In a huge bit of breaking news, Variety is reporting that Robert Downy Jr. is close to joining his Avengers co-star Chris Evans with a major role in Captain America 3. The still untitled film reportedly will tackle Marvel’s 2006 Civil War comic book story line written by Mark Millar which pits Steve Rogers against Tony Stark when they find themselves on opposing sides of the government’s Superhuman Registration Act. Stark agrees that super humans should regulated, reveal their secret identities and drafted for law enforcement while Rogers stands firm that it’s a violation of civil rights. The Civil War arc and its subsequent shocking narrative repercussions will lead into 2018’s Avengers 3 and brilliantly allows Marvel Studios to move forward into its Phase Three of films with a fresh line-up of big screen heroes including Ant-Man and Doctor Strange. That far down the road we could also see some characters from Netflix’s shows, like Daredevil, worked into the bigger picture,
Downey’s Marvel contract is fulfilled with his appearance in Avengers 3 (likely Evans and Chris Hemsworth as well), but while out doing press for The Judge, made it clear he was interested in remaining a part of the Marvel universe. While the prospect of Iron Man 4 had been up in the air, or rather just how much Disney is willing to pay Downey to make it a reality, his additional and unexpected appearance in Captain America 3 in a defacto heel role will no doubt shake things up tremendously.
According to Variety, Stark initially had a small role in the third Captain America film, but Downey pressed for a larger part, which would up his paycheck possibly to the tune of $40 million. Disney brass were not pleased but that’s why a guiding franchise exec like Kevin Feige is the best in the business, who easily saw the no-brainer massive potential of beefing up Downey’s role and pitting him against Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers.
The executive needed his boss to see the big picture, considering the introduction of the Civil War story is seen as a way to drive the plots of sequels and new franchises for the next seven years, given the dramatic possibilities it offers for future films. The fallout from the government and Stark’s actions would factor into a new “Avengers 4″ film and beyond that will assemble new characters being introduced like Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, among others, in their own movies.
Both Evans and Downey will next be seen together with the rest of the team in next summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Captain America 3 is set for May 6th, 2016. Though as an interesting side note, had Warner Bros. not moved the release date of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice from its May 6th box office showdown with Captain America 3, fans would have had the unique opportunity to see two films with some of their favorite superheroes going up against each other in the same weekend.
And while we’re at it, will adapting the Civil War story line add fuel to the fire of the recent rampant rumored discussions between Marvel Studios and Sony that would allow Spider-Man to eventually appear on the big screen alongside the Avengers? Now wouldn’t that be a huge win win win for all?