Although Marvel and Captain America: Civil War weren't at this year's Comic-Con, instead opting for their own version of it in the next couple of months, we thought we'd do a quick rundown on what we know so far.
The follow-up to Winter Soldier will see one of the most iconic comic-book storylines brought to life on the big screen and promises to be an event that rivals Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Here we go...
THE CAST IS ABSOLUTELY HUGE
We're not kidding. Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans. Jeremy Renner. Scarlett Johansson. The first appearance of the new Spider-Man, Tom Holland. William Hurt is returning as General "Thunderbolt" Ross. We'll also see Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther on screen for the first time as well. Daniel Bruhl will play the villain, Baron Helmut Zemo, a well-known villain from the comic-book series. Martin Freeman has signed on for an unspecified role, but rumours suggest he could be playing Everett Ross, a former US diplomat with ties to Black Panther's country, Wakanda. The country was mentioned briefly in Age of Ultron. Paul Bettany's also back as The Vision whilst Paul Rudd's Ant-Man is also expected to turn up. Basically, it's going to be Captain America: Cameo War.
THE DIRECTORS OF THE WINTER SOLDIER ARE BACK
Anthony and Joe, better known as the Russo Brothers, are back in the directing chairs. Not only that, they've signed on to direct the third Avengers movie. That movie, Infinity War, is going to be split into two separate episodes because d'uh, obviously. As for what the Russo brothers have planned for Civil War, they're going big. Really big. They only originally hinted at a well-loved but obscure storyline involving a McCarthyist (it's a word, look it up) Captain America that's brought to life in the '50s to root out Communists. It got weird. Really weird. But it was amazing. This, of course, all got kicked to touch when the Civil War subtitle was announced.
SO WHAT IS THE CIVIL WAR ABOUT?
The Civil War storyline was one of Marvel Comics' crossover events. Simply put, it meant all characters crossed over into one storyline and everyone came away from it with something inherently changed about them. The film will do likewise. From what we've heard and seen, it goes a little something like this. A massive incident, probably an explosion, wipes out a significant chunk of a major city and has hundreds, if not thousands of innocent casualties in the process. This begins to turn public perception against any and all meta-humans, as they're called in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In order to appease the public outcry, the government enforces a registration act that will see anyone with a superpower deputised as government agents and be accountable to them.
This is where the split happens. You'll recall in Winter Soldier that Captain America was against Nick Fury's plans to monitor the world with those massive gunships and was pretty critical of SHIELD and the way the government was encroaching on civil liberties. This is also touched upon in Ant-Man too. In Civil War, this goes even further. When the registration act is brought in, Captain America protests it whilst Iron Man / Tony Stark supports it. For Stark, he sees a way that can band all meta-humans / superheroes together under one banner to protect society. For Cap, he sees it as a tool that can be corrupted by a government and used for its own purposes.
That's a simplification and we're theorising here, but it makes the most sense. There's always been a bit of tension bubbling under between Captain America and Iron Man, so this is just an explosion of it.
WOW, SOUNDS LIKE IT'S GOING TO CHANGE A LOT OF STUFF
You bet. Winter Soldier was the crux for the TV series Agents of SHIELD and we're guessing Civil War will have a knock-on effect across all future Marvel movies. Keep in mind, we're basically nearing the end of the Marvel movies. Infinity War will be the last of the Avengers, so they're ramping things up in a lot of ways. We're guessing that Civil War will end with all of the characters - Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, etc. - split up and holding grudges so that when Infinity War comes around, they'll have to try team up again.
WILL ANYONE DIE?
Look, it's anyone's guess. We were absolutely certain that Age of Ultron would kill off a major character and nothing happened. Well, unless you count Quicksilver. And we don't. However, in the comic-book series, yeah, a few characters finished up there. Captain America / Steve Rogers basically retired afterwards and refused to fight again. There were a few minor characters that were killed off as well, so it's likely we'll have something similar here.
SO WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH SPIDER-MAN?
This film will mark the first appearance of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and he'll be played by newcomer Tom Holland. Spider-Man was considered to be the audience's guide through the Civil War in the comic books. We're not sure that same dynamic will play out here, but who knows. We've seen no concept art so we can't confirm if Tony Stark will make Spider-Man the infamous "Iron Spider" suit. Spider-Man is due to get his own standalone film pretty shortly, anyway, with Marisa Tomei - yes, MARISA TOMEI - playing Aunt May. Figure that one out. She's 50.
AND WHAT ABOUT BLACK PANTHER?
Again, Civil War will serve as an introduction for Black Panther. Prince T'Challa, as he's known, is on a mission of revenge against The Winter Soldier, the baddie from the last Captain America film. He murdered Black Panther's father a good few years ago and, as you'd expect, he's looking for payback. We're guessing the film will begin with Captain America hunting Winter Soldier and he crosses paths with Black Panther.
IS NICK FURY / SAMUEL L. JACKSON GOING TO BE IN IT?
Oddly enough, we're hearing that he is NOT going to be in this one. We're not exactly sure why, but who's to say he won't turn up somewhere? Look, there's that many people in this film that's it entirely possible he could be in a background scene for two seconds and we'd miss it. It's literally anyone's guess at this stage.
SO WHEN'S IT OUT AND WHEN DO WE SEE THE FIRST TRAILER?
It's slated for April 26th, 2016 on our side of the pond. America will get a couple of weeks afterwards on May 6th. It was originally intended to go head-to-head with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, but Warners blinked and changed the release date for theirs to March 26th. As for a first trailer, we're thinking it'll be some time in the next month or two, possibly later. Disney has their own event known as D23 which showcases material and that's in August. We're expecting it then.