Avengers: Age of Ultron had the second-highest domestic opening weekend in history, and if more is actually more, Captain America: Civil War, the first film in Marvel’s Phase 3, will top that. Because there are more superheroes in Cap’s supposedly solo film than in all of Age of Ultron.
Marvel announced today that Civil War has officially begun filming, with The Winter Solider directors Anthony and Joe Russo at the helm (they’ll also direct the two-part Avengers: Infinity Wars after that, so this should make for good practice).
Here’s the synopsis from Marvel:
“'Captain America: Civil War' picks up where 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.”
(WARNING: Some minor spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron below.)
The Leads: Captain America and Iron Man
Chris Evans will reprise his role as Captain America, fighting for heroes to maintain their autonomy (do you expect Cap to trust authority after what happened with HYDRA?), while Robert Downey Jr. will take second lead as Iron Man, siding with the government.
The Avengers: Black Widow, Falcon, The Vision, War Machine, and Scarlet Witch
The end of Age of Ultron saw Cap and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) assembling a new set of Avengers: Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, Don Cheadle as Tony Stark’s buddy War Machine (formerly Iron Patriot), and Age of Ultron newbies Paul Bettany (who admittedly, starred in five Marvel movies as the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. before finally appearing in the flesh) and Elizabeth Olsen as would-be lovers -- at least in the comics -- Vision and Scarlet Witch.
Other Heroes: Ant-Men, Hawkeye, and Black Panther
Buried in Marvel’s announcement about the start of production was word that Paul Rudd will first appear as Ant-Man alongside the other Avengers in Civil War -- after his solo outing this summer. Chadwick Boseman will also make his MCU debut as Black Panther, before spinning off to his solo movie. And Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye will also be in this doing whatever, who cares.
Miscellaneous: The Winter Solder, Agent 13, General Thaddeus, and Unknown Martin Freeman Character
The hunt for Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes a.k.a. The Winter Solider will likely come to a head in Civil War, after being teased in Age of Ultron. But which side will he fight on? Emily VanCamp will reprise her role as Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13, and William Hurt will return as General Thaddeus Ross from the all-but-ignored The Incredible Hulk (the one with Edward Norton),
Martin Freeman also joins the MCU as a new character, who Latino Review claims is Everett K. Ross, an interrogator and expert on all matters related to Black Panther’s Wakanda. But will he also appear in Doctor Strange opposite Benedict Cumberbatch?!
The Villains: Baron Zemo and Crossbones
Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Basterds, Rush) already let slip that he’ll be playing Baron Zemo, one of Captain America’s greatest foes. He’s a HYDRA scientist recognizable for his purple hood, and is likely the “new and nefarious villain” from the summary. Meanwhile, the first “international incident” mentioned might be caused by Frank Grillo’s Brock Rumlow, who (barely) survived The Winter Solider to become Civil War’s thug Crossbones.
And you can’t forget about...Spider-Man!
Ever since Sony and Marvel made their deal to share Spidey, it’s been assumed that he would make his already-masked appearance (no more origin stories!) in Civil War (Spider-Man plays an integral part in the comic).
Now rumor has it one of these five young actors could spin those webs: Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Ender’s Game), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars), Timothee Chalamet (Homeland, Interstellar), and Liam James (The Way Way Back). Seeing as filming has already started, it shouldn’t be too much longer before we find out who...
For those keeping track at home, that’s 11 superheroes, two or three villains (depending on what mood The Winter Soldier is in this time), and a handful of other characters, all fighting for screentime.
Which basically makes this Captain America 3: Iron Man 4: Avengers 2.5: Civil War. The only people who aren’t in this movie are Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). And they seem pretty sad about it.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6, 2016.
Now, find out what Chadwick Boseman told ET about playing Black Panther: