When Marvel announced they were adapting the 2006 miniseries Civil War for the third Captain America movie, fans were understandably intrigued. The original story was a massive event that had enormous consequences for the entire Marvel universe, so it was hard to imagine how all of that could be contained to one solo movie. As we’ve since learned, this movie will be smaller in scale compared to the original story, and although it’s been "affectionately" nicknamed Avengers 2.5 due to its large cast, the focus will be primarily on Steve Rogers since this remains a Captain America movie.
Those are just a few of the differences that Captain America: Civil War will feature, and although a trailer hasn’t been released yet, there are there things we can predict will be massively different. We’ve accumulated the biggest changes Marvel will have to make in order for the film to work within the confines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These range from leaving out characters the studio can’t legally use to changing the reasons for the superhero conflict kicking off. Stories are rarely 100% the same when adapted into movies/television shows, and in Civil War’s case, a lot is going to be adjusted or outright eliminated.
Secret Identities Likely Won't Be As ImportantIn the Marvel comics, there are plenty of heroes who still have secret identities, but that’s not the case in the MCU. Nearly every major hero in the film universe is recognizable to the public. That’s why Captain America: Civil War is focusing less on the implications of telling the government who you really are and more on the heroes other superhumans being regulated by a governing body. Of the heroes that have officially been announced for the film (sorry, Daredevil), Spider-Man is the only one who would be negatively impacted by an unmasking. That said, since since his solo movie is arriving in 2017, it’s highly unlikely his secret identity will be exposed to the public like it was in the comics. How can a teenager deal with everyday high school problems if his classmates know he’s a web-slinging crime fighter?
The Igniting Incident Will Be DifferentYou can thank reality TV for kicking off the original Civil War story. When a team of young superheroes called the New Warriors attempted to apprehend a group of villains on camera in Stamford, Connecticut, things went horribly wrong. After a short battle, the supervillain Nitro unleashed his explosive powers and wiped out several city blocks. The only survivors were Nitro himself and the hero Speedball, whose used his super speed to barely escape the explosion. The public was already leery towards superhumans after several previous incidents, but the Stamford tragedy pushed things over the edge and led the government to take action. Fortunately, the reality TV angle has been scrapped in Captain America: Civil War, and the heroes connected the inciting incident will be ones we already know from previous films. So far, all that’s been revealed so far is that during an international incident involving Captain America and the Avengers, there will be massive collateral damage. It’s hard to say who’s responsible, though we suspect Crossbones may play a part.
No Mutant IssuesWhen the Civil War kicked off in the comics, Cyclops declared that the X-Men would remain neutral during the conflict. Following the events of House of M, the mutant population had been decreased to just 198, and Cyclops decided that he wasn’t willing to endanger the world’s remaining mutants by taking a side. Since 20th Century Fox still holds the rights to the X-Men, we won’t get to see any mutant issues pop up in Captain America: Civil War. However, if you watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you’re aware of the growing number of Inhumans emerging across the globe. The film is primarily focused on how these new regulations will affect the Avengers, but depending on how Season 3 unfolds, we could see the government take action against normal people who suddenly find themselves with abilities. Basically, the Inhumans would be cemented as the MCU’s mutants, discrimination and all.
No Thor CloneNot every Marvel hero will get to fight in the superhero conflict. Like Hulk, Thor will sit out Captain America: Civil War. After seeing those freaky visions in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he’s back in Asgard investigating the Infinity Stones and trying to figure out the danger that will soon strike Asgard. Just to clarify, Chris Hemsworth will not show up in the 2016 blockbuster at all. That means we also won’t be seeing Ragnarok, the rogue Thor clone Tony Stark unleashed against the anti-registration team in the comics. Ragnarok is best remembered for taking things too far by killing Bill Foster, a.k.a. Goliath. The clone went on to cause trouble in the Secret Invasion and Dark Reign events. Unless we’ve been misled about 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, the only Ragnarok we’ll be seeing in the MCU is the apocalyptic event that’s been foretold to destroy all the Asgardians.
There Won’t Be A Negative Zone PrisonThe Fantastic Four played a key role in the original Civil War story, as the family found themselves split when the Superhuman Registration Act was passed. Mister Fantastic was a prominent member of the pro-registration side, the Invisible Woman and Human Torch eventually joined the anti-registration resistance group, and The Thing didn’t get involved with either side. More importantly, Mister Fantastic worked with Iron Man and Hank Pym to build a prison in the Negative Zone that housed non-registered heroes. Once again, 20th Century Fox throws a wrench into the works by owning the film rights to the Fantastic Four, which also means they have the Negative Zone (though they opted for Planet Zero in the reboot). So, if and when someone who doesn’t register with the governing bodies gets captured in Captain America: Civil War, they’re going to be incarcerated in another facility. Granted, Tony Stark can probably create a unique and secure prison, but it’s not as cool as one located in an alternate dimension.
Having A Clear Cut Villain Behind The ScenesThe original Civil War was a story told in shades of grey. There was no clear hero or villain; whether you rooted for Iron Man’s team or Captain America’s depended on your personal beliefs. Each side made good points and each side made mistakes. That will be the same in Captain America: Civil War, leaving it up to the audience to decide who they agree with more. However, because this is still a Captain America movie, there will be a sinister force at work to give the audience someone to hate. We’ve already mentioned Crossbones, but the main villain in the 2016 blockbuster will be Baron Zemo, played by Daniel Brühl. Marvel has been cagey about how exactly he’ll antagonize the Star Spangled Avenger, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he is somehow working behind the scenes against the heroes by getting the world’s governments to pass registration. There was a gradual buildup to Civil War in the comics, but since the MCU is still relatively young, Zemo may be the catalyst for accelerating this conflict.