You got your Captain America in my Iron Man! You got your Iron Man in my Captain America! Relax, you guys, relax. Regardless of who got what where when and why, the fact remains that Variety is reporting that Robert Downey Jr. is very close to joining the cast of Captain America 3, and that this film will lead into the classic comic book event known as Civil War playing out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Considering that Marvel teased Civil War‘s return to comics earlier today, we’d say this is definitely within the realm of possibility.
Note: The following article may contain minor spoilers for Captain America 3, so turn away now if you don’t want to get down like that.
According to Variety, Captain America 3 will see Captain America and Tony Stark feuding over the Superhuman Registration Act, a piece of government legislation that mandates all those with superhuman abilities to reveal their identities to the United States government and work as police force for the powers that be. Stark is a staunch supporter of the program, but Steve Rogers opposes it on that basis that it threatens civil liberties, a similar moral battle we saw him fight in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As you may have guessed from the title Civil War, the causes the two iconic heroes to take opposing sides, sending Rogers and others on the run to avoid arrest. Even though he’s technically fighting on the side of the law, it’ll be interesting to see Stark portrayed as a villain of sorts, or at least an adversary for Captain America, in what will surely kick off a new phase of the MCU.
A beloved crossover event in the Marvel canon, Civil War has long been the subject of fan speculation as to whether or not we’d actually see it on the big screen. Adding fuel to this fire are the recent rumors that Sony was considering relinquishing the rights to Spider-Man or coming up with a means to allow Peter Parker to swing his way back into the main Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, it seems, it’s going to happen with or without the Wall-Crawler, but can you imagine what a coup it would be if Marvel manages to pull this off?
Another fascinating tidbit about the Downey deal is that it almost didn’t happen. Marvel wanted to have Tony Stark in the movie for a smaller role than the one he has now, one that would have only required about three weeks of work for the veteran Avenger. However, Downey wanted a larger role in order to net him more screen time and, as it goes, more money too, which angered Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, who commanded the screenwriters to excise Iron Man from the script entirely in retribution.
However, all’s well that ends well, and it seems that Kevin Feige was able to work his magic after all as Downey is set to join the cast (and collect “around $40 million plus backend participation”, according to Variety). Suddenly it’s all making sense why Downey has been quashing rumors about Iron Man 4. There is an Iron Man 4…it just so happens to be called Captain America 3. And it’s likely that there’ll be even more in the future as this deal would set up a whole new status quo for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as they blaze forward into Phase 3, Phase 4, and beyond.
What else could the future hold for the Avengers franchise and the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Well, I asked this very question in last week’s episode of The Dan Cave:
Captain America 3 comes to theaters on May 6, 2016.
What do you think? Are you excited to see Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America 3? Do you think Civil War could work without Spider-Man? Let us know in the comments below.