DC’s superhero event of the year, Batman V Superman, has landed in theaters with mixed results – although pleasing to a number of fans. Now, comic book fanatics are looking forward to the next big screen superhero battle royal. Captain America: Civil War ups the ante for superhero conflict, dividing the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) over the Sokovia Accords.
Disney and Marvel are gearing up for Civil War's red carpet premiere in Hollywood on April 13 and its early May release, which will include a few surprise additions to the official Civil War cast. Naturally, their marketers are ramping up devotee excitement by dropping even more featurettes online, too.
Marvel released two new promo clips featuring the actors from the upcoming superhero epic. Both clips feature scenes from the upcoming film intercut with comments from the main actors. In the first promo, Chris Evans (Captain America) and Robert Downey Jr., as well as directorial team, the Russos delve into the conflict between the main characters, and how the storyline is more compelling, according to Evans, “because it’s not villain versus heroes. It’s friend; it’s family. It’s good conflict.” They also explore different direction the film takes compared to the Russos' previous outing, Captain America: Winter Soldier. The Joe Russo discusses their motivation for taking on another Cap film:
“We needed to go in a radical direction if we were doing another Captain America film, so we were strongly advocating for the Civil War storyline. But we wanted everybody to be both protagonists and antagonists.”
The second featurette (see below) highlights the female superheroes in Civil War, including Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), and Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter/Agent 13). In it, Olsen explores the instability and terror Wanda Maximoff feels as she begins to discover her powers. VanCamp also talks about her more action-packed role in the film. Most intriguingly, Johansson explores how “the stakes get higher and higher” and addresses her relationship with Captain America and Iron Man, including why she sides with Tony Stark:
“Natasha is a bit torn between either side. With Cap, they really have a relationship where she wants to reason with him. But she sees Tony as the path of least resistance.”
Both featurettes highlight the most interesting aspects of Civil War. As much as fans will revel in the introduction of new favorites like Spider-Man and Black Panther and the superhero carnage which mounts as the two sides wage war, the film will hinge on how believable the conflict between the characters is – something which previous Avengers films took great care to establish. It’s also good to see Marvel finally giving more than lip service to its female characters – especially since, depending upon how closely the plot mirrors the story arc from Civil War, Black Widow and Scarlet Witch’s new powers played major roles in the conflict.
Assuming the trailers and teasers aren’t merely cherry-picking the best moments from the film, Civil War has a lot of promise. The Russos have developed the Captain America franchise into one of the more interesting aspects of the MCU. It also looks like the characteristically clever inter-character banter from the previous films is present as well – something which has defined the franchise and endeared it to comic book fans and casual views alike. In any case, it looks like a very good year for comic book movie fans.
Captain America: Civil War opens in U.S. theaters 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.