Shortly after Captain America: Civil War was officially announced, the leak of internal Sony Pictures emails late last year confirmed rumors that Marvel and Sony had discussed partnering up to share the rights to Spider-Man - a central character in the Marvel Comics Civil War crossover event.
That leak may have helped propel speculation into reality and Marvel and Sony eventually announced together that they'd co-produce a Spider-Man reboot, but not before introducing their new Peter Parker in another Marvel movie. You wouldn't know from the marketing and set photos so far, but Spider-Man will appear in Captain America: Civil War. So too will an original version of Baron Zemo and another mysterious character played by Martin Freeman who has a larger role to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Still don't believe Spider-Man will appear next year? Don't believe the updated Civil War synopsis that included Tom Holland? While on set, EW saw a stuntman in the blue and red iconic Spider-Man costume, matching reports that during production scenes were shot with Spider-Man before Holland was even cast as the character. EW asked Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige about what they saw at the time, to which he joked:
“Listen, if there was a cosplayer running around that set when you were there, I don’t know what to tell you."
Yes, We Can Talk About Spider-Man In Captain America: Civil War
Later that day, EW also saw Robert Downey Jr. with his arm around Spider-Man, sans the mask, and it was Tom Holland. While all of the cast and crew are strictly ordered to not talk about the subject of Spidey - and we can personally attest to that wall of secrecy - that's not stopping RDJ.
“[Don] Cheadle and I are just going, ‘Wow, dude, look at this.’ We’re now like the old guard, and our storyline carries real weight just because of our history in the [canon]. But we’re also looking around like, ‘Who thought that Falcon and Black Panther and Ant-Man and now Spider-Man…?’ I mean it’s like wow, this thing is just crazy.”
Chris Evans tried to cover that up by saying Marvel may not necessarily use everything they shoot, but it's happening, and this was the first time Feige and the cast would even address the topic. As for the directors of the movie, Anthony and Joe Russo, who also have their own production deal with Sony Pictures, praise the selection of Holland. The Russos wanted someone younger and physical, and Holland has the gymnastic and dancer background to go along with his acting chops. Check out The Impossible and In the Heart of the Sea to see for yourself.
What We Know About Baron Zemo
Like Spider-Man, the main villain of Captain America: Civil War was absent from the trailer, marketing materials, and set photos. And also like Spider-Man, everyone involved with the film is dodgy about addressing the topic of Baron Zemo, even though actor Daniel Bruhl didn't exactly deny that he is indeed playing the classic Cap villain.
Zemo sports a rather unique look in Marvel Comics, much like other HYDRA leaders (Red Skull, Baron von Strucker), but don't expect to see Bruhl having a purple mask permanently stuck to his face. Bruhl himself said the MCU take on Zemo would be "loosely connected" to the source material version of the character but that it's "different" from what fans expect. Perhaps that helps explain why initial trade reports of Bruhl's casting pointed to his role continuing into Doctor Strange which would immediately be different than the comics. In connection to the other 2016 Marvel Phase 3 movie, Bruhl previously said "There’s a possibility. That’s the way it’s written," in whether his role will connect to Doctor Strange.
EW reports that in Captain America: Civil War, where Baron Zemo is introduced, that title will just be one of his names. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige would only say that this version of the character - like the Civil War conflict itself - is adapted to fit what's already occurred in the MCU.
“I will say that his character is very much a product of the Cinematic Universe and all that has occurred within that universe up to this point.”
What We Know About Martin Freeman's Character?
If Daniel Bruhl's Zemo will connect Civil War to the origin story of Doctor Strange, so to will Martin Freeman's character lead to a Phase 3 origin story. Freeman's character name has been noticeably absent from the official film details but we can confirm from the trailer and set visit reports that he's a government representative of sorts. We see him wearing a suit, escorted by Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp), and taking away Captain America's shield and Falcon's wing suit.
Rumors point towards Freeman playing Everrett K. Ross, a liason to Wakanda who works for the U.S. State Department, so it would follow suit that he could return in 2018's Black Panther. Feige would only say that he's one of the characters in Captain America: Civil War who will be "expanded upon" later in the MCU.
“He’s under the cloak of secrecy. There are a lot of amazing actors in this movie. Some of them play larger roles than others. And in some cases there are some you will meet ever so briefly in this film and then will be expanded upon in future films. He falls into that latter category.”
Why Hulk Was Removed From Captain America: Civil War
Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo both said in separate interviews that Bruce Banner would return for Captain America: Civil War but that's no longer the case. That was part of the original script, but Marvel's plans evolved to instead bring back Hulk in another Phase 3 film where he'll team-up with Thor (also absent in Civil War) in 2017 for a cosmic buddy adventure story. That gives all the Avengers at least one ensemble to be a part of before everyone (who's still alive) returns for the two-part Avengers: Infinity War.
While Banner is in hiding, or maybe even off-world during the events of Captain America: Civil War, EW claims that the advanced Quinjet from Avengers: Age of Ultron is back. We're unsure if that's the same one recovered after Banner stole it and flew off at the end of Ultron or another vehicle Tony Stark produced in the time since. As for why Banner and the Hulk aren't picking sides in the Civil War conflict, it's quite simple: he's too strong and it doesn't fit the story. There's no beating the Hulk. And for comic readers, Banner wasn't in the Civil War crossover event either (he was off-world). Screenwriter Christopher Markus:
"You put those guys in a fight, it’s over quickly. It’s like, ‘Well, we have the Hulk on our side'... You’ve got to kind of choose your roster depending on what kind of fight you want to have."
Your Guide To Captain America: Civil War
That's the latest on Spider-Man, Baron Zemo, Martin Freeman's unconfirmed role, and the Hulk as it relates to Civil War. Earlier in the week we delved into the characters, history, and motivations behind Black Panther, Bucky, and Iron Man in the Civil War conflict. Previously we also explored what we know about Vision and the Wasp and their MCU futures - links below to everything you need to know about Captain America: Civil War:
- How Robert Downey Jr. Made CIVIL WAR Possible
- OTHER CHARACTERS Marvel Should Introduce in Captain America: Civil War
- Complete Movie & TV Guide to The Marvel Cinematic Universe – Phase 1 to Phase 3
- The first Captain America: Civil War TRAILER
- Captain America: Civil War trailer ANALYSIS
- IRON MAN's role in Captain America: Civil War
- HULK's role and removal from Captain America: Civil War
- BLACK PANTHER Revealed: Details on Costume, Vibranium & Role in Civil War
- BUCKY as the Next Captain America? Sebastian Stan is Ready
- VISION'S Role and Captain America: Civil War's COSMIC CONNECTIONS
- SPIDER-MAN's Role & Costume Details for Captain America: Civil War
- WASP - Why Evangeline Lilly Isn't In Captain America: Civil War
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 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.