So you want to know who’s in Captain America: Civil War?
The question of which heroes and villains would actually turn up in Marvel’s epic culture-clash of characters has been the subject of intense speculation ever since the May 6 movie began filming last summer.
Mark Ruffalo said in an interview that Robert Downey Jr. told him Hulk would be in this movie. Daniel Bruhl (Rush, Inglourious Basterds) told the world he’d be playing the villain Baron Zemo. Martin Freeman (TV’s Fargo, The Hobbit) has a role, but the character’s name was deliberately omitted from Marvel’s cast list.
Above all, fans want to know: Are we going to see the new Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War?
This year, Sony agreed to an unorthodox license-sharing deal, which would allow Marvel Studios to incorporate Spidey as a supporting character in some of their films, while both studios partnered on producing a future Spider-Man stand-alone films – which would be released by Sony.
That meant Andrew Garfield was out, and the character was recast last spring with 19-year-old Tom Holland. The Spidey stand-alone movie was set for July 28, 2017, with Jon Watts, director of the indie thriller Cop Car, behind the camera.
Marvel has never been clear about when it plans to use Spider-Man in its own universe. And the people at Marvel Studios are apparently contractually obligated not to talk about this publicly.
Ask Chris Evans about it, and here’s what you get: “I can’t tell you anything about that. There are some things you remember from those list of no-no’s.”
Ask Sebastian Stan, the fearless Winter Soldier, about Tom Holland and he says: “I have no idea who Tom Holland is. I really don’t.” He might be lying, but he’s not smiling.
A lot of fans already assume the character would turn up in Civil War because Peter Parker played such an integral role in the Mark Millar-scripted Civil War comic series. Hearing that, it sounds definite, right?
Well, here’s the answer …
While visiting the set for EW, there was a particularly large battle going on involving many different characters from the film. Most of them, you know about already. But one, standing off to the side, was a stuntman wearing a very familiar red and blue suit that covered him from head to toe.
“Listen, if there was a cosplayer running around that set when you were there, I don’t know what to tell you,” Feige said.
Fair enough. But then, during the very same battle sequence, just hanging around off-camera, Robert Downey Jr. comes strolling by. He’s laughing and talking with his arm slung over the shoulder of a young man who, if Feige is right, is doing some pinpoint Tom Holland cosplay – and wearing a full Spider-Man suit, except for the mask.
Later, in an interview, Downey just spills it: “[Don] Cheadle and I are just going, ‘Wow, dude, look at this.’ We’re now like the old guard, and our storyline carries real weight just because of our history in the [canon]. But we’re also looking around like, ‘Who thought that Falcon and Black Panther and Ant-Man and now Spider-Man…?’ I mean it’s like wow, this thing is just crazy.” (Leave it to Captain America, however, to try and save the day by keeping the secret hidden: “You never know with Marvel,” Chris Evans says. “Sometimes they shoot things and then don’t use them.”)
So, yes: Spider-Man is in Civil War.
Which makes sense: Joe and Anthony Russo, the directing brothers who are making Civil War and are part of the overall Marvel Studios brain-trust, had a hand in selecting the new Spider-Man actor.
“We did two screen tests with the character. We were pretty vocal about who we wanted for the part,” Joe says of Holland, praising his work in 2012’s The Impossible. “He’s fantastic. Amazing. It’s like Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun. Rarely do you see a kid carry a movie like that.”
The Russos also praised Holland’s physicality. “He’s also a dancer and a gymnast. He fits the part like you can’t believe,” Joe adds. “Another thing that we were really pushing for was to go young with the part. It’s the only way to differentiate it from what’s been done in the past. Get him as close as you can to the age that [the actor] is.”
As for the others: Is The Hulk in Civil War?
Not in the movie. Or so we’re told. The Quinjet he rode off into the sunset is back, but there’s no sign of Bruce Banner.
Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely point out that this wasn’t a big loss, because Hulk wasn’t in the comic book series either. (Ruffalo will be turning up as the Hulk in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, however, but the god of thunder won’t be in the movie version of Civil War either.) “You put those guys in a fight, it’s over quickly. It’s like, ‘Well, we have the Hulk on our side.’ Oh, fine, then,” Markus says.
In Harry Potter terms, the Hulk is sort of like capturing the Golden Snitch in any conflict: Game over.
“Yeah, I guess we should just call this off,” McFeely says.
“You’ve got to kind of choose your roster depending on what kind of fight you want to have,” Markus adds.
Okay, Baron Zemo?
Daniel Bruhl’s definitely in the movie as a shadowy villain, but he goes by more than one name. Baron Zemo is just one of them.
But what iteration of Zemo will he be? He has always been one of Captain America’s chief antagonists, but this character has gone through many evolutions over the course of his 42-year history. The son of a HYDRA scientist, Helmut Zemo ended up being thrown into a vat of the impossible-to-break bonding substance Adhesive X – which permanently disfigured him.
After that, Zemo tended to wear a purple mask (and is widely seen as the inspiration for Cobra Commander in the G.I. Joe toyline). In the comics, he created an Avengers-like supergroup of villains known as the Masters of Evil.
Kevin Feige, the Marvel Studios president and mastermind, says the cinematic version of the character will be an original take. “I will say that his character is very much a product of the Cinematic Universe and all that has occurred within that universe up to this point.”
And Martin Freeman’s character, who is a kind of government attaché… ?
“He’s under the cloak of secrecy,” Feige says. “There are a lot of amazing actors in this movie. Some of them play larger roles than others. And in some cases there are some you will meet ever so briefly in this film and then will be expanded upon in future films. He falls into that latter category.”