it's going to happen - with or without Spider-Man and the X-Men.

I'm totally fine with this, because rights issues are a drag and the MCU doesn't need the X-Men anyways, nor does it really need Spider-Man (though I'd like to see the web-slinger with the others, personally). Iron Man and Captain America have been an interesting duo since they first met in The Avengers, and how their personalities and ethics clashed. Stark becoming a better man was partially fueled by his differences with Rogers, which is one of the reasons - to me - why The Avengers had such a strong story. Iron Man 3 only built off of that, which is also why I loved that divisive film too.

So… Civil War… Man, that's a lot to swallow right there. It makes me wonder how all the TV characters will factor into it as well, what with Marvel ramping up Daredevil at New York Comic-Con for its summer 2015 premiere. Also, it'll definitely shake up the MCU and keep it fresh. People are now starting to complain that the MCU films are starting to feel generic and redundant, with heroes taking on baddies, yadda yadda yadda. Civil War on the other hand is heroes vs. heroes, and making Stark a sort-of villain would definitely throw a massive wrench in the gears. It'll raise the stakes so high, and do something new for a superhero film.

Also, the mention of a fourth Avengers and Downey Jr. being a part of it? Hmmm…

The following is purely speculative (and might be spoilerific, too), but…

Let's just say Captain America 3 is indeed a Civil War film, and the events of "Civil War" as told in the film wreck The Avengers inside and out. They're disbanded, they're going their separate ways. West Coast Avengers is formed by the likes of Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mockingbird (who is being introduced on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and others. Thus, The Avengers 3 will be about a new team of Avengers: Possibly formed by Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and perhaps even the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanos proves to be too powerful for all of them, thus they call on the classic Avengers to finally come back together and team for a massive grand-slam Avengers 4!

This would not only destroy the rumors of Avengers 3 being split into two parts, but it would also - as my Marvel/Disney fan/comrade PJ Campbell said - give Chris Evans and others time to do their own thing. Evans previously was set to make his presumably final appearance in Avengers 3, and then pursue a career in directing. But with having him and others out of the Avengers 3 give the other actors their time. Then when Avengers 4 rolls around, they'll be up for it again.

Spoilers end here…

Now that this has been announced, it makes me wonder what all the talk of a Marvel/Sony Spidey collaboration means. Perhaps Sinister Six being a "soft reboot" translates to "It's a new MCU Spidey solo film, and that Spidey will appear on TV and then be introduced on the big screen in Civil War, then gets his solo movie." Or maybe not, since it would be weird to throw Spidey in and then plunge him into Civil War right off the bat, before pitting him against various enemies. It would be a little too soon for Marvel, too.

Since RDJ hasn't signed yet, I wonder Marvel will finally drop the title of this film once the actor signs the contract. I remember that they were hinting at the title reveal last month, and they said it would come soon. Well, this is perfect timing.

I don't mean to be hyperbolic here, but Marvel Studios has basically won the superhero movie game… Better load your canon, Warner Bros. and DC!

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