NOTE: This article discusses Avengers: Age Of Ultron, but it ALSO contains potential spoilers for the third Captain America movie and Civil War saga.
Marvel's official trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron has earned 24 million views in two days.
The teaser footage also garnered nearly 300,000 likes.
It seems safe to say that plenty of moviegoers are pumped for Age of Ultron, which hits theaters in May 2015.
Fans are busily combing over the Avengers trailer for clues about the movie itself. It may be just as useful to look to signs that a Civil War is coming.
Those familiar with the Marvel comic universe will no doubt recall the major crossover series, which pinned numerous heroes against each other.
However, there is some skepticism about Marvel Studio's attempt to bring this comic book saga to the big screen.
First of all, a number of important characters are missing.
Well, not missing so much as owned by rival movie studios.
But even if Marvel miraculously acquired those characters, there is no way their sudden inclusion in the Marvel cinematic universe would make sense.
That's pretty unfortunate, since Peter Parker played a HUGE role in the original Civil War story.
Does Marvel need Spidey for their Civil War movie? @StaxIGN @RothCornet & @chriscarle discuss: http://t.co/UNH2NPttsx pic.twitter.com/0rm0Znob85With characters absent and key events never even brought up in the movies, how can the next Captain America movie hope to introduce this major story arc successfully?
— IGN (@IGN) October 21, 2014
The most obvious answer seems to be to get things going via Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Yes, Ultron could (and should) be the main villain. However, the events of the movie and the psychological toll on the heroes may be what sparks a division among Earth's mightiest heroes.
The sort of division required to make this storyline work convincingly.
'The Avengers: Age of Ultron' Trailer Analysis: No Strings On Me http://t.co/0DmF2JWN3L pic.twitter.com/m0GpMypDzTIn the Age of Ultron trailer, we get a glimpse of an angry Thor choking Tony Stark.
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) October 24, 2014
It certainly suggests tensions will be very high in the next Avengers movie.
It's also worth mentioning Avengers: Age of Ultron will come on the heels of the events which played out in Iron Man 3, Thor 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The things that occur during this latest Marvel film could be what sparks a potentially global demand for super-powered individuals to be registered. It could be what pits a guilt-ridden Iron Man and his allies against a post-Shield/Hydra Captain America and his allies.
Which, with everything the Civil War storyline will be missing, should be seen as the PERFECT solution.
Surely the horrific events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Tony Stark's subsequent remorse are believable enough catalysts to launch this major Marvel Cinematic Universe event?
Naturally, Age of Ultron would simply be the first seeds planted. Civil War is expected to be the beginning on an actual conflict between heroes. If Marvel is wise (and they've done pretty well thus far), they'll simply plant more seeds as characters are introduced during the next phase.
If we're following "the path" that Tony Stark put the MCU on, it could be that guilt will make one want to pay a form of restitution for bringing about those consequences.
Stark will probably work off his bad karma by agreeing to help the U.S. government to ensure registration of super-powered beings and dangerous geniuses.
That move would no doubt put him in direct conflict with Captain America, and possibly other yet-to-be-introduced Marvel heroes.
While Avengers: Age of Ultron is a great "Civil War" starting point, it's up to Marvel to navigate this story arch sensibly. Otherwise, it will probably fall flat.
How do you think the Civil War storyline will be introduced? Do you think we'll see the signs in Avengers: Age of Ultron?