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UPDATE: It looks like Civil War may be breaking out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe sooner than we thought! Get all of the details HERE.
The original story, as it was first published, is below.
Before they teamed up to defeat Loki and his invading Chitauri forces at the end of Joss Whedon's The Avengers, Captain America and Iron Man didn't exactly get along. The former didn't care too much for the latter's attitude and less-than-stable morals, and the armor-wearing hero felt the Star Spangled Man was a bit too much of a tool/boy scout (not to mention the fact that he was clearly jealous of all the attention Cap got from his dad). They eventually put their personal differences aside to fight evil and even became friends, but if new developments at Marvel Comics are any indication, it may not be too long before the two Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes once again find themselves at each other's throats.
I'm talking about the emergence of Civil War.
In the wake of this past weekend's New York Comic-Con, Marvel Comics has announced that they will be bringing back the incredibly popular 2006/2007 crossover event for release in the summer of 2015. Unfortunately, as Newsarama points out, that's really the only information we currently have about the new development. Rather than announcing the upcoming project with a press release, Marvel simply sent out teaser art for what they call "2015's Civil War #1," the "cover" featuring Iron Man and Captain America pulling on the arms of Spider-Man - who is wearing the costume that Tony Stark designed for him in the original Civil War comics:
At this point it's unclear how the 2015 Civil War will be connected to the previous event - either as a follow-up or as a reinterpretation with different outcomes - but right now let's focus on it's possible implications for the future of Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans have spent years speculating about the possibility of adapting the storyline for the big screen, and its reemergence in the comics clearly suggests that it's something that the comic book company on the whole has been thinking about recently. There certainly are a few complications, including the fact that Marvel doesn't currently have the rights to plot-level important characters like the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, but there certainly could be write-arounds for that (or possible business dealings) and it would be an incredible way for the studio to bring a ton of their best heroes to the movie world in epic fashion.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Civil War crossover, it was a seven-issue limited series that was first released about eight years ago, written by Mark Millar and drawn by Steve McNiven. The event kickstarted with the in-universe introduction of the Superhuman Registration Act - a political move that would force all costumed heroes to register with the United States government. Some heroes, led by Iron Man, supported the cause, believing that individuals with abilities had a responsibility to be accountable to the public; but others, led by Captain America, felt that the idea was akin to slavery. The situation escalated incredibly quickly, and, as the title says, eventually all-out war began.
When I spoke to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige at the press junket for The Avengers in 2012, I asked about the possibility of ever seeing Civil War in a Marvel Studios film, and he responded, "I love it. I don’t see it as a part two, but beyond that I think it could be great. That’s one of the best crossover events we’ve done." The interest and potential is obvious, so the big question at this point is whether or not they will actually ever pull the trigger.