So this morning I woke up after a night of drinking, head still a little fuzzy, not really sure what day of the week it was, and just generally trying to work out what my name was and whether I could stand up or not. As a lot of people tend to do in the morning I started to scroll through my phone, whilst avoiding looking at my face in the mirror because I know I owe it an apology for last night. At this point I stumbled across a tweet concerning the upcoming Doctor Strange film which sparked my interest and required some light research on IMDB. It was at this point my research drew to a stand still as I found that the first trailer for Captain America: Civil War had dropped.
I wish I could have taken a selfie at the time because I know my reaction was priceless. Alas I couldn’t, because I dropped my phone. On my face.
For many people this will be quite exciting because it’s a new blockbuster that’s going to be one heck of an experience, but for those of us who read the comics, this is insane! This is what we’ve been waiting for! Ever since Marvel made their big Phase Three announcement over a year ago we’ve all been looking forward to this. It’s one of the best modern comic books, it has the Russo brothers in the director’s chair(s), it has all of the characters we love in one film together, it’s just an overload of awesomeness.
The trailer that was released is incredible, it has a lot of footage sealed in tight and a lot of new things to get our heads around and it is so cool! I mean the comic book geeks like myself are already sold on the film, all this has done is initiated a global scale nerdgasm. Now I know some people won’t have bothered looking into the trailer as much as the geeks have but there were certain things that caught my attention:
1. The Plot – this is arguably one of the most interesting elements that the trailer revealed because up until this point it has been mere speculation as to how the story from the comic book would transfer to the big screen. The thing about the Civil War thread is that it is an epic, it has so many characters (some of whom aren’t currently in the Marvel cinematic universe) and different narratives all happening at the same time, so a direct transfer would be absolutely impossible. Until this point most people (myself included) assumed they would transfer the basics of the Civil War plot and add a twist to it so it’s dealing with the backlash of the events that occurred in Age of Ultron. However it seems like at the moment they’re tying in a Bucky Barnes related twist too, which I have absolutely no complaints about and I can’t wait to see the fully developed narrative they’ve made.
2. Bucky remembers Cap – I know there’s all of the fast paced action and explosions and fist fights, but this moment stood out because it shows good things about the writing. They’re allowing for characterisation and it’s going to pay off in the long run if they want us to engage in the film. It’s the little details like this that make the audience feel emotionally attached to the characters and I’m glad they took time to show it.
3. General Ross is back – I’d heard rumours that William Hurt was reprising his role in the MCU but I wasn’t sure if it would actually happen because as far as I’m aware I thought we were all trying to forget The Incredible Hulk (2008) ever happened. I don’t have a problem with this of course because it shows that it isn’t all going to be loud action sequences, we’re going to get some heated dialogue and office politics, with Thunderbolt Ross in the manager’s chair. Bring it on.
4. “Sokovia Accords” – this is where I know I went full geek but I don’t care. If you have good eye sight and/or pause the trailer at the right moment you can see the name of the document General Ross gives Captain America. It’s unknown at this point what this actually is but at the moment I can only assume it’s teasing the legislation the government is enforcing (known as the Superhero Registration Act in the comic) whilst linking it to the events in Age of Ultron. This is also where we might see some of the disagreement starting. For those who have read the comic you’ll be familiar with this but for the uninitiated the Superhero Registration Act is formed because the government wants to keep a lid on superhero activity. They want the secret identities to be thrown away, they want the superheros working under their management, on their payroll, and above all to limit what they can and cannot do. So any superhero who doesn’t agree is seen essentially as an enemy of the state and faces imprisonment. This results in our heroes being split into schisms, with Tony Stark backing the government and Captain America fighting against it, causing quite a violent conflict between superheroes. Obviously we don’t know at this point how direct the transferal of this will be, and it is a Captain America film not an Avengers film so the focus will have to be shifted slightly, but the “Sokovia Accord” does set things up quite nicely to follow a route I think we’d all be comfortable with.
