The rationale behind Civil War in Marvel Comics was relatively simple – the Superhuman Registration Act was passed, which meant that heroes and villains either had to give up their secret identities and work with the government or become fugitives. Iron Man led the pro-registration side. Captain America led the anti-registration side. Simples.
However, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe it’s a little murkier, because secret identities don’t really exist. The only one who immediately comes to mind is Daredevil (and eventually Spider-Man), but everyone else is pretty much open. “I am Iron Man” was a definitive moment in the MCU and the existence of Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff et al is all public knowledge. Therefore, there’s been a fair amount of debate amongst fans over what the heroes would be fighting about. The end-credits tag of Ant-Man mentioned something about some Accords, and now Chris Evans himself has given some explanation for what they are.
“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,” Evans said at Salt Lake Comic-Con. “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.”
It’s interesting to hear that Evans actually agrees with Tony rather than his own character. Traitor!
“But Cap has his reasons, he certainly has his reasons, and he is a good man and his moral compass is probably the cleanest, This is a tough thing. This is what made it so interesting while we were filming, and it’s hopefully what will make the movie great is nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong. There’s no clear bad guy here. We both have a point of view, which is akin to most disagreements in life and politics.”
That is possibly the most exciting thing he could have said about Captain America: Civil War.
It’s an incredibly cool concept – a political disagreement that causes dozens of once-friends to fight against each other. The comic, though, very clearly paints Tony as the antagonist and really blackened his image, which was fortunately redeemed the next year with Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man. Marvel obviously don’t want to make Downey look like a villain – he’s their most bankable star, after all – so that would naturally lend itself to making a more complex movie. However, the inclusion of Baron Zemo has thrown some fans into a tizzy over whether the film will be even more black-and-white than the original story. Evans’ words should reassure them (me).
With such a morally gray premise, a brilliant cast, the introduction of Spider-Man and the return of The Winter Soldier‘s Joe and Anthony Russo to the director chairs, Civil War could prove to be the most awesome Marvel movie to date on May 5th, 2016.