Here we ask: what are we expecting from Marvel’s latest instalment? And how will this affect the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) on the whole? Is this the movie we finally get the death of a major character?
We’re going to be basing a lot of what we speculate about on the previous films, mainly The Winter Soldier and the trailers we’ve seen so far. We’re also going to include some spoilers from a well-known comic book story arc, which may or may not be involved in the film.
So, spoilers for that comic book series and also potential spoilers for the film, although this is all speculation, I have no idea.
So Steve Rogers was a skinny little guy with a big heart who underwent the ‘Super-Soldier’ program to become, a…erm…super soldier. He took down the Red Skull, the leader of the rogue Nazi science division to save the world but in doing so he ended up being frozen in ice until being awoken for 2012’s Avengers. Steve’s childhood best friend, James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes was an unfortunate casualty of WWII…or so we thought! Bucky returns as the Winter Soldier in the present day as a brainwashed assassin for Hydra, who have sneakily managed to infiltrate SHIELD (the good guys). With Hydra on the ascendency, Steve and Bucky are pitted against each other. Steve, with the help of Black Widow, Falcon, Nick Fury and Agent Hill manage to stop Hydra after a showdown between Cap and Bucky. By the end of the film there’s more than a hint that Bucky has snapped out of his brainwashing and remembers Steve. But before we can see the two reunited, Bucky disappears.
What we think will happen
Captain America: Civil War is set to pick up where The Winter Soldier finished. Steve and The Falcon/Sam Wilson are hunting down Bucky, we know that from Avengers: Age of Ultron, and we’re guessing they find him and release him from captivity (Hydra maybe?), with the help of Ant-Man (see Ant-Man post credits sting).
Now this is where the speculation begins. We know Frank Grillo returns as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones so presumably Hydra is still active (we know this also from the TV series, Agents of Shield). Now again this is pure speculation but I think that Bucky is on the run from, well pretty much everyone, as he’s currently known as a Hydra assassin. He has a LOT of enemies. I think that early on in the film we’ll get a situation where someone is trying to frame Bucky for something and this prompts Cap and Falcon and Ant-Man to go to his defense. This also prompts the Government and Tony Stark to push legislation saying that all ‘super heroes’ must be registered or governed to avoid collateral damage. In the trailer, the casualties of the New York alien invasion, the aftermath of The Winter Soldier and the destruction of an entire city in Age of Ultron are all brought to our attention.
So Tony says they should be regulated, and Steve says no that’s not what being a hero is about. Then everyone is given a number and they pick teams (definitely how they do it). I bet Hawkeye was last pick…get a more efficient weapon, man! Anyway, then they fight for a bit and then probably make up, maybe Tony and Steve’s Mums have the same name…who knows.
I genuinely have no idea how this film is going to end but I’m going to touch on that a bit more at the end. But I just wanted to draw your attention to a certain Daniel Bruhl, who has been cast as Baron Zemo, whose Dad was a Nazi scientist and an enemy of Cap in WWII. He’s fought with Cap and other Marvel heroes many times in the comics but he’s not in the Civil War comic. In addition, Marvel’s marketing team hasn’t even hinted at his role yet, he’s not in the trailer or any of the promotional material. So what he’s doing in the film is anyone’s guess. Maybe he’s got a Skywalker moment at the end. But I’m assuming his involvement is confirmation that Hydra is somehow involved in turning our heroes against each other and Zemo could be masterminding that. I’m guessing that something happens (I’ll get onto this later) to reunite our heroes before the end for them to team up to take down Zemo.
Spiderman. Finally we’re getting Spiderman in the MCU! Back where he belongs after Sony well and truly managed to ruin their franchise to an extent where they’ve decided to give him back to Marvel, for a fair price I’d imagine. Tom Holland plays the web-slinger and we’ve only had a glimpse of him in the last seconds of the Civil War trailer but I think he looks awesome. Now, where does he fit in? It’s anyone’s guess how he ends up in this fight but it looks like Tony recruited him and probably fitted him out in a fancy suit. How nice of him.
In the comic, Superman publicly unmasks himself as Peter Parker to show his devotion to the superhero registration act and to Tony Stark’s team before defecting to Caps team later on. Now, in the MCU, alter-egos aren’t really a thing so I doubt this will happen in the film. Also, Spiderman is new in this story and therefore him unveiling himself wouldn’t really have any impact. So the question is, what’s his role? Maybe he is roped in and seduced by Tony’s money and the fancy suit he gives him before realizing he’s actually on Cap’s side. I’m guessing the kid is going to be key in resolving this dispute. It would definitely be a shame if he doesn’t play a pivotal role in what’s about to play out. The fact he’s now part of the MCU is too big a deal to simply have him as a bit-part and have him thrown him just to make up the numbers. So we’re keeping high hopes that he’s going to swing (pun intended) the balance of Civil War.
We’re also getting a first look at the Blank Panther, who we see a lot more of in the trailer than Spidey. T’Challa is the King of Wakanda, which is the fictional African country mentioned in Age of Ultron. Here’s another character with no previous alliances with anyone else in the film so it’ll be interesting to see how he ends up on Tony’s side. Here’s my theory. I think the explosion we see in the trailer (I think it’s at some kind of UN conference) is blamed on Bucky and T’Challa’s father (who would be King of Wakana at this point) is killed in this explosion. This then leads Black Panther to team up with Tony get justice for his farther and ends up being drawn into the conflict.
