With just under two months to go until the release of Captain America: Civil War, anticipation for the Marvel Studios film is higher than ever. The battle of the Avengers will be fought between Steve Rogers’ Cap (Chris Evans) on one side and Tony Stark’s Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) on the other. With a new government motion calling for the accountability of superheroes, Stark and his team aim to reign in Rogers and his rebels who are refusing to comply. The result is what Downey Jr. is calling ‘The Godfather‘ of superhero movies. The Avengers are divided in an all-out internal battle in Civil War, allowing for the introduction of new characters like Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and a Spider-Man (Tom Holland) of the MCU’s very own.
Producers of super movies seem to always want to top their last films by pushing the boundaries further. Their sequels get bigger in size and darkness, even to the point of their colon-ed titles – which seem to be competing in length with that of 19th century books. Having recently heard that there will be a 15 minute IMAX-shot fight scene in Captain America: Civil War, it should come as no surprise that the film is also gearing up to be Marvel Studios’ longest movie to date.
Event Cinemas is reporting a 146 minute running time for Captain America: Civil War. While this isn’t a studio confirmation, and that number may change before the film’s release, a runtime of 2 hours and 26 minutes gives an idea of the sheer scale of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 13th movie. It may have just been beaten in length by this year’s other big superhero punch up, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice at 151 minutes. Nevertheless, Cap’s third outing looks to become the longest MCU movie to date, beating both Avengers movies by three and four minutes, respectively.
Some may see the length of the movie as overindulgent – however, when a number of factors are taken into consideration, it can be argued that the running time is just right. This may be Cap’s third solo outing, putting the focus on him and continuing the story of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but in a way this film is also part Iron Man 4, and most significantly Avengers 2.5; a cataclysmic opening to the MCU’s Phase 3. It’s the first time an MCU solo movie has had another solo movie superhero in it for an extended period of time outside of the times that the Avengers assemble (Cap in Thor: The Dark World was merely a cameo). This, with the inaugural scenes of Black Panther and Spider-Man, before their MCU solo outings, gives the movie merit to be as long, if not longer, than a full-blown Avengers movie.
On the other side, there is a small chance that Civil War could be too much. Let us never forget that there is very much a precedent for superhero movies being over-loaded with too many comic book characters for them all to get their fair due. Nevertheless if Civil War’s length includes IMAX-fuelled extended fight scenes between Rogers and Stark, the run time could well be an aid to the epicness of the film’s vigilante showdown. If anything, it’s generating excitement for the double-bill extravaganza that will be Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 & 2, which will also be directed by Winter Soldier and Civil War helmsmen Anthony and Joe Russo.
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 7, 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.