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In a general sense, we know that the first outing of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3, Captain America: Civil War, will take place after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Beyond that, however, there hasn’t been anything specific, though the Russo Brothers just shed some light on how much time has past and what has been going on in the MCU.
The sibling directors at the helm of Captain America: Civil War, Joe and Anthony Russo, are scheduled to appear at Wizard World New Orleans this weekend, and when ComicBook.com caught up with them and asked, Joe revealed how long it has been since last we saw the Star-Spangled Avenger and his cronies. He said:
We like to say that the amount of time that has passed in between films is the amount of time that has passed in the movies. So, it's about that amount time. We find Cap leading the Avengers. He's tutoring or mentoring Scarlet Witch in the beginning of the movie and bringing her into the fold. We find them on a mission at the start of the film. The effect that Ultron has had on everyone certainly is central to the storytelling of the movie. It's very strong. We're dealing with issues of collateral damage, imperialism, what rights do super heroes have to pursue villains across borders. It's very politically minded. Cap's dealing with all of that at the beginning.
This seems like the obvious, natural choice. For the most part, each entry in the MCU generally takes place in the present (the big exceptions have been Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter), so it makes sense that when Captain America: Civil War hits in May, the action will be set roughly in that time period.
This also means it will have been approximately a year since the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. At the end of that movie we saw the original Avengers team go their separate ways and the new guard step forward. By the time Captain America: Civil War rolls around, this will have given the new team—including Falcon, The Vision, and Scarlet Witch—time to settle in, get situated, find a rhythm, and get a few adventures under their belt. Under the watchful eye of Captain America, the new iteration of the Avengers will have gone through all of the growing pains and we’ll find hopefully them in mid-season form.
With a year gone by, it will also allow for the growing anti-superhero sentiments and general public safety concerns that are at the center of Captain America: Civil War to increase and for those tensions to ratchet up. The plot revolves around the Sokovia Accords, legislation that requires superheroes to register and submit to governmental regulation. This splits the community into two factions, the pro-registration camp led by Tony Stark and the anti-registration sect fronted by Captain America.
From Joe Russo’s words, it sounds like a lot has happened since last we checked in with the heroes of the MCU, and there is going to be a lot for them, and us, to wrap their heads around when Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6, 2016.