When it premieres later this year, Captain America: Civil War will officially launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe's third phase, while also acting as a conclusion of sorts to the trilogy focused on Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). Capitalizing on the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Civil War will see Steve disagreeing with former ally Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) about the Sokovia Accords.
For previous Captain America films, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directors Anthony and Joe Russo pulled inspiration from specific film genres; Captain America: The First Avenger was a war movie, while Captain America: The Winter Soldier was inspired by espionage thrillers of the 1970s. Now, Civil War co-star Anthony Mackie has called the third Captain America film a "suspense thriller."
While speaking to Empire, Mackie - who plays Steve's friend Sam Wilson a.k.a. The Falcon - explained the film's genre inspiration, "I would say this one is more of a true suspense thriller." The Civil War actor further spoke about how the film will balance its massive cast and action fight sequences with a grounded and believable storyline:
"The build-up to the fight is what makes it so interesting because there are so many different factions of who’s right and who’s wrong and who supports who. Once we get all of that out the way, then it becomes more action-packed and more of us kicking each others’ ass. … If it’s a civil war, you have to establish why there’s a war. You can’t just start fighting and expect people to appreciate it."
Given the Captain America filmmakers' tendency to draw inspiration from very specific genres for their films, Civil War as a suspense thriller certainly fits into the evolution of the character's trilogy. Additionally, with all the rumors of certain heroes switching sides between the teams as led by Captain America and Iron Man - as well as the tension between the two sides evidenced in trailers for Civil War - suspense thriller seems an apt classification for the Marvel feature based on what we know.
Of course, the question of whether Cap 3 will be able to balance the emotional justification of all the heroes appearing, as well as the introductions of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), remains to be seen. Mackie seems confident that the film does manage the balance, and previous comments from Anthony Russo about how they tackled the ensemble cast should offer hope that each hero will be as well-developed as possible.
Additionally, early responses to trailers for the feature - including the film's Super Bowl ad - seem to be positive, with Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn praising the movie. Plus, the film is reportedly testing well with audiences. So, the Captain America: Civil War may be another exceptional entry to the Steve Rogers-focused trilogy and a massive successful launch of the MCU's Phase 3.
The movie stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Tom Holland, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl. Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serve as executive producers and the screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.
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.