Marvel: Civil War or Not?
It is an exciting time for Marvel fans having heard the news that Robert Downey Jr will be returning as Tony Stark for more then just The Avengers 2 and 3 as we originally thought, but now he will be a part of an ensemble cast for Captain America 3. The shocker in this was that it seemed very likely Downey would have been walking away from the studio after Avengers 3 due to his age but more than that, with his extended stay within the Marvel Cinematic Universe the long rumored Civil War storyline seems much more likely. After all, the MCU has done a good job up to this point of putting in small scenes that have great meaning to their singular movies but create ripples throughout the universe. The biggest example of this would be that of Tony and Steve Rogers first meeting in The Avengers. The video below this bit of text but it goes and shows the difference in morals in the two that lead them to be on opposing sides from each other. However, in the comics, despite the differences the two were incredible friends. Their friendship wasn't solid by the end of Avengers, as it seemed Tony was much more friendly with Bruce Banner. All of this could simply be Marvel drawing the battle lines slowly between the super friends. Captain America: The Winter Soldier had another similar scene where Natasha Romanoff appeared before Congress explaining that heroes are part of the problem in the world, but they are the only ones equipped to fix it. That ideal fits into large idea of Civil War as the government after so many horrible events wants every hero to register themselves and essentially give away their identity. Tony takes the pro-registration side of this act as he sees a need for it, which from the sounds of Age of Ultron he seems to want to put an end to the need for the Avengers. Steve takes the opposing side of the act feeling that it goes against the Declaration of Independence. In the films, this would be easy to convey seeing how his view on his government has soured and likely will continue to get worse following the events of Age of Ultron.
The story of Civil War is a big one, but in the comics, not only was Captain America and Iron Man an integral part but so was Spiderman. Marvel Studios does not have the rights to the character as they still belong to Sony. However, Marvel and Sony have had a good working relationship since the beginning, unlike Fox, and seeing how The Amazing Spider-Man movies have not lived up to Sony's lofty expectations it is making them second guess themselves. Ultimately, the writing is on the wall. Sony has continued to make efforts to have more Spider-Man on the big screens but the viewers have run a bit sour with the wall crawler. He is an incredibly popular character, even one of the most popular within Marvel's gallery of characters, but his solo adventures on the big screen have not garnered the attention of movie go-ers. How could you change this? Well it is seeming that Marvel and Sony are working on a deal where the wall crawler can appear in both studios films. This would help Marvel get the lovable character in their universe while also allowing them to place him inside this wonderful story while also increasing the buzz for the character and the desire for people to want to see more of him on the big screen. Frankly, it is just good business and seeing how well the Marvel movies have been doing in the box office, well it is about time to get on that bandwagon.
The pieces have always been in place right under our nose, behind the scenes at Marvel Studios they had signed Sebastian Stan on for 9 movies where Chris Evans is only signed on for Age of Ultron, Captain America 3 and a third film. In the comics, Captain America dies in a very emotional fashion which leads the newly reformed Bucky Barnes to take up the mantle (Cap?) as Captain America which starts a redemption arc for him. Cinematically that would play out beautifully and you can already see just with those two characters how it could play out. However, on the character of Winter Soldier, it'll be interesting to see how much he is in Captain America 3 if it does indeed kick start the Civil War. Civil War is such a massive event in the comics that I would hope Marvel does not try to do all in one movie. Captain America 3 should still deal with the fallout of The Winter Soldier and Steve and Sam Wilson taking to the road to recover Bucky and bring him back to their side of things. There is also a rumor that by the end of Age of Ultron, Steve will start his own group of Avengers alongside Sam, Natasha, possibly the Black Panther and Captain Marvel. You could easily add Bucky to that group in Cap's third adventure.
Also, The Winter Soldier served as a origin story of sorts for Brock Rumlow, who in the comics plays a villain known as Crossbones. Crossbones, in the comics, killed Steve Rogers, which we could just so happen see in the film as Rumlow will certainly not be buddies with Steve the next time they see each other. It'll be interesting to see how everything pans out but it is for sure that the heads behind the scenes at Marvel Studios has a wide arching plan for their Cinematic Universe.