Superheroes fighting superheroes are all the rage this year: First, Batman and Superman will go toe-to-toe (and cape-to-cape) later this month in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then in May, the Avengers will split up and bash each others’ heads in in Captain America: Civil War. A new round of posters for that Marvel throw down hit the internet on Monday and Tuesday; with one-sheets highlighting the heroes who side with Captain America and Iron Man, respectively, in the battle over the international coalition trying to register superheroes following Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s a heavy-hitting lineup, and one that includes Anthony Mackie’s Falcon — which, at least at first, came as a surprise to the actor himself.
When it came to questions about who was fighting on whose side, no one was talking: not the actors, the directors, the writers, the producers, nor the cooks at craft services. But as soon as we left the air-conditioned comforts of Atlanta’s Pinewood Studios offices for an open-air lot baking in the Georgia sun, the dueling factions were there for us to behold firsthand.
In front of massive green screen stretching half the length of a football field and standing in for Frankfurt Airport, Captain America (Chris Evans), Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) charge from one end to the other. This is Team Cap. That leaves, on the other side of the battle lines, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Vision (Paul Bettany), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), and possibly even Spider-Man (Tom Holland). This is Team Iron Man.
Despite the huge cast, Cap will be the focus of the film, star Chris Evans promises. “It’s exciting to see a guy who’s as optimistic and as selfless as Steve be met with letdown, betrayal, frustration, and selfishness,” Evans told Disney twenty-three magazine.
After serving as the main star and leading man of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for so many years, Tony Stark is playing the quasi-antagonist in Civil War, as the man working to get superheroes to register with the government. He’s quite a baddie in the comic-book arc, which was hard for star Robert Downey Jr. to accept. “It’s difficult for me to think of Tony in those terms,” he told us. “But when you read the comic, it’s like, ‘Man, Tony, you’re blowing it dude!’”
Mum is the word on what happens to Scarlett Johansson’s super-spy, but the directors promise that it’s going to be big. “We made some strong choices with Natasha in this movie, and it’s a tricky arc that she has to play,” Joe Russo told us. “You always want to surprise people, you don’t want to make choices that are easy.”
Everyone’s favorite non-super superhero reunites with Cap after a surprisingly large arc in Avengers: Age of Ultron, during which we met his family at their serene farmhouse where he goes to get away from all the carnage of his day job.
The prince of Wakanda, played by 42 star Chadwick Boseman, is new to the MCU, and will get his own solo film in 2017. And in Civil War, he’s just getting his feet wet. “I’m just kind of thrown into the middle,” he said. “You meet me as the prince of Wakanda. You meet me as a politician/monarch, not as a superhero,” Boseman said.
It was at the Avengers: Age of Ultron premiere that Anthony Mackie, who plays the winged soldier, found out he’d have a bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “When we were at the premiere, I was like ‘Cool.’ I’m with my son and he gets to see his daddy in two scenes in The Avengers,” he told us on the Civil War set. “By the end of the movie I turn around and they’re like, ‘Avengers Assemble!’ I’m like, ‘Holy s—! I’m an Avenger!’”
Don Cheadle’s War Machine may work for the government, but he’s close buds with Tony Stark — and needs the engineer to upgrade his super-suit, too. So obviously, he’s on #TeamIronMan.
After making her debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the powerful mutant played by Elizabeth Olsen returns for another go-round, this time as a full-fledged Avenger. “We pick up with her having started a new life, but still trying to figure out what her abilities are and if using them causes greater good or greater damage,” Olsen recently told Cinema Blend.
His Marvel debut last year was a refreshingly small-scale story, but now Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man is joining up with the rest of the MCU to fight a very global battle. Hopefully he gets along better with Falcon, with whom he tussled in Ant-Man.
The new Avenger on the block, Vision is siding with Tony Stark, his creator. That was a given. What was less certain was just what he’d wear around the house: his spandex, or something less formal? Luckily for star Paul Bettany, it was the latter. “Vision doesn’t walk around the Avengers compound in his cape, he walks around in clothes,” Joe Russo said. “He’s trying to assimilate… he sort of projects his own clothing, so it’s an interpretation of his personality. He’s rather dashing.”
The Winter Soldier
After an evil turn in Captain America: Civil War, Sebastian Stan’s tortured Winter Soldier (real name: Bucky Barnes) is fighting for the good guys this time… that is, depending on whether you’re on #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan.
Civil War Movie Poster – Team Captain America
In what amounts to the official kick-off of the “third act” of Captain America: Civil War marketing, yesterday saw the release of the first six character posters, as well as a deluge of posts regarding set visits that occurred last summer. Today sees the release of five more character posters, so I guess we may see a second trailer pretty soon. The only question is whether they drop it this week as part of a week-long marketing blitz or whether they time it closer to the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in a couple of weeks. Yesterday saw “Team Captain America” posters, while today sees “Team Iron Man” posters.