When we see or think about a solo superhero film, we usually find that it's a film more-or-less revolving around the feelings and adventures of that particular hero. But 2016's Captain America: Civil War is probably going to be a major and risky exception.
Civil War will take place immediately after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and will feature Captain America going toe-to-toe with Iron Man due to their differing opinions about the Superhuman Registration Act, which demands that all superheroes living in the USA be under official government regulation. Captain America opposes the act while Iron Man vocally supports it.
The film has assembled a huge cast already, no doubt. People have long been calling the film "Avengers 2.5" referring to the huge variety and ensemble nature of the cast, which is usually reserved for Avengers films and that the film no longer felt like a Captain America film. Aside from Chris Evans returning as the Captain, the film already has Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Anthony Mackie as Falcon, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Frank Grillo as Crossbones and Daniel Brühl as rumoured main antagonist Baron Helmut Zemo. And although an appearance from Spider-Man hasn't been confirmed by anyone yet, we shouldn't be too surprised if he pops up, given the significance of his role in the comic book. And to that huge and seemingly never-ending list of cast and characters, six more have been confirmed.
Early this month, Martin Freeman was cast in an unspecified role while Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp and William Hurt were confirmed to reprise their roles from previous Marvel films as the Vision, War Machine, Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Agent 13 and Thunderbolt Ross, respectively. Now, the confirmation of the inclusion of Bettany, Cheadle and Rudd further supports an earlier rumour which stated who will be on whose side in the film. According to that rumour, joining Captain America will be Falcon, Black Widow and Hawkeye and joining Iron Man will be Vision, War Machine and Scott Lang. And apparently, Scarlet Witch and Black Panther aren't sure which side to fight for. They better fight for Cap, because if those are going to be the teams, then the fight will be over pretty quick!
The casting of Martin Freeman is another story. Seeing as how he's quickly establishing himself as a popular and multi-talented actor, it was only a matter of time before Marvel approached him with a role. Many recent rumours have suggested that he will play the role of Henry Peter Gyrich, who, in his first appearance, was the official U.S. government liaison to the Avengers by the National Security Agency and later the United Nations. He was also the head of the Commission on Superhuman Activities and following the events of Civil War, he served as the Secretary of Superhuman Armed Forces. But Gyrich has already appeared in a brief role in the first X-Men film in 2000, so it's unclear whether the rights to the character are still owned by 20th Century Fox or not.
But the most surprising and exciting thing of all of these announcements is William Hurt's return in the MCU!! His character, General Thunderbolt Ross, was never even mentioned after the events of The Incredible Hulk which most people presumed was not even in continuity any more. So it will definitely be interesting to see where and how he fits in the story.
But that's not the only exciting part. Chris Evans stated earlier that Civil War will, in a way, help set up the events of the two-part mega event Avengers: Infinity War. Now, it is a known fact that Thanos won't be the only villain in the film and that he is likely to assemble a group of supervillains. A confirmed member of that supposed group is Tom Hiddleston returning as Loki. If, by any chance, Ross becomes the Red Hulk in Civil War, it's highly possible that Thanos will recruit him by the time Infinity War rolls out. And it doesn't end there. Now that we know the events of The Incredible Hulk are being continued in later films, we might even get to see the Abomination or a fully mutated Samuel Sterns as the Leader at one point in either one of the Infinity War films.
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