With a huge blockbuster movie series comes massive expectations: an A-list cast, a bank-busting budget, huge returns at the box-office, and a storyline so pivotal it changes the game of the franchise forever. With Captain America: Civil War currently applying this formula in cinemas — $737.8 million and counting — some fans are coming away wondering if the internal battle between the members of the Avengers is over. Where we did see an impressive smackdown between, well, every member of the team bar Thor and Hulk, there did seem to be a somewhat finite conclusion to the movie.
The problem is, Civil War is vast; the plot of the film is lifted from a massive multi-issue story arc that saw the Superhero Registration Act turn hero against hero, so fitting the conflict between the varying members into one film was always going to be a task, and where the conclusion can seem finite, it can also seem wide open. For fans thinking the conflict is over? Well, the directors of Civil War had something to say about that, a bit of information that might leave a smile on some faces: The conflict is far from over, there’s still a lot to come, and it will continue beyond Captain America: Civil War.
The Avengers will regroup in The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1, but it won’t be all laughing and cheering. Civil War left a lot of dispute out in the open, opened some raw wounds that will take time to heal, and introduced one or two personal matters that may yet change the entire face of the Avengers forever. Will things be rectified between the team? Although that isn’t entirely clear — yet — they may need to put their differences aside to face a greater threat.
Joe and Anthony Russo will direct both instalments of Infinity War, and fans are excited about the regrouping of the Avengers, but Joe Russo recently spoke to USA Today to discuss the incoming movie. His comments gave a hint of what writers Christopher Markux and Stephen McFeely will have in store for our favourite superheroes, as they work on early drafts of the script.
“Without question, we’re taking these characters who are at the height of dysfunction and animosity, and we’re going to put them into a story where they’re going to have to face the greatest threat they’ve ever known.”
As mentioned, cramming all of the conflict and excitement into one movie would be a huge task, and it seems the directors realised the flaw in the idea. With the comments above, we can expect this conflict to gradually complicate and evolve over the entire course of Phase 3, rather than start and finish in the very first movie of it. With Black Panther and Spider-Man on the horizon — who will flesh out their roles from Civil War — and the debut of Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel imminent, the arc itself could be used to usher in a new wave of Avengers, and further the franchise into Phases 4 and 5.
Let’s not forget one other factor: we haven’t had a solo Hulk movie in this iteration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet, and some characters are just getting started — Spider-Man has a promising future, and a Black Widow movie was discussed this week too, as revealed by Screen Rant — so Marvel still have some possibilities up their sleeve.
The development of certain characters in Phase 3 will certainly make for interesting cinema. Many of these heroes will be discovering or nurturing their powers for the first time while an imminent threat looms over proceedings. While Black Panther/T’challa has already discovered and accepted his responsibility, Stephen Strange and Carol Danvers will be starting their journey to super-heroism. With Tony Stark backing the Sokovia Accords and keeping a watchful eye on such individuals — as evidenced in Civil War with his recruitment of Peter Parker — it will be interesting to see how the old guard and new guys mesh. By the time Thanos comes into town, looking for a battle, the heroes will have to make the ultimate choice in regards to their, and the planet’s, future.
Captain America: Civil War ended on a high note though; there were many doors left open, and a multitude of possibilities going forward. Regardless of their stance or opinion, the Avengers still have a lot to say, some disputes to settle, and an ultimate goal to achieve. Watch how this unfolds when The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 is released on May 4th, 2018, and concludes with Part 2 on May 3, 2019.
[Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures]