What Needs to Happen for Marvel’s Civil War to Work on the Big Screen
Well, here is a nice little chunk of news for Marvel fans of all shapes and sizes. Not only does the Civil War story-line seem to be making a comeback in the world of Marvel Comics, but it also seems that Marvel Entertainment is making preparations for the Civil War to make its way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We are definitely not early enough to be breaking the news to most people, but suffice to say that Marvel is signing Robert Downey Jr. to a starring role in the third Captain America movie which will kick off a new era for Marvel movies: Civil War. For those who missed the 2006 comic series (if you are a comics fan, for the love of God, read it now), Civil War follows the events that take place after the U.S. government institutes the Superhero Registration Act, a law that forces all costumed vigilantes to share their secret identities and work for the government. Steve Rogers (the alter-ego of Captain America) stands on the side of anti-registration while Tony Stark staunchly supports it; this leads to a pretty epic feud between two massive teams of heroes.
This would mark a pretty large shift in the formula for Marvel. Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe started back in 2008 with Iron Man, the films have always had a typical evil villain hell-bent on destruction and domination. By pitting the franchise’s two most arguably well-known and beloved characters against each other, Marvel seems to be ready to shake things up. And what do we here at NerdSpeak say to that? YEEEESSSS. Please do.
I won’t say that Marvel films have gotten stale. We just got one of the best superhero films of all time (The Winter Soldier) and also one of the most original (Guardians of the Galaxy) in the same year. However, how nice would it be to see your favorite characters doing something totally different? Also, as a huge fan of the Civil War comics series, I have been awaiting this news for years. Now that Marvel finally seems ready to pull the trigger, I got to thinking about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What does this mean for its future? What pieces will come into play in the near future? Will they ever cast Doctor Strange?!
Well, frankly, a lot needs to happen. You might think the Avengers was a pretty star-crowded movie, but there are not nearly enough heroes in that film to make the Civil War seem like anything more than a squabble between a few buds. Yes, I know that Ant-Man is coming next year and we are getting Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Avengers 2, but that’s still not enough, especially considering none of those characters were very important in the main Civil War story line. So who do we need? We need an absolute ton of heroes, including some that Marvel does not own the rights to. With all of Marvel’s recent squabbles with Fox over the Fantastic Four rights, they aren’t likely for any future MCU films. There is a slightly better chance that Spider-Man could be there with Sony’s recent discussions with Marvel, but who knows? Right there you are missing a couple of major players, with Spider-Man being of utmost importance. I am a firm believer that you can’t do a Civil War movie right without Spider-Man, but maybe that’s just me.
Thankfully, other than adding some key characters as well as minor players, Marvel has done most of the groundwork for the story. The Avengers showed us that Rogers and Stark don’t see eye-to-eye, Cap 2 proved that Rogers is the kind of guy who would stand up for freedom no matter the cost, and all of the Iron Man movies showed that Tony Stark is, well… Tony Stark. Throw in the Superhero Registration Act and you’ve got a ready-made conflict. But boy oh boy are there pieces missing. And perhaps the story of the Civil War can be rewritten to a lesser scope, with Captain America and a few friends on the run from the government. That seems just a bit familiar, though…
Either way, it’s really going to be interesting to see what moves Marvel makes next. They really, really need to start expanding their roster of characters fast, and I mean fast. If you have just a handful of heroes on both sides of the law, then the story just won’t have that epic feel that it deserves. With that being said, I assume that Marvel wouldn’t be starting these discussions unless they had some serious plans to prepare for it. At this point, we don’t even really know if the Civil War story will be simply condensed into the one film, or if it will play out over the next several. I guess time will tell. For now, I would be happy with a casting announcement for Doctor Strange, damn it!