Captain America 'not Captain America anymore’: What next?

Writers suggest the end for the Captain America identity in upcoming Avengers films

Captain American Civil War

Captain America: Civil War is 'best Marvel film yet'

14 April

The first reviews are in for Marvel latest superhero caper, Captain America: Civil War, and they are overwhelmingly positive.

The sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, directed once more by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, stars Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr, along with an ensemble cast including Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle and Jeremy Renner.

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It begins with the Avengers being faced with government regulation to limit their powers after a superhero mission goes wrong. The move splits the them into opposing camps, one led by Steve Rogers's Captain America, played by Evans, who is against any controls, and the other by Downey Jr's Iron Man, who supports the new system. In the meantime, humanity faces a new threat.

Let's move on from Batman v Superman, says Justin Chang in Variety, who calls Captain America: Civil War "a decisively superior hero-vs-hero extravaganza" and "the most mature and substantive picture to have yet emerged from the Marvel Cinematic Universe".

This chronicle of an epic clash between two equally noble factions "proves as remarkable for its dramatic coherence and thematic unity as for its dizzyingly inventive action sequences", he adds.

When the Avengers first assembled four years ago, it felt like a grand culmination, the ultimate Marvel superhero event, says Dan Jolin in Empire. It's never quite matched that ensemble-balancing finesse and Earth-quaking action - until now.

Captain America: Civil War is "the best Marvel Studios movie yet", declares the critic. It matches blockbuster scale and spectacle with the smarts of a great, grown-up thriller and even better, it never becomes side-tracked by a grandstanding supervillain plot.

Who needs a villain when you have Steve Rogers and Tony Stark fighting each other and drawing in their own power-people from Ant Man v Spider-Man to Scarlet Witch v Vision, continues Jolin. "That is what you call the ultimate Marvel superhero event," he adds.

Jen Yamoto at the Daily Beast praises the film as a "watershed moment", writing: "Finally, a big budget superhero sequel that manages to be both effortlessly entertaining and utterly sobering."

Civil War explores the same existential themes as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but much better and without the mummy issues, he continues. Instead of two superman-children trading blows in the rain, "Civil War's ensemble is made up of grown people wrestling with grown-people problems in the light of day" and "negotiating their conflicting worldviews in the name of living and working together".

Call it "civil war" or call it brand extension, "cinematic universe" or corporate behemoth, says Sheri Linden in the Hollywood Reporter, this overlong but light-on-its-feet Marvel extravaganza "furthers the studio's cross-pollination of action franchises in a way that's sure to satisfy devotees".

The film is released in the UK on 29 April.

Captain America: The Past is Prelude trailer sends fans into overdrive

7 April

The Past is Prelude, the latest Captain America: Civil War trailer, has sent fans into a spin as it draws the battle lines for the biggest superhero fight since - well Batman v Superman, last month.

The 60-second clip gives fans more of the characters' backstories, highlighting the different paths taken by Iron Man and Captain America as they go from best friends to the best of enemies.

Both superheroes trade quips as the trailer hints at the trauma the division of the Avengers causes for the Marvel universe.

In the pulsating denouement Captain America says: "Sorry Tony, but he's my friend," to which Iron Man fires back: "So was I, once." [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"93199","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

Fans were quick to point out that, despite the trailer being an official Marvel release, it actually contains no new footage.

However, this didn't seem to bother the majority, with one user commenting on Reddit: "You know Marvel is super confident when it knows everyone will be hyped even more without showing any new footage."

Another added: "I really love how they made this trailer to show that all of the movies from eight years ago are all connected."

Captain America: Civil War will open in cinemas in the UK on 29 April, with a running time of 2hrs and 27mins, making it the longest Marvel movie to date.

Captain America: Can Black Widow and Hawkeye stay friends?

29 March

The latest Captain America: Civil War international trailer shows a surprise fight scene between Black Widow and Hawkeye.

The pair have always had a tight-knit bond, with the Russian beauty (Scarlett Johansson) the only one to know about the arrow-yielding superhero's (Jeremy Renner) secret family, as revealed in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

But in the latest trailer, they are seen fighting, joking about their relationship as they try to land blows."We're still friends, right?" asks Black Widow, as she tries to wrestle Hawkeye's bow out of his hands. "Depends on how hard you hit me," he replies, with a grin.

In a later scene, we see Hawkeye is on the side of Captain America (Chris Evans), while Black Widow stands alongside Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) as the two sides go into battle.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"92802","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]The fall out between Captain America and Iron Man is not quite so surprising, suggests Angie Han at Slash Film, as the two superheroes had previously grumbled and sniped in films leading up to Civil War.

"Black Widow and Hawkeye, on the other hand? Here are two Avengers who seem to be best buds for life – which makes it all the more devastating to see they're on opposite sides of the coming battle," she adds.

