One of the most anticipated movies of 2016 is Captain America: Civil War, which kicks-off the summer movie season in May and will also be the first of two new films from Marvel Studios this year, along with Doctor Strange this November. Civil War will start off Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but at the same time it features The Avengers team coming apart as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) faces off against Captain America (Chris Evans).
Co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo have now described Civil War as being a “psychological thriller” when compared to the last film in the series, The Winter Soldier - itself, frequently described as being a political thriller. While calling Civil War a psychological thriller suggests the movie will likewise be noticeably darker than The Winter Soldier, the Russo brothers attest that the new superhero movie will offsets its narrative with solid humor throughout.
Following an IMAX screening event of Captain America: The Winter Soldier for Collider the co-directors were asked about the upcoming Civil War's tone and how it fits in with the other two movies in the Captain America film trilogy. According to the brothers, there will be a lot of funny moments throughout Cap's next adventure:
“There’s a good portion of [Civil War] that’s actually funnier than Winter Soldier, because there are characters in that film, that come from worlds where the tone is more comedic. Not all the characters in that movie have the same history as the Avengers. They’re coming at the problem of the film, not embedded with that baggage.”
Civil War will introduce new characters into the MCU and the Avengers, like Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), while at the same time having characters like Captain America cross paths with Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). As such, it seems as though a number of these new characters and/or non-Avengers shouldn't have the same emotional baggage and history as characters like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers - though, it remains somewhat unclear what their motivations are and how it relates to the larger superhero conflict in the film. Per the Russos:
“They’re not tied to the central arc of the movie with the same motivation as the other characters, so they can be lighter. I think there are a lot lighter moments because there are much darker moments as well. We did have to work very hard at that.”
Marvel Studios is actually really good at striking a balance between darker and lighter tonal shifts in their movies. It's one of the reasons why they appeal to such a big audience. It will be interesting to see how bad things get for Captain America and The Avengers - though, no matter how dark and dire things seem for the characters and superheroes, there will always be some light moments to cut the tension. Just imagine how fun and quippy Spider-Man would be if he's in the same room with Iron Man or Ant-Man.
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.