With Captain America: Civil War, aka Avengers 2.5, less than a month away from release, its around this time that you may start watching the Marvel Cinematic catalogue to catch yourself up – that’s how they get you. But, if you’re too lazy or too busy to watch a days worth of superhero landings, great heroes and sub-par villains, perhaps you have time to read this primer on Captain America: Civil War.
Who has the tough task of directing this immense behemoth?
Well, Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo are back to direct the third instalment for the star spangled Marvel hero. They brought a waft of fresh air to the Marvel universe – not counting Guardians of the Galaxy – with the last instalment, which played like a damn good spy film with fantastic superhero elements. They have the capacity to handle numerous characters and they shoot action in such a visceral, powerful and imaginative manner. It’s amazing to think that these two nerdy brothers were directing episodes of Community a few years earlier, now they’re directing Civil War. And Marvel likes them so much that they’re going to direct Avengers: Infinity War. Both Parts. Now that’s confidence.
Why are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes butting heads?
In the comics version of Civil War, which included the X-Men, Captain America and Iron Man came to blows due to the Superhero Registration Act, which required superheroes and powered people to register and reveal their secret identities.
In this adapted version, Civil War will see the world turn against the Avengers due to their penchant for destroying stuff. Governments will bring forward the Sokovia Accords, named after the city levelled in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which asks for the Avengers to answer to the government and not themselves. Tony Stark, seeing all the destruction he caused with Ultron, is all for this because he realises how dangerous the outfit can be. But Steve Rogers is wholly against the idea because of his inherent altruistic nature to help in every situation. The two recruit and divide The Avengers in a bid to stand for their ideals. Hence: ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes butting heads’.
Who’s on Team Stark and who’s on Team Cap?
Due to calculated storytelling, when the chips are divided, they are all but even on either side. So let’s have a look at the preliminary teams, they can, of course, change and shift as the film develops.
Team Stark: Iron Man, Black Widow, Black Panther, Vision, War Machine and Spider-man.
Team Cap: Captain America, Hawkeye, Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Falcon and Ant-Man
There you have it, we have six fighters on either side of the line and their ready to leap at each other in the most comic book-y of ways. You can bet that characters like Black Panther, Spider-man and Ant-Man will have scene-stealing roles; if they perform in Civil War, audiences will go out in droves to watch their solo feature films.
Who’s the villain of Captain America: Civil War? Is there a villain?
With the central focus of Captain America: Civil War being a moral battle between two sets of heroes, you may be asking who’s the villain of the piece? Well, it isn’t that simple. Chris Evans, who stars as Steve Rogers said: “The Russos [the film’s directorial duo], they make human stories with a superhero feel, as opposed to a superhero movie with human touches. … It’s not villain vs. hero. It’s friends. It’s family. That’s what makes it such a good conflict.” Furthermore, the aforementioned Russos have consistently talked about how the heroes we know and love aren’t necessarily the heroes we know. They’re going to show them as both ‘protagonist’ and ‘antagonist’.
But there has to be a villain, right? Right. Well, Civil War features two villains that we know of and a potential third one who is very unlikely to turn villainous until a later film. The first and the one we’ve seen most of from the trailer is Brock Rumlow aka Crossbones. Frank Grillo appeared as Rumlow in Captain Ameirca: The Winter Soldier and whilst he first appeared as a SHIELD agent, he was actually one of many Hydra agents inside SHIELD. The events of the film leave Rumlow burnt from head to toe but still alive. He’ll be back in Captain America: Civil War armed with an exoskeleton that makes him a suitable physical match for Captain America. Grillo talked about the role: “Winter Soldier let off and I was in bad shape. I was just about to kill the Falcon – which is not hard. I think revenge is a big part of… Whatever Rumlow was feeling as far as being torn between which side he should be on, which I think he was, is gone now. I think he’s out for one thing and one thing only and that’s to revenge what’s happened to him.” Some rumours claim that Crossbones will incite a calamitous event at the top of the film to set of the Civil War conversations but we really don’t know at the moment. All we know is that Crossbones is out for blood.
The second villain of the piece, who we’ve seen nothing from is Daniel Bruhl’s Baron Zemo. Zemo is a German assassin and one of Captain America’s most iconic villains. Bruhl was cast as Zemo nearly a year ago and the studio has done extremely well to keep his costume and role in the film under wraps – so much so that one wonders if he was cut from the film. However, Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Scarlet Witch, revealed in an interview that Zemo is the ‘main villain’ of the film. But how the film manage to include an intriguing villain as beloved as Baron Zemo whilst juggling the introductions of a new Spider-man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Civil War battle, I have no idea.
The third potential villain, and one I doubt we’ll see in the film is the Red Hulk. The film brings back William Hurt who played General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross from The Incredible Hulk, which is Marvel finally acknowledging that Hulk solo film, which for some reason is lamented before far worse films like Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and Iron Man 2 and 3. Nevertheless, in the comics, Thunderbolt Ross actually becomes the Red Hulk, a more intelligent version of the Green Goliath and routinely wrecks havoc. I suspect that Marvel is saving this turn for a future film and Crossbones will have to do alongside Zemo.
The Marvel Universe includes Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson
Well, not really. Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes in the definitive BBC series, will appear as magical marvel hero Doctor Strange later this year but his right hand man has beaten him to the Marvel punch.
Martin Freeman will appear as Everett Ross in Captain America: Civil War. He will be a member of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre (JCTC) and rally the bid to bring the Avengers under control. Ross is also the government’s liaison to Wakanda, the homeland of T’Challa aka Black Panther. Whilst I suspect he will have a small role in Captain America: Civil War, Martin Freeman will no doubt be back for Black Panther in a more extensive role. And adding talent of the quality of Freeman only helps the Marvel cinematic universe get that much better.
Civil War may have major hints to the events of Thor: Ragnarok
Whilst Captain America: Civil War will naturally change the face of the Marvel cinematic universe – maybe a fan favourite bites the dust – Thor: Ragnarok (the third Thor film) will supposedly change the universe in a far more impactful and cosmic manner. Jaimie Alexander, who appears as Lady Sif in the Thor films, recently said the following: “There’s a lot of great stuff they’ve peppered in through Agents of SHIELD, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War will have some stuff. There’s just all kind of Easter eggs and hunts, if you’re really paying attention. They’re so good at interweaving everything throughout those films.” So whilst The God of Thunder wont make an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, you can expect Civil War, like any other Marvel film, to reference the Norse god, his adventures and the torment he will face in Thor: Ragnarok.
The Early Reviews are praising the Marvel movie
Captain America: Civil War will hit theatres on 6th May 2016.