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Tension has built between Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers ever since the two first met in 2012’s The Avengers. In Captain America: Civil War the government has had enough of the unregulated activities of costumed heroes, and will require that all superheroes answer to a governing body. This will set the stage for a battle between the diametrically opposed viewpoints of Iron Man and Captain America. According to Chris Evans, the conflict will weigh heavily on the Star Spangled Avenger.
At the recent Salt Lake Comic-Con, the actor discussed how the coming war between Iron Man and Captain America will affect Steve Rogers:
Tony actually thinks we should be signing these accords and reporting to somebody and Cap, who's always been a company man and has always been a soldier, actually doesn't trust anymore. Given what happened in Cap 2, I think he kind of feels the safest hands are his own. And these are understandable concerns, but this is tough, because even reading the script, you think I think I agree with Tony in a way, and I do agree that to make this work, you do need to surrender to the group. It can't just be one person saying this is right and this is what we're going to do.
This seems to indicate that in another life, Steve Rogers would likely have been willing to side with Tony and sign the controversial accords. However, given the events that transpire in Marvel’s Phase 2 films – particularly Captain America: The Winter Solider and Avengers: Age of Ultron–Captain America has simply seen too much of what happens when power is signed over the wrong hands. At this point he trusts only himself and his closest allies to get the job done, and chooses not to sign anything that would make him beholden to a potentially corrupt power.
Perhaps the most intriguing element of Evans’ quote is the fact that he himself admits to siding with Iron Man. It reinforces the notion that Marvel films are beginning to delve into some seriously complex moral issues, rather than seeing things in black and white terms. It’s this sort of debate that will get audiences talking about the film, and spur passionate dialogue amongst fans. When The Avengers first came out, seeing them quarrel had a fun element to it, now the films aim to make that conflict more mature and complex for audiences to discuss even after they leave the theater.
The moral conundrum of Captain America: Civil War elevates it above typical superhero fair that we have become accustomed to, allowing it to become potentially the biggest superhero film of 2016 – if not all time. We will find out for sure when the film hits theaters on May 6, 2016.