Captain America: Civil War, the next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first step in Phase 3, is more than three weeks away from its release in U.S. theaters. However it’s clear that the buzz is strong, perhaps the strongest of any film in the run of Marvel Studios films released to date.
Early reviews for Civil War have been universally positive, with the Tomatometer registering at 100 percent through the first 15 reviews. The film’s expansive lineup of superheroes - including the MCU debut of new Spider-Man Tom Holland, has excited fans, as have the trailers. Indeed, the overall pre-release buzz has been an almost night-and-day difference from that of its DC rival, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
N, Captain America: Civil War has snagged the cover - multiple covers, in fact - of EW annual summer movie preview issue. There are four covers total, two for each side of the eponymous Civil War. The first features part of Team Cap: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan.) The second has more of the team: Captain America himself (Chris Evans), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie.) The third cover is half of Team Iron Man: Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and War Machine (Don Cheadle); the fourth is the other half: Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Vision (Paul Bettany.) Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, as was announced a few months ago, is sitting this one out, as is Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.
In an EW interview, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige noted that the four Marvel films after Civil War - Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming - will not feature the core Civil War characters, adding “That’s somewhat intentional to go and explore the other aspects [of the MCU].” However, (most of?) the main players in Civil War ought to start taking center stage again with Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 in May of 2018.
Is it a concern that Civil War will have trouble juggling that large amount of characters, especially since they’re all supposed to be superheroes deserving of their fair share of the limelight? Perhaps, but so far most critics who've seen Civil War don't seem to feel this is a major issue. Similarly, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have shown in the past that they can handle a complex narrative (see their work on Captain America: The Winter Solider) - and if the advance buzz is any indication, they’ve pulled it off again here.
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: Homecoming – 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.