Marvel's Cinematic Universe Phase 3 and Me: Civil War

written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)

After the news that inexplicably broke the internet over this past week, Marvel has unveiled nine new movies in its blockbuster plan to take over the hearts and minds of movie watching geeks all over. While I could talk about each one... I figured I'd focus on the one that mattered to me.

This has to be the dream come true, after initially teasing that the third Cap adventure would be titled Captain America: Serpent Society the interwebs went wild after it was revealed that this third installment of Cap's story will actually be subtitled Civil War.

Cue dramatic nerdgasm

From the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe I was hoping and wishing that Mark Millar's massive Marvel comics even would come to the cinematic world. For the comic boon uninitiated, Civil War was a huge publisher wide event that affected the entirety of the Marvel universe. After initially opposing the superhuman registration act, Tony Stark moves to become its strongest supporter in the wake of a tragic explosion caused by a group of young meta-humans that cost the lives of 600 people, including about 60 school age children.

Cap sat on the opposing side to Tony's, siding against the superhuman registration act. Opposing this because their secret identities are crucial to their ability to operate. To be honest, both sides had their pros an their cons, though when initially reading it I sympathized more along the side of Cap and the heroes who opposed the registration act.

While this news is a dream come true, I know that much of the story will be up for cinematic reinterpretation. There are a few major roadblocks in place for this to be a truly faithful interpretation of the epic comic series.

Spidey and the Fantastic Four

Spidey attacked by villains... villains contracted by Tony Stark...

Spidey attacked by villains... villains contracted by Tony Stark...

While most of the Marvel universe is under the home-field banner, Spider-man and the heroes of the Fantastic Four both still have their film rights held by Sony and Fox respectively. While the mutants played a role in Civil War, the notable fact that (since Civil War happens after M-Day*) the Mutants were more-so absent from the events of Civil War.

Studio rights are a slippery slope, but basically this is why Marvel can't reference Magneto or even the word Mutant when talking about Quicksilver or Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron. This wouldn't be too much of a problem if Spider-man and the Fantastic Four weren't such crucial cogs in the Civil War story. I have no idea how they intend to accomplish the story, and I suppose that the core narrative will still be the same, but not including Spidey and the Fantastic Four would leave a gaping hole in the overall story.

Hank Pym is old

Michael Douglas at the Ant Man panel at SDCC2014

Michael Douglas at the Ant Man panel at SDCC2014

Michael Douglas will be portraying an older Hank Pym in the Paul Rudd starring Ant Man film. Pym played a major role in the overall story of Civil War, working with Reed Richards and Tony Stark to construct a prison for the superheroes arrested that refused the registration. While Hank Pym will already be facing a bit of a reinterpretation in the MCU, what with the development of Ultron not being at Pym's hand but rather Stark.

Overall, as excited as I am for this... I am already tempering myself for this not being the most faithful adaptation of one of my favorite Marvel comic book events. Civil War will be huge, and given the stellar track record Marvel has had with their films to date... I'm sure even if they can't get Spidey or the Fantastic Four we can expect something magical from the Marvel camp...

Your move DC...

* ED NOTE: M-Day is the event in Marvel Comics where 90% of the mutants lost their powers, thus would eventually lead to the events in AvX: Avengers vs X-Men or as I like to call it... an attempt to create ANOTHER Civil War but not living up to the standard in any way, shape, or form.