2016 is a game-changing calendar year on the ever-growing schedule of comic book movies. Batman will fight Superman in March for DC Entertainment and a few months later, Captain America will fight Iron Man to kick off the summer season for Marvel with Captain America: Civil War.
Civil War pits most of The Avengers introduced so far (along with a few new faces) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe against one another in a politically-charged story based on the Marvel Comics crossover event of the same name. With an enormous cast of Hollywood stars returning for or joining Captain America 3, the biggest question is about where loyalties lay. We know the answer.
Any Marvel movie fan closely following the development of the MCU since the beginning can piece together which side of the Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) vs. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) most of the characters will fall on, and some of the potential surprise allegiances (i.e. Black Widow's) were revealed at Disney's D23 event last week where Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and stars Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie debuted the first teaser footage from the film.
With that in mind, below we have three new pieces of promotional art and a high-res version of an old one that leaked online. We don't typically disseminate too much leaked artwork but we knew this stuff was legit... and star Jeremy Renner who plays Hawkeye (with an epic new costume, mind you) in Civil War enthusiastically shared the images on Twitter so there's no holding back now. Enjoy:
Rumors indicate Iron Man will be sporting the Bleeding Edge armor from Marvel Comics, but we've already seen him, Cap, Falcon and a few of the others. Let's focus on what's new. This is promotional artwork after all, so some of the imagery and poses may seem familiar, namely Vision and Black Panther - both of which we've seen previously individually. What's new is Falcon's Redwing drone, something we learned from insiders over a year ago was being designed alongside a more red-colored costume as a nod to the comics. A spy drone not only is a far more grounded and innovative adaptation of a key character trait of Falcon's from the comics, but it gives the character more use on the battlefield as an aerial scout.
Don Cheadle's James "Rhodey" Rhodes returns as well after an exciting appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron as a new Avenger, and of course he sides with his long-time best pal, Stark, and the government. After all, he does serve the U.S. Military. Rhodey's War Machine armor has been upgraded and includes an energy-based shoulder cannon.
Sebastian Stan's Bucky is back in a big way, as teased at the end of Ant-Man, wearing similar attire to his Captain America: The Winter Soldier appearance - this time a little more clean with less weapons (and face accessories). Early reports have his role in the film as one of the most interesting, and he's part of the reason Black Panther gets involved (and Panther is on Iron Man's team).
The highlight reveal is of course, Jeremy Renner's entirely new Hawkeye outfit, completely redesigned from his Ultimate Marvel Comics inspired field outfits from the two Avengers movies. This new outfit, that we know Renner says is his favorite, is far more practical in design and features a full sleeve, more armor protection, and more weapons (including a sidearm). The suit features more color than his previous outfits as well with muted purple-blue fabric. The design seems to be inspired by the modern 616 Marvel Comics universe outfits with more detailing. Riding his shoulder is Paul Rudd's Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man who's recruited by Falcon and Captain America in Civil War. We can only hope that he takes a ride on one of Hawkeye's arrows like in the comics and animated series. That must happen, right?
As for the absent Avengers, Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is going to be on team Iron Man (rumor has it he fights Cap at some point just like in the books) and Scarlet Witch... well, she really doesn't like Tony Stark and is on Cap's New Avengers team at the end of Age of Ultron. Despite Vision (Paul Bettany) appearing on team Iron Man, count on Scarlet Witch - as rumors previously indicated - being on team Cap as well. Although Evangeline Lily's Wasp couldn't make it into Civil War, Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) looks to take up that spot on team Cap - rocking a new outfit herself. Some of the characters of course, can switch sides throughout the story so don't expect this team breakdown to stick.
It remains unconfirmed, but Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo seem to think Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk may make an appearance as well, which makes sense given that General "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt) is involved in the story. Ruffalo was also seen with the cast in Germany near the end of filming. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is off in Asgard and will not make an appearance.
Share your thoughts on the teams and costumes in the comments!
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 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.