What Does CIVIL WAR Tell Us About Marvel’s PHASE THREE Films?


Much like the previous Captain America film, The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War brings some big changes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Friendships and alliances have been shattered and there are new status quos for all of the heroes. So what does that mean for the films going forward? We take a look at some of the possibilities raised, but if you haven’t seen Captain America: Civil War yet – And judging from the fact that the film earned $296 million at the box office in its ten days of release, there aren’t that many of you who haven’t – you should be warned that we start dealing with spoilers in the very next sentence.

So What’s Next For Team Cap?

team-capAs Civil War ends, Cap and those who supported him are pretty much fugitives on the run from the Tony Stark with the United Nations-sanctioned Avengers presumably on their tail. In one of the film’s two credit scenes we see Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in the secluded African nation of Wakanda, a guest of its new ruler King T’Challa, aka the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). But I doubt that he will want to be staying there for any amount of time. Steve Rogers is not one to cool his heels. But will he still be out there fighting as “Captain America”? very likely, though some have pointed out that there was a storyline back in the 90s where Rogers went through a period of disillusion with his country and its leaders, gave up the Captain America title and went by the Nomad for a while. I somehow don’t think Marvel is planning on going that route fully – no one wants to see that blue costume with the plunging v-neck – though “Nomad” may be a codeword used to refer to Rogers. Where Steve heads, though, it is almost a certainty that Falcon and Wanda will remain by his side. But what about Ant-Man? Poor Scott Lang spent his entire introductory movie proving his innocence and winning back respectability in the eyes of his ex-wife and daughter. And now all of that is thrown out the window.

So What’s Next For Team Iron Man?


With Steve’s team on the run or in hiding, where does that leave Tony Stark and his allies. We know that James “Rhodey” Rhodes will be spending time recovering from the blast that left him paralyzed from the waist down, while Tony himself seems to be in nominal charge of the Avengers, while still answering to Secretary of State Ross. I would imagine that Tony could get some negative feedback if it is discovered that his recruit Spider-Man is really only sixteen years old. Child soldiers – And let’s face it that’s what Spider-Man was in this situation – do not make for good optics. And speaking of Spider-Man, if Tony was aware of Peter Parker is he also aware of the other heroes who are emerging in New York City – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist? If so then surely these street-level superpowered folk and others must also fall under the Sakovia Accords. We’ve already seen some of the political fallout from the Accords at play in Agents Of SHIELD but will it affect what is to come on the Netflix series? And what about Vision? We saw that he was starting to form some type of relationship with Wanda before his logic told him to side with Tony. But what does his heart tell him to do? Comics fans know that the two go on to become a couple, so it should be interesting to see how that plays out in the Cinematic Universe.

Who Will Be Appearing In Black Panther?


In one of the two credit scenes of Civil War we see that Bucky has volunteered to be placed back into suspended animation until T’Challa’s Wakadian scientists can find a way to reverse the brainwashing that has turned him into the Winter Soldier. Will that happen in 2018’s Black Panther film? That’s hard to say, though my gut instinct is that if Marvel was able to attract a director like Creed‘s Ryan Coogler to the project, the film probably tells its own story and doesn’t do much to service the overall Phase Three storyline. We do know that both Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B Jordan are in talks for roles in the film, with Jordan possibly playing a villain. Still, I would lay good odds on us seeing Ulysses Klaue, the man behind the theft of Virbanium from Wakanda seen in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, showing up in Black Panther though. As the supervillain Klaw, the character is strongly tied to Black Panther in the comics. Besides it is always a treat to see Klaue actor Andy Serkis in a role that doesn’t require motion capture. Another character associated with T’Challa in the comics is that of government functionary Everett K. Ross, introduced in Civil War in the form of actor Martin Freeman. With Civil War ending with Ross holding custody of villain Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) I would not be surprised if they both were to make an appearance in the film.

How Much Will Spider-Man: Homecoming Contribute To Phase Three?


One of the many things being praised in Civil War is Tom Hollands’ performance as Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man. Given the facts that the film rights to the character were owned by Sony, it had been thought that the wallcrawler would never be able to interact with Iron Man, Cap, Thor and the rest of the cinematic Avengers. All that changed when Sony and Marvel struck their agreement to share the character. So far we’ve seen Spider-Man at play in the Marvel Universe and we know that Robert Downey Jr, aka Tony Stark/Iron Man, will be appearing in Homecoming to further cement the connection between the two. But how much more will the Spider-Man film contribute to Phase Three? Even though Marvel has creative control of the picture, I don’t think that there will be much that it contributes to Phase Three’s overarcing storyline that builds towards the two part Infinity War films. My guy feeling here is that Sony will want to still have a certain amount of separation for their franchise from the main Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t expect to see any big clues or plot points that will feed into Infinity War, even though we know that Spider-Man will be a part of the hero lineup for those films.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?


Between now and the next Avengers film, Infinity War – Part 1, we will see five Marvel Cinematic Universe films – Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016), Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 (May 5, 2017), Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017), Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017) and Black Panther (February 16, 2018). None of these films will be, in my estimation, be big contributors to continuing the storylines left dangling at the end of Civil War. I’ve given my reasons for Spider-Man and Black Panther above. Doctor Strange is going to be concerned with introducing us to the magical side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The remaining two films – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 and Thor: Ragnarok – look to be taking place primarily away from Earth and may very likely have some impact on the evolving storyline involving intergalactic despot Thanos and his plans to attack Earth. It appears as if we won’t get any closure on Cap and company’s fugitive status or what is up with Tony and The Avengers until The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1.

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About Rich Drees 7180 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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