[WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War.]
The third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off next spring with the release of Captain America: Civil War, which will see a number of Avengers appear in addition to the titular Star Spangled hero. Although Disney and Marvel Studios screened the first trailer for Civil War at the D23 Expo this summer, the general public will need to wait a bit longer since the trailer is reportedly attached to Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
However, leaked promo art confirmed rumors about the breakdown of the teams in Civil War, specifying which heroes will align with Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) and his anti-registration stance and those that will stand with Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his support of the hero registration. Now, Paul Bettany has spoken about where his character, Vision, falls in these team dynamics, the script for Civil War, as well as how working with directors Anthony and Joe Russo compared to Joss Whedon.
While speaking to Collider about his directorial debut, Shelter, Bettany spoke vaguely about the Vision’s team loyalties, which have been revealed to lie with Stark. However, recent rumors claimed Vision would switch sides, turning against Stark. Now it seems Bettany may have confirmed the rumor and offered a reason behind the change in Vision’s loyalty:
“What I love about my character is that there are so many places for him to go. I think he’s very interested in what it means to be human and what love is. The only way one can guarantee one’s loyalty is love. Loyalty is beyond logic, really. Logic doesn’t really provide for loyalty. If your logic changes suddenly and things not make sense, you can alter your allegiance, but love stops you from being able to do that.”
Reading between the lines, it appears that Vision will side with Stark in the beginning of Civil War because it’s the “logical” decision. But, as Vision learns more about being human, and his relationship with Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) develops, his loyalties will change from logic to love and he’ll switch from Stark’s side to Rogers’. Of course, Bettany doesn’t mention too many specifics in terms of his character’s arc aside from learning more about love, but it does seem to fall in line with what we’ve previously heard about Vision’s allegiances in Civil War.
Additionally, Bettany spoke about the conflict of Civil War, which revolves around the question of whether or not superheroes should be forced to publicly register through the government. When asked about the script, Bettany didn’t reveal much, but hinted at this larger theme in Civil War:
“It’s going to be a lot of fun. I think it’s really interesting, the way that a huge, epic superhero extravaganza is discussing a really interesting question, which is about people unilaterally going into other people’s countries and their intervention there. It’s actually an interesting thing to talk about in a massive forum like that.”
Lastly, Bettany was asked about the difference between working with the Russos on Civil War as opposed to Whedon on Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as how directors within the MCU are able to bring a sense of humanity to the films in the franchise. He answered that having two directors was, at times, beneficial, and reiterated that the reason Marvel movies capture the comics so well is that they’re being made by fans of the source material:
“They both have a really different approach. I loved working with all three of them. The really great thing with a cast that big is that you have two directors. You can always get one of them to have a chat with about what’s coming up next, and that’s great. I’m really excited to see what they do with what we shot. … I think fans feel that they’re in safe hands, and the reason they feel like they’re in safe hands is because the films are being made by fans and they remember what it is about these stories that connected with them, in the first place. That’s why they have heart.”
Bettany’s comments on the themes of Civil War, and the morally gray climate of the film, are in line with what the movie’s stars have said in the past, particularly Evans’ explanation that “there’s no clear bad guy here.” Both sides of the registration debate have their own reasons for their beliefs, such as Captain America’s past experience with the infiltration of Hydra in S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which led him to distrust government organizations.
Vision, for his part, is relatively new to being alive so his loyalties and character development will be based more on the events of Age of Ultron and Civil War. However, as Bettany said, his allegiance will hinge on either logic or love. Though this doesn’t offer too many it details about Vision’s transformation throughout the film, it proves that even the newer characters in the MCU will be faced with decisions that challenge their beliefs in Civil War.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.