WHOA. It turns out that Civil War tease Marvel sent out was just the prelude to the real blockbuster news: Robert Downey Jr. will play a major role in Captain America 3 which will feature the Civil War storyline.
Variety has all the details. It seems RDJ was negotiating for Iron Man 4, and a smaller role in Cap 3, but now it’s war:
The new pact is significant for the Marvel cinematic universe considering the plot will pit Stark against Captain America’s alter-ego Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, as they feud over 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.
Stark supports the program, but Rogers does not, saying it threatens civil liberties, causing sides to be taken and Rogers, among others, to go on the run to avoid arrest. The moral question and battle with his Avengers teammate essentially makes Stark a villain of sorts in “Captain America 3,” providing Downey with a meaty role he could play out into future Marvel films, including a fourth “Avengers.”
Captain America 3 comes out on May 6, 2016.
According to Variety, Downey’s larger role in Cap 3 riled up Ike Perlmutter, who didn’t want to pay Downey a hefty salary. Ike ordered Iron Man written out of the script completely, until Kevin Feige insisted on staying the course with his plans for the MCU.
It’s worth noting that RDJ is th eonly person in Hollywood who is brave enough to publicly call Ike out, as he did over the summerwhen commenting on negotiations for his return.
“It’s down to Kevin [Feige, Marvel Studios president] and Ike [Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel Entertainment] and Disney to come to us with what the proposal is, and that’s on us to agree or disagree,” Downey said. “When things are going great, there’s a lot of agreement.”
Devin Faraci at Baddass Digest has more on the story, including how the Russo Brothers will not only direct Cap 3 but are the favorites to pick up Avengers 3 and 4 which will continue the Ultron and Civil War storylines.
I’m not clear on how the Civil War story will play out, since the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have secret IDs to reveal, but I can tell you this: the fallout of Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to be huge in this movie. There is a lot of destruction in that film. It makes an impact.
More than that, Marvel is looking at Cap 3 as Avengers 2.5. It’s going to be another ensemble picture, and it could feature Cap’s new team from the end of Age of Ultron. Last I heard (and they haven’t shot this scene yet, so it could change) that team is Falcon, War Machine, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Black Widow, as well as probably The Vision (although I have been told Black Widow will not be much of a presence in Cap 3). And once again the events of a Captain America movie will reshape the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Could the Marvel Cinematic Universe get any more like a comic book?
As I noted in my previous piece, Civil War, in which Iron Man and Cap butt heads over whether individual freedom should be surrendered for the greater good, is very much a product of the post 9/11 mindset, but the comic itself remains a Marvel best seller. t would certainly make for an interesting movie storyline, although it would be interesting to see how the context changes.
All that said, Mark Millar, you’ve done it again.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.