Last week, the early arrival of the first trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron set the internet on fire. It was a phenomenon that will very likely repeat itself when even more new footage from the film is previewed during this week's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
And as that trailer teased, this sequel is going to be a darker, more brutal film than The Avengers, which was all about assembling a team. Meanwhile, Avengers 2 will focus on keeping that team together through incredibly difficult odds. Like Ultron: a robot created by Tony Stark for the purpose of aiding the Avengers in their fight against evil, who then goes rogue and becomes intent on destroying all of humanity.
Not only will the battle against Ultron be a difficult one, but it will be a personal fight for The Avengers seeing as he was created by one of their own. The nature of this new enemy's origin will undoubtedly have an effect on The Avengers as a team, with it perhaps becoming more difficult for Stark's teammates to fully trust him. And if The Avengers can no longer trust Stark - and can therefore no longer look to him to lead - then perhaps it's time for another Avenger to step up.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Chris Evans discussed where Captain America's head is at during Age of Ultron, indicating that Cap is still very much a soldier who relies on having a chain of command:
"He’s still looking for a home, probably a metaphorical home. He’s always felt comfortable as a soldier. And he likes structure. He works well taking orders. But when that dynamic turned on him, he’s now left to depend upon his team, the Avengers. There really is no one above them telling them what to do. They’re kind of having to operate independently. So there’s a lot of leaning on one another, but there really isn’t a kind of clear chain of command. And I think Cap looks for that. I think he’s looking to understand where he belongs, not just as a soldier, as Captain America, but as Steve Rogers, as a person."
Without that clear chain of command, it sure seems likely that The Avengers - and in particular Cap and Iron Man, judging by their previous bickering - will be butting heads more than ever in Age of Ultron. That growing animosity is likely only to continue once the threat of Ultron is vanquished, perhaps even leading Cap to form his own team.
This looks increasingly like the most likely outcome when you take in to consideration that Marvel's future plans include adapting the major comic event, Civil War - which pitted Iron Man against Captain America - beginning in Captain America 3. With that showdown on the horizon, it seems only too obvious that we'll see these two at odds more and more.
Though it mat not be likely that Evans will be around much longer after the start of the Civil War storyline in the MCU, having only his obligations to Captain America 3 and Avengers 3 remaining in his contract. (Of course, that could change at any time, considering Marvel is trying to negotiate Cap 3 with RDJ at the moment.)
There's still debate about who will pick up Cap's shield after Evans (eventually) leaves the role - will it be Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes or Anthony Mackie's Falcon? - but Evans admits he'll miss being Captain America:
"I mean, I’m going to miss these when they’re done. I really will. This has been a lot of fun, and they’re only getting more fun. Especially because there’s a trust in Marvel that you’re going to make something good. It would really be lousy to be stuck in a contract knowing that you’re making shit. And I just don’t feel that way. It’s really a blessing that this kind of fell in my lap. Sometimes you don’t really feel deserving of it. But I’ll take it."
Do you expect to see the seeds of Iron Man and Captain America's impending showdown in The Avengers: Age of Ultron? Could we see Captain America step in to more of a leadership role sooner rather than later? Drop us a line in the comments below!
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1, 2015. Captain America 3 releases the following year on May 6 2016.