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I don’t have to tell you how monumental Captain America: Civil War is going to be. This isn't just because we will finally see Tony Stark and Steve Rogers go toe-to-toe, and or because my nerd brain has wanted this for years; Civil War will have repercussions that reverberate through the characters we have come to know and love over the better part of the last decade. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Russos.
During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Joe Russo – one half of the Civil War directing team – explained that the events of the film would have a fundamentally potent psychological impact on its characters:
It's going to be more evolved than it ever has been with in any of the films. Winter Soldier created a seismic shift in terms of the world of the Marvel Universe. This is going to create a seismic shift in the psychology of the character which is more profound. It's a very profound shift...I think our job is to send you on a very profound experience between now and 2019 and it starts with Civil War. I don't know if people will be prepared for what this movie is going to include.
So while the Russo’s previous foray into the MCU changed the landscape inhabited by these characters, Civil War will have an even stronger impact on the characters themselves. This really could mean anything, from the death of a major player on the team, to the splitting of The Avengers into new factions. Perhaps this will lead to the formation of the West Coast Avengers?
Given the fact that this is a Captain America movie first and foremost, the brunt of the impact will likely be felt by none other than Cap himself. Having him undergo a major psychological shift will represent a big moment for the character, because he is one of the few Avengers who hasn’t changed since he first entered the MCU. Unlike Tony Stark or Thor, Steve has always been the righteous warrior; events around him occur, but his outlook on the world remains relatively consistent. Civil War may very will prove itself as the first time the First Avenger actually goes through a true character arc. Joe Russo expanded on this by saying the shift will continue through both installments of Infinity War. Now this is just pure speculation but that could be a veiled reference to Cap's final standoff with Thanos; again, I'm just speculating.
It goes without saying that this sort of promise has me unreasonably hot and bothered for what Captain America: Civil War has in store for us. We will know for sure just how much the characters are impacted on May 6, 2016 when the film blasts and punches its way into theaters. Stay tuned for more details.