Robert Downey Jr. Reportedly To Join ‘Captain America 3’

Posted by Bob Muir on Oct 14, 2014 in Cinema, Comic Books |

Iron Man and Captain America

Let’s start with the facts, because this is going to turn into speculation quickly. According to Variety, Robert Downey Jr. is in final negotiations to play Tony Stark (Iron Man) in Captain America 3, due out on May 6, 2016. Though currently only contracted for one more Avengers film — The Avengers: Age of Ultron has finished filming and will release May 1, 2015 — Downey had previously stated that he was in negotiations for further Marvel movies, which seemed to be Iron Man 4. While that may still happen, this movie could be what was being referred to. While this was initially supposed to be a small role, Downey asked for a bigger role, which angered Marvel Entertainment chief Ike Perlmutter. Though Stark was almost entirely written out, it seems this was resolved by Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige. But that’s not even the most interesting news.

From what Variety says, Captain America 3 will adapt the Civil War crossover story from 2006. In this storyline, Stark and Steve Rogers (Captain America) butt heads over the Superhuman Registration Act, a law that requires anyone with superpowers to register their real identity to the government in order to keep them accountable for vigilante acts. Stark supports the law, while Rogers believes it infringes on civil liberties, leading to a bunch of superheroes fighting each other on opposite sides. (It’s worth noting that Marvel has just tweeted this image, which seems to be either a rerelease or a reboot of the original Civil War comics, scheduled for next summer. It’s just the thing to remind comic fans of the story to build hype for a movie release.)

If this is true, Downey will be playing more of an antagonist in this story. (It’s Captain America’s film, so this seems likely.) There’s potential for a lot of cool stuff, assuming they rewrite many of the less popular parts of the story. And Feige, ever the architect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, made the case to Perlmutter that this story would drive the plots of sequels and new franchises for the next seven years. Supposedly, this would even affect “Avengers 4,” which hasn’t even been announced yet! Stark’s actions would affect enough change that a new team from newer characters like Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, who have upcoming movies.

This also fits with recent events that occurred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., minor characters with various superpowers have been showing up. While Marvel can’t use the word “mutant” to refer to these characters (due to Fox owning the rights and being aggressive about them), they’ve been called “gifted” a few times. Meanwhile S.H.I.E.L.D., the government agency reponsible for managing superhumans and other weird people is in disarray after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier; and while there are some remnants of the organization operating in hiding, the government doesn’t have clear control over all these crazy forces. It would make sense for the “gifted” “threat” to keep building — I’d put money on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch being “gifted” in Age of Ultron — until a Superhero Registration Act is needed.

But what’s even more interesting is the presence of a very notable character in the original Civil War comics: Spider-Man. Currently, Sony owns the film rights to the character and has been making a mess of things with movies like The Amazing Spider-Man 2. There have been rumors for a little while now that Marvel and Sony have been playing nice with the rights, with Marvel getting the right to use their character in the MCU in exchange for helping Sony get back their Spider-Man movies back on track (i.e. not sucking). Considering that Spider-Man played a key role in the original story, it would line up with the rumors to see Spider-Man mixed into this movie.

Obviously, there’s a lot of variables to this story (especially the Spider-Man bit), and Marvel themselves haven’t confirmed anything yet. But if this is happening, this is really good news for the MCU. It shows that it has much more planned out than just building up to a fight against Thanos over the Infinity Stones.

Source: Variety

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