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Robert Downey Jr. added to Captain America 3 for Civil War


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.


  1. “very much a product of the post 9/11 mindset”

    Well, insofar as it’s still post-9/11, I agree. Those issues haven’t exactly gone away; the debate between privacy and security is still a constant one, and the government surveillance programs started by the Bush Administration in the aftermath of 9/11 haven’t stopped under Obama, they’ve expanded. We get new excerpts from the Snowden leaks on a monthly basis, with the resultant “These leaks make us less safe” talk from one side and “The government shouldn’t be collecting this much data” response from the other.

    (Wonder where Tony would fall on the “install backdoors in every computer and phone but make sure only the good guys can use them” proposal that keeps making the rounds. On the one hand, Tony should be smart enough to know that’s impossible; on the other, he’s arrogant enough that he might try to do it anyway. Wouldn’t be the first time he’d kept files on his buddies and they’d gotten into the hands of his enemies.)

    That said, the Superhuman Registration Act doesn’t make much sense in the MCU for reasons already stated: the government already knows the identity of every superhuman. Unless they expect Ant-Man, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Defenders to do the heavy lifting and introduce a bunch of new characters with secret identities. (I wouldn’t look to Dr. Strange, Luke Cage, or AKA Jessica Jones, seeing as each of those has its lead character’s real name right in the title.)

  2. In the new Avengers Ultron teaser, we see Iron Man in his World War Hulk armor fighting The Hulk.

    Given the property damage shown, becoming a federal employee is really the only way for Stark to avoid crippling lawsuits.

    And, of course, the whole theme of Civil War is perfect of Agents of SHIELD.

  3. This is a real shame. Because isn’t the point of having a 3rd Cap film to, you know, be about Cap? When we going to learn more about him, and have him deal with plotlines unique to him in his present day (e.g. not the past = 1st two films)? And now he’s being overshadowed by Iron Man whose had his 3 films already without needing any other Avengers to prop him up.

    Why even bother making a 3rd Cap movie if this is what you’re going to do with it? Why not use that slot for, say, Black Widow? Why can’t she have a movie?

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