(Warning - the following contains theoretical SPOILERS for future movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Proceed with whatever level of caution your theoretical SPOILER-aversion suggests is wise...)
Now, whether you've loved/hated/loved to hate Marvel's Civil War from its comic book origins back in 2005, or are simply excited about the imminent arrival of a wide variety of superheroes punching one another, there's a pretty solid chance that the imminent arrival of Captain America: Civil War is very much centered on your geekery-fueled radar. After all, there's a pretty good chance that it'll be our only chance to see one of the most iconic superhero events of the past two decades on the big screen (also, it's set to feature all of that aforementioned intra-mural punching).
What, though, if that isn't the case?
What if 'Captain America: Civil War' ISN'T the End of Marvel's Cinematic Civil War Event?
What if, in other words, the superhero 'Civil War' that we're set to see engulf our heroes in just a few short months isn't, in actual fact, going to get resolved within the movie's two and a half hour running time?
What if, instead, it continues on beyond Captain America: Civil War, and into other Marvel TV shows and movies? What if Civil War is only the beginning?
Well, as it just so happens...
Robert Downey Jr. May Just Have Teased That the Civil War Is Going to Continue Beyond Next Summer
That, at least, is one of the possible implications of his big accidental reveal on Jimmy Kimmel late last month. Y'see, after Chris 'Captain America' Evans complained about the stiflingly hot weather down in Atlanta (where Captain America: Civil War was filmed), RDJ, a.k.a. Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, pointed out to him that:
"By the way, we are going to shoot in Atlanta again, you and I."
To which Evans responded:
"I know, I’m ready, I’m ready."
Which, it seemed at the time, suggested that the pair were already being lined up to star in another Marvel movie down in Georgia, with Avengers: Infinity War seeming the most likely choice.
What, though, if that wasn't the movie RDJ was referring to?
What if Iron Man and Cap Are Both Set to Turn Up in Spider-Man's Upcoming Solo Movie?
That, after all, is the only likely candidate for Atlanta filming to have already been scheduled – Infinity War may well not yet be far enough into pre-production at this point to have definitively locked down shooting dates and sound-stage bookings – and has long been rumored to feature one or other of Marvel's 'big two.'
If the pair were to feature in Spidey's upcoming solo movie, though, what would that mean for the film?
Spider-Man's Solo Movie Might Just Be a Direct Continuation of 'Captain America: Civil War'
Or, rather, it might well suggest that the Civil War story-line will – much like in the comic books – continue on well beyond its first appearance.
After all, if Cap and Iron Man really were both to turn up in Spider-Man, odds are it wouldn't be as newly minted best buds – after all, with Spidey's solo movie set for release in the summer of 2017, it'll come just a year after the release of Captain America: Civil War. Now, while it's entirely possible that Civil War could end with Cap and Tony being back on the same team, it seems distinctly unlikely that they'll be teaming up for a cameo anytime soon.
Which, in turn, makes it far more likely that any cameo appearances from the duo would come as part of an attempt by one (or both) to recruit Spider-Man to their cause (or away from the other's).
And, of course...
That's Pretty Much the Central Plot of the Comic Book 'Civil War'
Specifically, the question of which side Spider-Man would be on was one of the key – and arguably the most iconic – elements of the event, and his ultimate rejection of Tony Stark's pro-registration agenda in favor of Cap's rebel group was an integral part of the story's development.
Could we, then, be set to see that twist repeat itself in the MCU – just not in Captain America: Civil War? Instead, is it possible that we'll see Spidey join up with Iron Man in Civil War, before ultimately coming to regret his decision in his solo movie, and switching sides?
Could we, essentially, see the war continue beyond Captain America: Civil War, and into Spider-Man's solo movie... and perhaps as far as the first part of Avengers: Infinity War? After all, the other movies coming out between now and Infinity War's summer 2018 debut are either likely to be set off world (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok), likely focused on an origin story and the past (Doctor Strange) or focus on distinctly Civil War-related heroes (Black Panther, Spider-Man).
Could the Civil War story-line prove to be the ultimate culmination of Marvel Studios' vision of a connected, interlocking cinematic universe – one in which the story-line of one movie is continued (in part) in several separate franchises that follow it, before being concluded a year or two later? After all – what better way to ensure fans fill seats than by making every movie essential viewing?
Or, alternatively, Evans and Downey Jr. might just be heading back to Atlanta for reshoots...
Either way, though – whether we're going to get one movie of Civil War, or several – we get to see another Marvel movie in just a few short months... and that's pretty darned awesome, irrespective...