Captain America: Civil War recently wrapped production and while its high profile ensemble cast is well-known at this point, even down to who’s fighting who in the conflict, much of the main plot line and story surrounding the new characters remains a mystery.
What we do know is that the film’s adaptation of the Civil War story event from Marvel Comics is quite different than the source material. With only a dozen films to draw from there are significantly less characters available, and even less that can fit in a two-hour movie. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be a few surprises in a movie that already features more characters than any other Marvel Studios production.
There are many characters who would make great additions to Captain America 3 but some make more sense than others given what’s in store for Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – a continuity that just got bigger with the addition of the Spider-Man universe thanks to Marvel’s partnership with Sony Pictures. Before we get into what other Marvel characters we’d love to see make surprise appearances on screen next summer, let’s recap who we know in the film, as revealed from reports, the first footage of the film played at Disney’s D23 event, and the recently leaked Civil War concept art.
Team Iron Man [Pro-Registration]
- T’Challa a.k.a. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
- Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man (Tom Holland)
- James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine (Don Cheadle)
- Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
- Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)
- Vision (Paul Bettany)
Team Captain America [Anti-Registration]
- Bucky Barnes a.k.a. The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan)
- Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)
- Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp)
- Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)
- Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)
- Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America (Chris Evans)
- Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon (Anthony Mackie)
- [Unknown Character – rumored to be Henry Peter Gyrich or Everett Ross] (Martin Freeman)
- Aunt May [rumored] (Marisa Tomei)
- Brock Rumlow a.k.a. Crossbones (Frank Grillo)
- Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl)
- General “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt)
Who We’d Like To See
We know the core teams of headline heroes, most of them familiar, some of them newly introduced for upcoming projects (Spidey & Black Panther) but as the beginning of Phase 3 and seemingly serving as the closest thing to an Avengers ensemble, we wouldn’t be surprised if Captain America: Civil War establishes more groundwork for other Phase 3 movies, even if it that involves other new characters only making a cameo appearance.
We know Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is up in Asgard during this period of time and will not appear in the film, and despite Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. both saying Bruce Banner/Hulk was going to be in the movie, his part from the original script was cut. That means no super-bruisers from the original Avengers team will appear and as a note, they didn’t in the original Civil War comics either.
With that in mind, here are other characters that might make sense introducing in Captain America: Civil War…
Next Page: The All-New, All-Different Oscorp
We’ve already met two different big screen versions of Norman Osborn (played by Willem Dafoe and Chris Cooper) – one of the most infamous villains of Marvel Comics, thanks to Sony Pictures’ two attempts at establishing a Spider-Man movie universe. Both of them were seemingly killed off quickly but not before leaving fans with several versions of the Green Goblin character.
With the next iteration of Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man (Tom Holland) fitting into the MCU, Sony and Marvel should take an entirely different approach with their version of Osborn. He and his company, Oscorp, are just too important to the Spider-Man mythology – and now the greater Marvel universe – for him not to have a key part to play. And there are already rumors of of Matthew McConaughey reading Marvel movie scripts and potentially being eyed for the Osborn role.
Any new version of Osborn should let him take a more political role, one that makes sense to include in Civil War given its political nature, especially now that Spider-Man is in the mix too. Osborn’s Green Goblin stories don’t need to be part of the story for a while, but his hatred of Spider-Man can still be a through line in other stories where – like in the comic – Osborn leads the Thunderbolts, a team of reformed supervillains and a comic book property James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) very much has an interest in making.
S.H.I.E.L.D. has been consistently present throughout the MCU – there since day one in the original Iron Man. Even after the organization was torn apart during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it lives on secretly under the leadership of Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) who remains loyal to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
With this organization seemingly out of the picture during Civil War and Samuel L. Jackson claiming he’s not in it at all, the U.S. military has a much larger role. This is where General Ross comes in. This is also where it’d make sense to include a military officer who has a major role to play in the future of the franchise in Carol Danvers, a character you might know better as Ms. Marvel. For a few years now she’s been known as Captain Marvel and will be introduced as such in her own 2018 Marvel Studios movie.
Danvers’ Marvel Comics origins date back to where she served at an Air Force base as an officer and Security Chief and it’d be smart to establish her in the movies as such before she becomes a super-powered Avenger. How Danvers acquires her super powers can be easily explained by what has been established in the MCU. In the books she’s a victim of an accident involving a Kree (introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy) alien device (similar to what was introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?)
All Marvel needs to do know is introduced the original Captain Marvel in 2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and all the plot elements will be in place for Danvers’ own hero journey the following year. Phase 3 could see Danvers go from human officer to Avenger and we’d like to see that story arc begin in Civil War.
Next Page: The Sorcerer Supreme
Hydra already saw Doctor Strange as a threat as evidenced by a line of dialogue in Captain America: The Winter Soldier when he was targeted for assassination. Does that mean he’s just a potentially problematic neurosurgeon or was the character already on his way to becoming the Sorcerer Supreme in that part of the continuity?
Traditionally, the stories of Marvel movies take place in chronological order of their release, but that may not always be the case. Whether or not Strange is already a super hero during the events of Civil War it’d make sense to introduce him during a Captain America: Civil War post-credits button sequence since Doctor Strange is the other 2016 movie release.
Doctor Strange begins production in London this fall where Benedict Cumberbatch will suit up in a classic Marvel Comics inspired costume. That leaves plenty of time for a button sequence to be shot and slotted at the end of Captain America: Civil War before it opens in theaters next May.
Next Page: The Defenders of Hell’s Kitchen
Daredevil (Charlie Cox) is already a known vigilante in Hell’s Kitchen so any government registration efforts to hold gifted individuals and vigilantes accountable should make mention of this character, especially since unlike most members of The Avengers, Daredevil’s identity is entirely secret.
By the time Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters in May 2016, Marvel’s Netflix programming will have already introduced Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) and Luke Cage (Mike Colter) as well (not to mention, Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra (Elodie Yung)) – other characters who could potentially serve as Avengers down the road. Will the government make an effort to force these vigilante heroes alongside Daredevil to register?
Jessica Jones debuts on Netflix this fall and Daredevil season 2 releases early next year. Knowing the fan interest and speculation of Daredevil appearing in Captain America 3, and knowing the major roles Cage and Jones played in the Civil War comics, the first movie of Phase 3 is the best and most sensible way of bridging the gap between the Marvel TV Netflix universe and the larger MCU. What amazing cross-marketing would that be?
Next Page: The Missing Original Avenger
This summer’s Ant-Man briefly introduced the original S.H.I.E.L.D. agent codenamed “Wasp” in a flashback sequence, but the bigger story for this character’s legacy was in establishing Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) as the worthy and rightful successor.
Wasp is a hero long overdue for an introduction and she was originally in the script and storyboards for Joss Whedon’s first Avengers movie but ultimately didn’t make the cut. Lilly was supposed to suit up as Wasp in Captain America: Civil War – and was even fitted for costume – but she reveals her pregnancy to her second child has altered her film schedule. She will factor later into Phase 3 though according to Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige but we still think Hope Van Dyne should make a brief appearance at least, especially if by the end of the film a new status quo with a new team(s) of Avengers is established.
These are just some of the characters Marvel will be playing with in the coming years, and while there’s never going to be enough time in a two-hour feature film to give all of them their due, there are easy ways to reference them enough to establish their presence in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What characters would you like to see make surprise appearances in Civil War or throughout Phase 3? Let us know in the comments!
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man– July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.