However, Johansson has described her character as "kind of the mediator" who sees "both sides of the coin" and is "not personally involved" in the war, suggesting that the fight may not be all that it seems.

With neither of their hearts seemingly in the conflict, fans have speculated that one is working as a double agent.

Describing the pair as "frenemies", Dirk Libbey at Cinema Blend says their "surprisingly cordial" meeting on the battlefield is likely to be a statement about the strength of their friendship.

While Captain America: Civil War looks set to be "the end of the friendship between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, other people seem committed to remaining close, even if they may experience differing perspectives on the issue at hand", says Libbey.

Captain America: Civil War will change Marvel universe 'forever'

21 March

The upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie will alter the Marvel universe "forever", according to actor Chris Evans.

The film, which is due out on 29 April, is expected to explore a deep rift between members of the Avengers.

Captain America (Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) go to war over the way the Avengers are governed. While Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is willing to allow politicians to control the superhero team, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, rebels against the new regulation.

In a recent question and answer session between cast, crew and fans, via Buzzfeed, Evans was asked how the events and conflict in Civil War would affect the Avengers in the future.

"They will change the dynamic forever," he said.

Director Joe Russo has also said: "There will be a long-lasting fallout from the events of this movie. It will significantly alter the psychology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward."

Russo has previously said that the film will challenge the way fans think about Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. "When you come out of that film, nothing will be the same," he said.

There has even been speculation that one of the central characters will die in the movie. In the Civil War comic book story arc, Steve Rogers is shot by the villain Crossbones, who is played by Frank Grillo in the Captain America films.

Evans, Grillo and Downey Jr will also be joined by Paul Rudd's Ant-Man, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany's The Vision and Don Cheadle's War Machine.

Captain America: Civil War opens in the UK on 29 April

Captain America: Spider-Man to play 'important part' in resolving Civil War

17 March

Spider-Man may be central to resolving the conflict brewing between the Avengers in the upcoming film Captain America: Civil War.

In an interview with Forbes, directors Anthony and Joe Russo said it hadn't been easy to get the Webbed Wonder involved in the film due to the complicated wrangling between Sony and Marvel Studios. However, once the deal was agreed, they devised a "very interesting role" for him.

"He was my favourite character growing up," Joe Russo said. "I still have my collection of comics in my closet so it was a dream come true for us to be able to have Spidey in the movie and interpret him as a character."

Asked whether Spidey's appearance in the most recent trailer was their intention, or whether their hand had been forced by fans, Anthony Russo replied: "I think it was a little bit of a correction because it was a very complicated deal that Sony had to work out with Marvel Studios and Disney in order to make that work.

"We were very quiet about Spider-Man's involvement in the movie for much longer than we would have been. We were artificially silent on the character because it was such a sensitive business deal still being worked out even while we were shooting."

So how big a role will he play?

"I'll say this: part of the fun of Spider-Man is that this film is basically a war amongst the Avengers and Spidey does not have the baggage that all these other characters have," Anthony Russo said. "He enters the story after the conflict that is happening between the Avengers and that gives him a very unique place in the story."

His brother agreed, adding: "I think people are going to be happy with him in the movie. He's got a very interesting role in it."

Captain America: Civil War is released in the UK on 29 April.

Captain America: Will new Avengers film be the end of Iron Man?

15 March

The appearance of Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War is unlikely to be the biggest talking point after the new Marvel Avengers film comes out, according to Forbes writer Todd Kenreck.

While the Webbed Wonder is likely to play an important role, the more significant development is that one of the central characters is "going to die" – and according to the critic, that character is most likely to be Robert Downey Jr's wise-cracking Tony Stark.

"It would be completely toothless with the stakes so high not to see one of the major characters perish," Kenreck says.

"Captain America does die in the comics. However, I think it would be much more interesting to see Tony Stark sacrifice himself to save the entire team, closing the loop on the events of the original Avengers and hopefully surprising audiences."

Not everyone agrees. Bustle's Jefferson Grubbs argues that Marvel fans shouldn't fret because "we won't be losing Robert Downey Jr… In fact, Downey Jr was the very first actor officially confirmed for [2018's] Avengers: Infinity War way back in June of 2013, so we know he'll make it at least until then."

However, just because Stark doesn't die "doesn't mean his days aren't numbered", he adds.

Comments from Downey Jr himself seemed to indicate that his time in the iron suit will come to an end before too long.

While speaking with USA Today, the actor declared a fourth Iron Man solo film to be highly unlikely. "I don't think that's in the cards," he said, adding that Civil War will be "my little Iron Man 4".

Captain America: Civil War is released in the UK on 29 April.

Captain America: Civil War trailer – what will Spider-Man bring to the party?