There’s also the talented addition of Martin Freeman to the MCU, a casting that got everyone talking and thinking. Who’s he playing? A good guy? A bad guy? An agent? A superhero? After the initial speculation Marvel came out and said that he’s playing Everret Ross, who in the comics, is the US State department employee tasked with escorting Black Panther around on his trips to the US. So we know who he is, and how he’ll mostly likely be introduced to the story but I’d be highly surprised, and a little disappointed if that’s all his character gets to do. Freeman was, arguably, the strongest part of the recent Hobbit trilogy and has proven he’s a top notch actor with his range of work from The Office, to Sherlock to the recent Fargo, so it would be a great shame to see him in a small, insignificant role. Mark Miller, the writer of the Civil War comic series, said that the role would seem ‘obvious’ once we all knew what it was. This was before Marvel announced whom Freeman is playing but it seems like quite a cryptic answer, even now that we know the answer; so is there more to this role? We can only wait and see!
We’ve also got our first look at the New Avengers introduced at the end of Age of Ultron. Just a reminder, the new lineup is Cap, Black Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Vision and Scarlet Witch. It’ll be interesting to see how this team works together before they inevitably get torn apart. It’ll also be interesting to see how Ant-Man becomes involved, although we do get a shot of this at the end of Ant-Man, and how Hawkeye is drawn into the fight (he retired, remember?).
We’re also getting the return of William Hurt as General Ross from the Incredible Hulk movie. Remember the one? We had Edward Norton as the Hulk; Tim Roth was in it too. No? Well it came out just after Iron Man and it’s still canon in the MCU even though everyone has forgotten about it. The role of Bruce Banner has now been excellently filled by Mark Ruffalo. But yeah, he’s back as an anti-superhero guy I guess. No surprises there then as he was Hulk’s main antagonist in the original film. Going of the trailers it looks as though he’s the one driving the superhero registration act, or whatever they’re calling it in the film.
There’s a great shot in the trailer of both teams running head on at each other and it looks just like a comic book splash page. It also shows us the clear divide between our heroes and shows us who’s lined up on each side.
Team Iron Man
|Captain America||Iron Man|
|Winter Soldier||War Machine|
It’s an interesting divide and I’m fascinated to see how each character ends up on each side. I’m also wondering who might switch allegiances. I’ve already mentioned Spiderman, but I’ve also got my money on Black Widow being a double agent for Steve.
How far will Tony go?
In this Civil War comic book, Tony has a similar stance to the one we’ve been shown in the film. But, he’s a real dickhead in the comic and he makes it incredibly hard to side with him even if his points are valid. In short, he clones Thor, which ends up killing another superhero and then builds a prison in the Negative Zone to lock-up all the people who don’t agree with him, he also hires the murderous Punisher to round up superheroes in hiding. Told you, real asshole. I’d be shocked if they pushed Tony this far in the film because he’s probably the most popular character and they wouldn’t risk turning fans against him. Also, it makes for a less interesting story if there’s an obvious right or wrong. Let’s have some ambiguity please. I want to be switching sides every 5 minutes when I’m watching this.
Will we get a death?
Now, there are spoilers here for the Captain America comic book story line following Civil War.
It’s called ‘The Death of Captain America’. No surprises what happens then. Yep, in the follow up and as a consequence of Civil War Captain America is killed. On the orders of the Red Skull (Remember the First Avenger?), Crossbones (Winter Soldier) snipes Captain America, who is being taken into SHIELD custody. The final blow is delivered by his brainwashed girlfriend Sharon Carter (The Winter Soldier). Yeah…pretty brutal. And Tony does not respond well to it, mainly because it’s his fault. He’s consumed with guilt and is determined to find the killer. Bucky’s also thinks this was Tony’s fault wants to kill him as a result. He even becomes the new Captain America after Steve’s demise and there’s a little easter egg to this in The Winter Soldier.
Is Zemo playing the role of Red Skull? Does Cap die two-thirds of the way into the film after being brought in by SHIELD? In the comics the conflict is ended when Cap heartbreakingly surrenders to stop the bloodshed before being taken in. I really hope we get this scene, as it really is the essence of the character. There is a moment in the trailer where Cap is surrounded by agents of some sorts and puts his shield away in a seemingly gesture of surrender. Could this be what this scene is alluding to? But could this conflict end earlier than we might expect in the film? Could Zemo then pounce and kill Cap resulting in the remaining Avengers uniting to bring him to justice? It certainly would be a bold move. But I’m not sure Marvel will kill off one of their stars before Infinity War lands in 2018.
Then there’s the fate of War Machine, Tony Starks’ best bud. The trailer heavily hints that things aren’t going to go so well for Rhodey’s armor clad superhero. We see him fall from the sky, obviously unconscious and unable to fly his suit. Iron Man dives to save him. In what can be presumed to be the following scene, Tony cradles the unconscious Rhodey. Where this takes place within the film, that’s anyone’s guess. The trailer is edited to make it look like Bucky is the one who takes the shot that sends War Machine tumbling from the sky but this is definitely a red herring. If Marvel are clever they’ll be placing ideas in our head to then reveal something truly surprising on the 29th April. Will Rhodey die however? It’s a possibility. He’s a well-liked character, that’s for sure, but his death wouldn’t shake up the MCU like Cap’s would, so he would be a prime character to kill. His death would hit home and give some real personal motivation for Tony but it wouldn’t completely disrupt and alter future films. But do I think it will happen? Probably not! They’ve thrown it into the trailer and so to kill him off wouldn’t be a shock or surprise, I think it’s a classic bit of misleading the audience for an even bigger, more surprising and MCU altering death.
A big death would explain the quote from the Russo’s that Civil War will have an even more significant impact on the MCU than Winter Solider, which has had the biggest impact of any Marvel film to date. If it isn’t a death it would be very interesting to see what this event might be and even more so how it will affect Infinity War and the rest.
We’re certainly looking forward to it, especially after the Russo’s did such a great job on The Winter Soldier.
Civil War lands over here in the UK on April 29, 2016