Sneak peek: Captain America goes rogue in Civil War, new Avengers movie
The next film from Marvel Studios has good guys fighting each other as Captain America and Iron Man come to blows
Captain America might be taken off Iron Man’s Christmas list this year.
The two Avengers find themselves on opposite sides of an ideological debate about government oversight, and the rest of the Avengers are forced to take sides and face off in Marvel Studios’ soon-to-be blockbuster Captain America: Civil War.
“I love when he gets to have conflict,” says Chris Evans of his second world war super-soldier character Steve Rogers. In the new film, helmed by returning Captain America: Winter Soldier directors Anthony and Joe Russo, “there’s a lot of struggle for him to try and keep whatever sense of family he has”.
Over the course of several Marvel films, Captain America and the Avengers have saved the world many times, from thwarting an alien invasion of New York (in The Avengers) to staving off an evil organisation’s destructive plans in the skies over Washington (Captain America: Winter Soldier) to preventing a killer robot from destroying the planet after taking over the fictitious eastern European nation of Sokovia (Avengers: Age of Ultron).
All that heroism, however, has resulted in a lot of collateral damage, and another incident in Civil War spawns the Sokovia Accords, a bill that would put a federal committee in charge of the Avengers’ actions. Iron Man, aka genius inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr), is for it, feeling partly responsible for the international incidents – but Captain America strongly disagrees.
“It’s boring when a good guy knows how to be a good guy,” Evans says, during a filming break at the Porsche building in the US city of Atlanta that serves as the Avengers’ headquarters. “It’s much more dynamic when a good guy isn’t sure what the good guy move is and has to debate the point of view of someone who may be very close to him.”
Avengers are forced to choose which way to go, and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), who befriended Captain America as the flying Falcon in Winter Soldier, stands by his man, Mackie says. “He respects and admires him because Cap earned his rank as opposed to sitting in an office and just delegating orders.”
Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) also join Rogers’ faction, though it isn’t idealism that fuels the ace archer’s decision, according to Renner. “Cap was the first guy who called,” he says. “Let’s just get the job done so I can get home to the family.”
Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) is also on board, still grieving her brother’s death in the battle against Ultron and learning the magical abilities that make her one of the most powerful Avengers. She’s “figuring out her place and finding a family”, says Olsen, but “she does have a few changes of points of view in this film.”
The last member of the team is the most intriguing: Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Captain America’s oldest friend Bucky Barnes, formerly a brainwashed international assassin and now a wanted man.
“Cap is his only shot at survival,” Stan says, adding that Bucky’s new teammates aren’t completely sold on him. “It’s not like everyone’s high-fiving before going to war. There are still tensions.”
“Nobody’s wrong here. No one’s promoting evil. No one’s the bad guy. We just have different ways of being the good guy and that can get fiery,” says Evans.
Who’s on Team Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War
As arguably Marvel Studios’ biggest star, Robert Downey Jr getting second billing on a superhero movie is only one of the different aspects about his role in Captain America: Civil War.
After thumbing his nose at the government in past Iron Man solo movies, Downey’s playboy tech magnate Tony Stark has a change of heart and feels the Avengers finally need some oversight – a stark contrast to the tack taken by his friend and teammate Captain America (Chris Evans) in Civil War, the next chapter in the Marvel saga.
“People are much less capable of processing things than they think and we’re kind of simple and dumb. And for a guy who is fast, he’s definitely on the verge of practically getting over himself,” says Downey Jnr of Stark. “I almost feel like sometimes he’s some [old man] who goes back to the neighbourhood and goes, ‘Kids, it doesn’t have to be like this.’ ”
The superheroes split up when Tony and Cap are at loggerheads, and after trying to get his pal Stark to play nice with the feds for a while, military man James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) becomes one of the stalwart members of Team Iron Man as the armoured War Machine.
However, it’s tricky for Rhodey to toe the line between soldier and Avenger, Cheadle says. “Obviously, I can’t do anything that violates my oath but at the same time we’re dealing with things that haven’t ever been in the playbook.”
The synthetic android Vision (Paul Bettany) is also aligned with Stark, and he’s continually discovering himself and processing loyalties. However, he takes a logical stance on the damage caused by the Avengers saving the world, Bettany adds. “The stronger you are, the more you invite challenge. Something has to rise to fill the vacuum.”
Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is a surprising ally of Stark’s, considering her past allegiance with Cap. Yet she puts her heart and personal feelings aside to agree with Iron Man’s stance. “Either we’re going to fight it and lose or we’re going to go with it and make it work,” Johansson says. “Regimes come and go but we have to pat the backs this time and shake hands and play nice.”
Chadwick Boseman gets his introduction in Civil War as T’Challa, monarch of the African nation Wakanda and also the masked warrior Black Panther. Putting himself on the side of Iron Man is a political decision when tragedy strikes his homeland.
That said, “he’s definitely his own guy,” Boseman says. “There’s no ‘I’m going to do whatever you say because you’re the leader of this team.’ That’s not who he is. But I would say that’s also true of other characters.”
While Civil War is filled with major emotional beats and epic action, at its heart it’s a tale of two friends who don’t see eye to eye, Downey says.
“Regardless of whose argument is what, communication is about really being able to fully see the other person’s point of view,” he says. “I fully see Cap’s point of view – I don’t know if Tony does.”
Captain America: Civil War opens on April 28