Who Is Captain America 3: Civil War Actually About?

As Marvel’s fan base braces for The Avengers: Age of Ultron to hit in May, they look back on the better times… when a team came together in the first Avengers film to save one of our planet’s most important cities from an extraterrestrial threat. But friction might threaten to tear away at this team of heroes in Ultron, because we already that a Civil War is coming in the third Captain America movie. What role, then, will Iron Man take in that upcoming sequel? And which Marvel character is Captain America: Civil War actually about? Robert Downey Jr. had some insight.

The actor was opening up to Empire recently, carefully guarding his best secrets while also teasing both The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. When it came down to the amount of screen time we can expect to get out of the iron-clad Marvel hero, Downey clarified to the Web site:

Ultimately it’s Steve [Rogers]’ story. It doesn’t say Iron Man 4: Civil War. I think that’s great, too. I think Chris [Evans] has been hungry to bring even more of an underside and some shadow to that.

That is a very important distinction to make. Because from all that we know, Marvel did attempt to lure Robert Downey Jr. back for a fourth Iron Man movie. Instead, they managed to work RDJ’s contract around so that Tony Stark could play a role in what will undoubtedly be a Captain America sequel. And when you look at the fact that Marvel has all of their films mapped out between now and 2019, there is no fourth Iron Man movie on the radar. So Tony, if he’s actually being used, will be relegated to cameos in other films, specifically the two-part Avengers: Infinity War undertaking.

Which is fine, because when it comes right down to the standalone Marvel movies, Iron Man received a nice bit of closure at the end of Shane Black’s Iron Man 3:

Our hero had removed the shrapnel that required him to wear his iron suit in the first place. He destroyed the majority of his suits (because you know Tony can’t eliminate ALL of his costumes). And he was content… well, until the events of Age of Ultron kick off. It will be interesting to see what role Robert Downey Jr. plays in the development of Marvel’s Phase Three. Given the fact that he essentially kick-started this entire MCU with the successful Iron Man, he could be graduating to an elder statesman status, picking and choosing his moments to appear in the MCU. We’ll see as things continue to roll along.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.