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It may not be a proper Avengers film, but Marvel’s upcoming Captain America: Civil War is going to be one hell of a big deal. Not only does it feature damn near every superhero in the MCU, with a few notable exceptions like Hulk and Thor, but as the title implies, they all come to blows. To build hype, some theaters have a way for fans to prepare for Civil War, by marathoning all of Captain America’s MCU appearances leading up to the big event.
This is actually much more manageable than some of the previous Marvel marathons, like those leading up to the release of The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Those showed every MCU movie back-to-back-to-you-get-the-point. Marathon is an apt description indeed. According to Fandango, this time around, you only have to manage the stamina to sit through four movies worth of build up—Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Age of Ultron—before the evening caps off with Captain America: Civil War.
Okay, that is still a hearty undertaking. That’s five movies in a row, and we’re not talking about quick, 90-minute features here. The shortest of the bunch, 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, clocks in at just over two hours, while Avengers: Age of Ultron is a 141-minute beast—the other two fall in between. And if the latest rumors turn out to be true, Captain America: Civil War will be the longest Marvel movie to date, running a whopping 146 minutes.
The run time makes sense considering the jam-packed nature of the movie. Not only are there a ton of characters in Captain America: Civil War, there is simply a lot going on, and much of it is going to be complicated and time consuming to get right. When yet another international incident involving the Avengers—the new team made up of Cap, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Falcon—the governments of the world pass the Sokovia Accords, which regulates superhero activity. Tony Stark/Iron Man thinks this is a grand idea, while Steve Rogers/Captain America does not. Split down these two ideological lines, members of the superhero community choose sides and the factions ultimately clash violently. It is very much a Civil War, as the title implies, where friends must fight friends.
Joining Team Iron Man are Black Widow, Vision, War Machine, and newcomer Black Panther, while Team Cap is composed of Ant-Man, Falcon, The Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, and Scarlet Witch. Somewhere in the middle of this we’ll see the new MCU version of Spider-Man, the other key new addition, though we don’t know how he figures in just yet. In the source material he starts off on one side, but has a change of heart, so perhaps his arc will be similar in the movie.
We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out, but we’re only a few months away as Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6. The Captain America-a-thon goes down on May 5.