Robert Downey Jr. Joining 'Captain America 3' to Kickstart Civil War
by Ethan Anderton
October 13, 2014
This is the biggest Marvel news to arrive since the revelation that The Avengers would be assembling on the big screen. While Robert Downey Jr. dashed hopes of Iron Man 4 happening, he did say that had some other Marvel projects coming up and that an announcement was imminent. Well, that news has broken and it has Downey reprising the role of Iron Man in a completely different franchise. Variety reports Downey will star in Captain America 3, and the sequel will kickstart the massive Civil War storyline that rocked the entire Marvel Comics universe eight years ago and pit Steve Rogers against Tony Stark. More below!
For those who don't know, the Civil War storyline involves the inception of 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. While Stark supports the program, Rogers does not, believing that it threatens civil liberties, and everyone in the Marvel universe is forced to choose a side. However, since the Marvel cinematic universe doesn't haven any secret identities to worry about, it probably won't play out exactly the same. This explains why Marvel announced plans today to reboot the Civil War storyline next summer, just in time to be coupled with The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Speaking of which, Badass Digest has had a line on this story for a little while, but they just got beaten to the punch. Their sources say that The Avengers sequel coming next summer will have a huge impact on what will be coming in Captain America 3, so much that the sequel might as well be The Avengers 2.5. That's because it will feature Robert Downey Jr. in a co-starring role alongside Chris Evans, and it could include that new team that was rumored to be assembled at the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. And if you think about it, this goes hand-in-hand with recent rumors that some of Marvel's biggest heroes to date won't be in The Avengers 3 when the time comes.
Why? Well, because Captain America 3 is going to shake things up like crazy. While the film will be lifting the Civil War storyline from the comics, one of the other potential titles for the film is also Fallen Son, the comic book title that corresponds with the death of Captain America. That means we might see Steve Rogers lose his life at the end of Captain America 3, and the Civil War will leave the Marvel cinematic universe in a chaotic state that will run through The Avengers 3, though it's still not clear who that team will be. Rumors peg the new Avengers team as consisting of Cap, Falcon, War Machine, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and maybe The Vision, but that could change.
But that's not all, apparently this huge shake-up that starts in Captain America 3 and runs through The Avengers 3 will lead to a level of instability that will allow Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet to wreak havoc, possibly in The Avengers 4 or some kind of big universe-wide team-up that could include The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. And rumor is that Kevin Feige wants to keep Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America 3 directing duo Anthony & Joe Russo around to direct The Avengers 3 and The Avengers 4, picking up the mantle from Joss Whedon.
This is all just so much to digest, and while some of this is speculation, one thing's for sure: Robert Downey Jr. will co-star with Chris Evans in Captain America 3 and things are going to get absolutely insane. However, apparently it wasn't easy. At first, Marvel only wanted Downey for a small role in Captain America 3, having him shoot for just three weeks. But Downey thought Stark should have a bigger role in the film's plot, and that didn't sit too well with Marvel Entertainment chief Ike Perlmutter, so much that he wanted Iron Man completely taken out of the script.
Thankfully, smooth-talking Kevin Feige talked to his boss and explained his vision for the future of the Marvel cinematic universe, a plan that the trade notes will drive the plots of sequel and all-new franchises for the next seven years. That explains why Marvel went out of their way to stake out dates through 2019, even though their plans probably stretch beyond that timeline. We're just glad something was worked out, because the Civil War storyline without Captain America and Iron Man going head-to-head just wouldn't have felt right at all.
Could this be the reason Marvel has been playing nice with Sony Pictures and possibly cooperating to share Spider-Man? The webslinger plays a pretty big part in the Civil War in the comics, and having him involved would be a huge bonus. But don't count on Marvel to bring the X-Men or Fantastic Four from Fox into the fray, because they are not very friendly with Marvel right now. But there's plenty of time that will happen between the milestone assemblies of The Avengers for new heroes like Ant-Man and Doctor Strange to rise, and who knows what else Marvel has up their sleeve. What do you think?