In a surprise turn of events this evening, the first Captain America: Civil War teaser was unleashed on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Both Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans we’re invited on the show to introduce the trailer. Three official one sheets were also released by Marvel Studios thereafter. It’s been a long time coming since Civil War was first announced, and the teaser delivers more than just the promise of its name.
If you know me, then you know I’m not big on watching trailers for action blockbusters I’m looking forward to seeing. The marketing always gives away the big money shots and I’d rather see them on the big screen for the first time than see them out of context in a trailer. But after my disappointment in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which had some incredible trailers cut for the film too, I couldn’t help myself. I needed assurance that this next chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would provide more than popcorn entertainment. Age of Ultron is like dumping out your toy box onto the floor and smashing all your action figures together. And while Ant-Man is a lot of fun, the movie didn’t feel inherently connected with everything else going on in the MCU.
Joe and Anthony Russo directed the hell out of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so not all faith was lost before watching the Civil War teaser. But as we’ve seen time and time again, with any trailer, just because they’re amazing doesn’t mean the movie will be. However, I’d like to remain optimistic. Like The Winter Soldier, Civil War presents big ideas told through very personal connections. Our heroes, who have tirelessly fought against supervillains, will now square off against one another. And it’s a testament to how well Marvel has sown the seeds with larger than life characters we’ve grown to love to reach this point. When Captain America says to Iron Man, “Sorry Tony, you know I wouldn’t do this if I had any other choice. But he’s my friend.,” and when Tony replies, “So was I,” that hits me right in the feels.
Captain America: Civil War may not exactly resemble the story drawn for the limited comic series conceived by Mark Millar, but some of the basic concepts have been translated into this film to convey a similar message. Since Marvel Studios doesn’t have the rights to use the X-Men or the Fantastic Four, and haven’t integrated many of the other villains and heroes that Marvel has fleshed out over the decades, it makes it very difficult to retell the original “Civil War” story. But General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt) makes it abundantly clear the line that will be drawn on both sides:
“Captain, while a great many people see you as a hero, there are some who prefer the word ‘vigilante’. You’ve operated with unlimited power and no supervision. That’s something the world can no longer tolerate.”
As it’s conveyed in the trailer and as we’ve seen in promo art, team Rogers consists of Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Sharon Carter aka Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp); while team Stark will be comprised of Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Jim “Rhodey” Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle), The Vision (Paul Bettany), and for his first appearance in the MCU the King of Wakanda, T’Challa aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who looks absolutely badass.
Unfortunately, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Bruce Banner aka The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) will be sitting on the bench leading their own adventure in Thor: Ragnarok. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), at this point, is in hiding.
if all those characters weren’t enough, we still haven’t the slightest idea how the villains – Brock Rumlow aka Crossbones (Frank Grillo) and Baron Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) fit into all of this – as well as Martin Freeman’s unconfirmed role. AND if those characters weren’t enough, and many were probably looking out for clues, Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) will make his big MCU debut too. I did not find a single hint of his existence, but that doesn’t mean a tease isn’t hidden within somewhere.
Despite having characters pouring out of the woodwork, I think the brothers Russo have a good direction set up based on what we’ve seen in the Civil War teaser. The duo developed an awesome political spy thriller in The Winter Soldier, so I’m curious to see how they twist the superhero genre this time around and how they’ll manage to balance all of the characters.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for Captain America: Civil War, courtesy of Marvel Studios:
Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two
camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6, 2016.