11 March

The latest trailer for Captain America: Civil War has finally been released – and there is a new face in town.

Hailed as this summer's Marvel superhero battle royale, the film pits Captain America against Iron Man, with the other Avengers forced to choose sides.

The trailer reiterates much of what we already knew – Iron Man agrees to government regulation of the Avengers, while Captain America rebels – but it also has a surprise: the first glimpse of Tom Holland's Spider-Man.


Fans have known for a while that the actor was to make his debut in the Marvel cinematic universe via a cameo appearance in Civil War, says The Guardian. "Yet few expected the new Spidey to play an active part in the big superhero smackdown."

The Webbed Wonder is sporting a "rather video-gamey look", adds the newspaper, with a less-textured suit than we have previously seen on the big screen, while the "slick" way his eyes narrow into white, feline pupils for the final shot is "indisputably cool".

The Verge describes the suit as a "beautiful" fan service, a "throwback to the original Spider-Man look, along with the 1960s cartoon that is now just as well known for the memes it spawned".

The choice to put Spider-Man on the side of Iron Man is described as an "interesting twist" by Vox. "You'd think a man who operates with a mask probably wants to keep the superhero business as unchecked as possible," says the site.

James Hunt at Den of Geek also wonders why Iron Man would want "a teenager on the payroll" after his newfound fixation with accountability. Nevertheless, this does nothing to temper the critic's excitement.

"I mean, I barely know where to start," he says. "Sure, the CGI doesn't feel entirely finished, but Spider-Man interacting with the Avengers? Wearing a costume that's about as comics-accurate as we've ever seen?... Are we sure it's not Christmas?"

Captain America: Civil War - what to expect

10 March

Anticipation is building for today's "world trailer premiere" of Captain America: Civil War, with just eight weeks to go until the film is released.

Marvel fans are facing the painful choice between two of their favourite superheroes: Captain America or Iron Man…

What's the film about?

A year after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, an international incident involving the team leads politicians to introduce new rules about when the superheroes should be called in to help. The new regime sparks a bitter rift between former allies Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) – an unprecedented scenario on the big screen but one that has been touched upon in the comic book Civil War.

Who else is in it?

As well as the leads, the film boasts a treasure chest of supporting talent, including Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier) and Anthony Mackie (Falcon). There is also speculation that Tom Holland's Spider-Man could make an appearance. Behind the scenes are directors Anthony and Joe Russo and scriptwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

What are people saying about it?

Forbes predicts Captain America: Civil War will be another "feather in Marvel's cap" and Downey Jr has even described it as "the Godfather of superhero movies".

Expectation of an epic affair has only been swollen by co-director Joe Russo's talk of a "sprawling film with a lot of characters that tells very intricate stories".

Some of the more complex storylines are expected to surround Johansson's Black Widow, with Russo telling IGN that he took inspiration from a televisual juggernaut to pen her particularly emotional journey. "I always said what I loved about Breaking Bad is that Vince Gilligan always wrote himself into the hardest corner," he said. "I would watch an episode and go 'I have no f******* idea how he's going to solve this next week,' and he would solve it."

Captain America: Civil War is scheduled to be released on 6 May 2016.

Civil War trailer: why is Iron Man fighting Captain America?

25 November

The new trailer for Captain America: Civil War has revealed a new hostility rising up between the superhero and his Avengers companion Iron Man.

The film is officially part of the Captain America series, but has been dubbed "Avengers 2.5" as it is also seen as a bridge to the next Avengers movie, Infinity War.

In the new trailer, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, played by Chris Evans, is heard telling Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr: "I'm sorry, Tony, you know I wouldn't do this if I had any other choice. But he's my friend."

"So was I," responds Tony, before the trailer cuts to footage of the two men fighting.

It appears the pair have fallen out over Captain America's best friend Bucky Barns (Sebastian Stan), who was brainwashed into becoming villainous assassin The Winter Soldier in the last Captain America film.

But their dispute boils down to the "age old question of security versus liberty", says Entertainment Weekly. The governments of the world want all would-be heroes to work under strict oversight. Iron Man is on board with the idea, but Captain America has no faith left in bureaucracy and government, and wants to protect his friend Bucky, causing a fracture in the Avengers just as they try to protect the world from another new villain.

Evans has previously said the "flip-flop" in perspective of the two characters is why the film will be so effective.

Tony has always been the one to buck authority, while the Captain comes from a world of order, hierarchy and structure. However, after the last Captain America film, The Winter Solder, he realises that one cannot always trust the system. "I think he now is starting to follow his own heart, and do his own thing, and as a result there becomes this kind of flip-flop in perspective," said Evans.

His rebellion means veteran characters such as Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) are forced to choose sides. Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther will also make a debut appearance in the film.

Directed by The Winter Soldier filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo, the movie is due out in May 2016.


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