5. Frank Grillo is back and revamped – this was a blink and you’ll miss it clip from the trailer but it basically saw actor Frank Grillo, AKA Brock Rumlow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, reprising said role and under the character’s alter ego Crossbones. On a side note if you haven’t seen the photos of the characters together filming on location then I kind of have to question where you’ve been hiding for the last few months. Like I said, he’s in the trailer for a split second having a fight with the Cap, and it’s unknown as to how large his role in the film is, but it was still quite exciting to see the character on screen. If only all too briefly.
6. The teams are emerging… – there wasn’t an awful lot to suggest who is siding with Tony Stark, other than War Machine obviously, but I think we pretty much saw the entirety of Captain America’s team, consisting of The Winter Solider, Falcon, Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch (all pictured above). It sounds unfair to only show one side but it just means there is still a lot of guess work to be done based on what characters we know are in the film but haven’t been shown yet, whilst also taking into account those who may not even pick a side and fight, as many in the comic book choose not to get involved. Guess work is half the fun before the film is released so I think this leaves us in quite a good place.
7. Black Panther – YEAH THAT’S RIGHT, SOMEBODY’S BEEN TO WAKANDA! As soon as I saw Black Panther on screen I had to internally scream so I didn’t wake the neighbours. It’s stupid because we all knew he was going to be in the film, Chadwick Boseman was officially cast, but it was still exciting to finally see the character on screen in front of me. And what’s better, he was on screen kickin’ some serious butt! I was under the impression that because this was the first time we’ve ever seen the character on the big screen that he’d be something of a minor role, but now it feels like Black Panther will have quite a big involvement, which is awesome! Also in the comic book Black Panther features very briefly, says he’s not getting involved, and then is basically gone from that point on, so it’s interesting that they’ve chosen to given him such a big role before his solo film. Not complaining obviously! Just intrigued.
8. That last line though… – I don’t even need to repeat that last line. We all know what I’m talking about. Hopes of a Tony Stark and Cap bromance are shattered eternally in just two lines of dialogue. Emotions man, emotions.
9. The directing is still on point – again this is one that might not be important to many people but I was relieved that after the success of Winter Soldier the Russo brothers are still at the top of their game. What was so good about Winter Soldier was that it took a character who was ruined by their first film, put him in the hands of two guys who hadn’t really done any noteworthy work yet, and then completely surprised everyone. We can all admit we went to see that film ready to tear it to shreds, but what we got instead was a genuinely well directed action film and one of the best standalone Marvel films ever made. I have not only confidence but respect for the Russo brothers, I believe this project is absolutely in safe hands. Just look at the last fist fight we see in the trailer, with the fast paced hitting and shield throwing between Iron Man, Cap and Bucky, it just worked so well and it looked awesome. I can’t wait to see more.
10. Stay for the credits – again this is geeking out but fuck you, I don’t care. Once you see the title of the film at the end of the trailer all of the names and job titles appear on screen that you usually ignore right? In this case don’t ignore them. If you pause the video like I did then you’ll see the most accurate cast list you are going to see by this point, confirming that certain people are in the film that you may not have seen on screen. People like Paul Bettany as Vision, Paul Rudd as Ant Man, and most interestingly it confirms that Daniel Brühl is in the film. It doesn’t say who he is playing but he has long been rumoured to be playing the Captain America villain Baron Zemo. Either way we know that Brühl is one of the biggest named actors of our time and he’s now tied into the MCU. Who wins? Everyone.
There is still a lot we are yet to see that is being kept from us at the moment, like footage of Ant Man and the newly cast Spider-Man and who exactly Martin Freeman has been cast to play, but for the time being this was a very promising first look. As teasers go this was without a doubt one of the best we’ve had all year. Its filled me with even more confidence in the film, and I genuinely think it could be really good. At the moment Marvel are churning out some truly fantastic films, with more planned that have huge potential. Civil War is the starting point of Phase Three, and I want it to be good. I want it to completely smash Batman v Superman out of the Box Office and show Zack Snyder that he needs to learn how to direct traffic before he attempts directing a film again. We’ll just have to keep our ears to the ground and see what else they’ll dangle in front of us before the release next year.
In the mean time I may head back and read the comic again because I’m sure the trailer probably had more in it that I’ve missed. And if anyone hasn’t read it but is thinking of doing it then I would thoroughly recommend it. You will not be disappointed.