Variety dropped a massive scoop yesterday that quite possibly will shape not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Hollywood as a whole for the next several years. According to the Hollywood insider source, Robert Downey Jr. is nearing a finalized deal to reprise his role as Iron Man/Tony Stark in the upcoming Captain America 3. The sequel to this year's superhero smash hit is set for release on May 6, 2016. Why would Stark appear in Cap 3, you might ask? Because it would all set up the biggest story in Marvel movie history: Civil War.
Variety confirms that the addition of Downey to the cast of Captain America 3 will set up several films over the next few years that will focus on the clash between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. Essentially, Civil War is a Marvel storyline focusing on a Superhero Registration Act (a congressional bill that would require all super-powered people to identify themselves to the government) that divides the heroes. Stark feels that the heroes should be held responsible for their actions, while Rogers is weary of the bureaucracy. The other heroes take sides and a seismic clash begins.
Bringing Iron Man into Cap 3 would set up Avengers 3 or 4 (Badass Digest and Variety seem to differ on this subject) and would impact the rest of the MCU. Variety also reports that Downey will receive a massive $40 million sum for this film, which is only $10 million less than what he received for The Avengers. Apparently, original negotiations were for a small role for Stark and Downey didn't want them. Marvel exec Kevin Feige brought everyone back to the table and agreed on a deal that would set up a lot of films for a long time to come. All in all, Variety's report contains many massive developments and kudos to them for getting all this information. This is a lot of fresh news and it's pretty overwhelming so let's summarize what we know so far with a few bullet points.
-Downey as Stark in Captain America 3
-Introduction of the Superhero Registration Act and a clash between Iron Man and Captain America
-Will impact the MCU for a long time to come; Avengers 3 or 4 will be the final Civil War film
-Downey is getting $40 million
However, the news didn't stop there. In a report from Badass Digest's Devin Faraci, he reveals more interesting tidbits. According to Faraci, this scoop has been out there for a while and it might have been the reason that DC moved Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice back to March. He also mentions that the title of the film will be either Captain America: Civil War or Captain America: The Fallen Son. Besides those two things, Faraci's report is dense with important things so I really think the best way to break it down is with bullet points. Here we go. Possible SPOILERS for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
-The effect of Age of Ultron will be felt in the MCU for a long time. Lots of destruction.
-Captain America 3 will be more of an Avengers 2.5 than anything, with Cap's new team from the end of Avengers 2 running the show (that team may include Falcon, War Machine, Quicksilver, Vision, Scarlet Witch and Black Widow).
-These films will likely set the stage for Civil War in Avengers 3, with Thanos and the Guardians likely having an impact on Avengers 4.
-Fallout from Age of Ultron will impact Tony Stark the most.
-The Russo brothers are in talks for Avengers 3 and 4 possibly.
-The death of Captain America at the end of Cap 3 or Avengers 3 is a possibility.
All in all, I'm super pumped about this latest bit of news. Marvel's turn to the serious in Captain America: The Winter Soldier was refreshing and exciting and I can't wait to see what they do with one of the most epic Marvel storylines ever. This is a lot of news to digest and I'm looking forward to seeing what people have to say about this over the next several weeks.