Is Marvel Getting Ready for a Cinematic Civil War?

10/14/2014 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments


With Phase 1 of Marvel's cinematic universe in the books, and Phase 2 about to come to a close with Avengers: Age of Ultron, it's time to look forward to Phase 3 (and possibly beyond), to see if some plot elements can be projected out a few years from the current story, contracts, and a few rumors.

Obviously, spoilers for all current, and possibly some future, Marvel cinematic properties.

The current state of affairs has Thor in London, taking some sort of a leave of absence from Asguard.  Steve Rogers is sort of de-tethered from  both S.H.I.E.L.D. and the USFG.  Tony Stark is also semi-retired, but it's hinted at that Start Industries is buying up all the former S.H.I.E.L.D. talent, such as Maria Hill, and Bruce Banner is supposedly hanging out with Stark as well.

Meanwhile, Agent Coulson is rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra is re-emerging, and the USFG wants more control over meta-humans, alien artifacts, high tech weapons, and other equipment (basically, anything S.H.I.E.L.D. oversaw previously).  All the while, Thanos looms in the background, collecting infinity stones.


Contractually, Robert Downey Jr. is only on for Avengers 2 and 3, Chris Hemsworth has one more Thor installment and Avengers 2 and 3 left, Chris Evans also has one solo outing and two team ups remaining, and Mark Ruffalo has a bunch, since he's only been in one Marvel movie (other than Iron Man 3 end credits).

Marvel is also bringing in new blood.  Sebasian Stan has a 9 picture deal, and it can be assumed that the Guardians of the Galaxy cast, Paul Rudd, the soon to be announced Doctor Strange actor also have similar deals.  Then there's the outliers like Scarlet Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor Johnson, and Paul Bettany.  It's safe to assume that Marvel has most of them locked up, but ScarJo has been in quite a few flicks, she might need a refresh.

Anyway.  Here's the interesting news.

It's been rumored for a while that Captain America 3 would feature more superheroes, probably as a result of Steve Rogers creating a West Coast Avengers, Secret Avengers, or some other secondary team.  It was assumed that this team would include Hawkeye, Black Widow, Falcon, and maybe Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Vision.

It has now been revealed by Variety, that Robert Downey Jr. is in contract discussions to appear in Captain America 3 as well.  This is especially interesting, considering Marvel also just announced a reboot of the Marvel Civil War on the comic book side.

A Civil War story would have Tony Stark and Stark Industries siding with the Us Government to support a registration act for meta-humans, heroes, gifted individuals, etc.  As long as they don't use the word "mutant."  Of course, Steve Rogers would oppose such legislation, sticking to his old school individual rights stance he extolled in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.


This schism obviously goes further than just those two,  as various other heroes and organizations have to choose sides as well.  This the name, Civil War.

Compounding this situation, there have been rumors for a while that Avengers 3 and 4 would be shot back to back and directed by the Russo brothers (same directors as Cap 2).  That's cool, except the original Avengers all have contracts that expire after Avengers 3, and it would likely be far too expensive to re-contract each of them for one additional movie.

The rumor says that Avengers 3 would focus on all the new Avengers, while Avengers 3 would bring in the old team.  The problem is, it looks like Captain America will be the leader of the new Avengers, but Chris Evans's contract would end after Avengers 3, and he has been pretty clear that he wants to stop acting at the end of his Marvel contract.

Here's how all these rumors could work together.  Everything is true about a mini team up and Civil War seeds being planted in Captain America 3.  Captain America then leads the new Avengers and their shiny new contracts in Avengers 3, and Captain America gets killed off at that point.  That's consistent with Civil War in the comics (at least pre-reboot), and it aligns with Evans's contract.


Then, Sebastian Stan, The Winter Soldier, picks up the shield and continues as the new Captain America (like the comics), or Anthony Mackie's Falcon could also be the new Cap, as the current comics continuity has it.

The death of Captain America is the catalyst to unite what's remaining of the Avengers (old and new), and the Guardians of the Galaxy to go up against Thanos in Avengers 4, after which, they can also swap Chris Hemsworth for a female Thor since he will be at the end of his contract, and the comics will have paved the way for the new version.


Robert Downey Jr. is considered the poster boy of the Marvel cinematic universe, so I'm not sure they'll kill him off if they don't have to.  He has recently said the superhero movies are getting old, but all sorts of stuff comes out of his mouth these days.  I'm sure Marvel would love to replace Samuel L Jackson with RDJ and use Tony Stark as a sort of new Nick Fury, maybe as the director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

All this, on top of rumors that Spider-Man might be leaving Sony and returning to Marvel only makes the possibilities even greater.

With Avengers: Age of Ultron still just under 7 months away, this is all likely around 3+ years down the road, so who knows if they'll kill off a bunch of the old cast, or if some will also get contract extensions, but one thing is for sure.  It would be the most epic comic book crossover event film ever.

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