Now that Ant-Man has been unleashed upon the world, all eyes are turning towards Marvel’s next opus: next year’s Captain America: Civil War. While still very much a Captain America film, it will also be filled with many of our favorite characters, both friend and foe. We know the basic premise, which sees Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) at odds over the place of superheroes in the world, but we still aren’t clear on exactly who will show up in the film and for how long.
Civil War is set to be a bit of a globe-trotting adventure for Cap, as opposed to being primarily located on his home turf in The Winter Soldier, and it looks as though he’s bringing his new Avengers (seen at the end of Ultron) along for the ride. Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and Vision (Paul Bettany) will all at least be seen periodically throughout. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is also confirmed and is expected to have more than a cameo. At this stage, a supporting role of some kind seems very likely.
Moving beyond Cap’s team, we obviously have Tony Stark in the middle of it all, along with various members of SHIELD. While Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) will NOT be appearing in the film*, some of his subordinates will be. Hawkeye is a lock, so expect the Jeremy Renner fun to continue. Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Sharon Carter (Emily van Camp) are both slated to return in the film. It is also looking more and more like Martin Freeman’s character will be some sort of government role, be he good or evil.
The film will also see the return of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt), who was last seen in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. Carrying over from The Winter Soldier, we have Crossbones (Frank Grillo) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan), both of whom I assume Cap would like to have words with. Bucky should be of particular interest to Tony Stark as well, given the implication that he assassinated Tony’s parents. There’s no way that won’t hurt Cap and Iron Man’s relationship and further cloud things in an already volatile situations: The Accords.
What are The Accords? Little is known at this stage, but we can surmise from Ant-Man and comments by Feige that they are likely the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of the Superhuman Registration Act. Undoubtedly set in motion by the events of Age of Ultron and likely further complicated by the arrival of Hydra maestro Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), The Accords are primed to be the central conflict in Civil War and the very thing that ultimately tears the core Avengers team asunder.
Will other previous characters pop up in the film? I’d be surprised if they didn’t. We know that on the new end of the pool, we are getting Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) in a good-sized capacity and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) should have at least a cameo. There’s also the above-mentioned Baron Zemo and whoever Martin Freeman is playing.
Could we see anyone else? Word is that Tim Roth is the only other Incredible Hulk star still under contract, so an appearance of Emil Blonsky (aka Abomination) might not be out of the question. Nor would the likes of Iron Man veterans Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) or Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau). Perhaps a glimpse of Klaw (Andy Serkis), given the involvement of Black Panther? Only time will tell, of course, but none of these would really surprise me. Nor would a Doctor Strange cameo from Benedict Cumberbatch (even if it is miniscule), given that Scott Derrickson’s film begins shooting this fall well ahead of Civil War‘s May release.
What of the two titanic elephants in the room: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)? Personally, I doubt Thor will make an appearance. Hemsworth is nearing the end of his current contract and I doubt very much that Marvel will want to waste one of his remaining options on this film and risk a re-negotiation before the end of Phase Three. Ruffalo, however, has a decent amount left, so a cameo might not be out of the question. Perhaps a credits scene of Banner sipping an island cocktail and enjoying his self-imposed seclusion? Who knows. Either way, I would expect either the Mighty or the Incredible to be entering the conflict at hand.
And there you have it! The film will be star-studded for sure, but those included in the cast are not out of place for the story it follows and the story it will be telling. As always, expect further announcements and leaks as we roll toward its release in May 2016.
* – I’m guessing Fury will be busy elsewhere on some mission that will be revealed in a future Phase Three film. Perhaps Captain Marvel or next year’s Doctor Strange?
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