If you haven't been living in a Tibetan monastery, you might've heard about the big bomb dropped on us. I'm talking, of course, of the Captain America Civil War teaser (although if you were expecting some actual bomb news, I'd say play Fallout 4).
The trailer itself is quite vague, while still teasing out lots of plot points and characters. What on earth could it all be about?
Let's try and guess.
First up, the official teams have already been released, so they’re the most certain things we know about the movie right now. Iron Man will be supported by Black Widow, War Machine, Vision, and a new addition, the Black Panther. For those who don’t know, Black Panther, or T’challa, is the king of Wakanda (the African country full of vibranium in Avengers 2). Cap’s team include Sharon Carter, Hawkeye, Ant Man, Scarlet Witch, the Winter Soldier and the Falcon. Also, Quicksilver may not be on his team (because he’s not feeling well - or alive) but holy shit his ghost might as well be, they need all the help they can get because this team-up is extremely mismatched.
Oh, also, Sharon Carter’s on Cap’s side, but she’s the most mortal and inexperienced of the bunch so I’m not sure what she can bring to battle. Maybe a Natasha vs Sharon espionage montage is incoming?
Also, the presence of General Ross in the movie probably isn't an accident. He wanted to use the Hulk for governmental purposes, and he'll probably try and bring the Avengers initiative under the supervision of the US government. As a result, all superheroes should directly report to and obey the government. "Dogs of the military", if you will. Cap remembers Hydra, and he believes there's a rot in the system, and the government having sole authority and control over the superheroes is like a Fat Man under Truman. So he probably says that the Avengers should have the power to independently police the world - and the government as well.
Alternatively, there could be a larger role for General Ross (emphasis on the word larger). We could see a Red Hulk (fingers crossed), though that it is unlikely that we will.
The most surprising change in the adaptation is the implication that Bucky is a central figure in the creation of the rift. The official synopsis of the movie states that there’s some international event involving Cap and the Avengers (possibly teased in one screencap?) which probably leads them to think Buck was behind the plan. Could that be due to planted evidence Cap doesn’t believe?
Now, Bucky didn’t have a major role in the context of the Civil War plot in the pages of the comic, he simply carried out orders laid down by Fury which lead to the epilogue of Civil War, i.e “The Death of Captain America”, where we found Bucky on a murderous path to kill Tony Stark in the wake of Captain America’s death, and then adorning the mantle of the Captain himself. Is this this the direction the future films may go?
Speaking of the event, the Superhero Registration Act seems to have been replaced with the Sokovia Accords, with Sokovia being the country they fought in at the climax of Avengers 2, of course. The Accords are also briefly mentioned in the post credits stinger of Ant Man (“Who knows whether the Accords will let (Tony) help?”). Are the Accords a series of laws, or are they government-controlled superheroes and their overseers? Is this what Ross’s ultimate plan is?
The most surprising team up, for comic readers, is Panther’s siding with Tony, since he chose Cap’s side due to his ideals in the Civil War run. T’challa will probably come to America to talk to Tony about the vibranium smugglers coming to his country (especially Ulysses Klaw, played by Andy Serkis in Avengers 2, who’s been a major rival of the Panther in the comics, even killing his father). There could also be the possibility of him coming for Bucky (maybe the Winter Soldier committed Hydra missions there as well once?). He's more interested in keeping his country independent of world politics first, though, so he'll probably be forced into combat. Tony will be in the position of discussion (seeing how he knew Klaw before) and that will mean he talks to T’Challa first. Maybe try and convince him to join his side. With Spider Man not shown in the trailers yet, could it be that T’challa is the one to jump ship and cross over to Cap’s side here?
The Vision is another surprising addition to Tony’s side, but Tony’s technical assessment of the situation may be something the Vision prefers. Another prediction - there might be some creation of romantic interest between Wanda (the Scarlet Witch) and Vision, like in the comics, which may create some extra friction between the teams. Can they do this better than the Bruce/Natasha romance in that last movie?
He hasn't been seen in the trailer yet, but Daniel Bruhl will be playing Helmut Zemo, a villain in the comics who was approached by Tony to form superhero teams consisting of heroes as well as recruited villains. While this was total character assassination in the comics, Zemo’s an unknown quantity here, and Iron Man may be inclined to trust him with helping out in the battle. Could it be that he plants the fake evidence being talked about?
And then, of course, we get to our web slinger. Spider-Man hasn’t been seen in any of the promotional materials yet, and he was a hugely important figure in the Civil War rift. A good guess to make would be that Spider-Man will start out as a costumed vigilante helping out his NYC neighbourhood, and Tony will seek him out and help him, due to his scientific prodigy being something Stark can identify with (plus he isn’t averse to mentoring kids, as seen in Iron Man Three). However, with Cap already being a figure of admiration for the public, it may be possible that the new Spidey’s influenced towards heroism because of him, which may ultimately cause even more of a rift.
It can be assumed, though, that the Spider-Man suit made for him in the comics won’t be making an appearance here. This new Spidey needs a while to establish iconic status, and showing a costume different from the norm this quickly won’t be smart.
Speaking of characters changing sides, though, the major event in the comics that forced side changing was Black Goliath’s death, which seems to be alluded to with that frame with Tony holding War Machine’s body (unconcious? dead? probably unconcious).
Of course, with Zemo’s introduction, it can be assumed that the movie won’t just end with all out war between the two sides, as there must be some point where both sides are alerted to a greater evil at play (pretty much the standard MCU trope right now). So there shouldn’t be any dramatic touches like Cap dying. Unless the film and trailer’s focus on Bucky is intentional and they want to show him as a successor to Cap, like in the comics. Chris Evans has repeatedly expressed displeasure with his career as an actor and had hoped he wouldn’t have to play Cap’s role past 2017, although a recent interview had him mellow out to the possibility of signing on a new contract (his current one runs till Avengers: Infinity War Part II).
Ultimately though, there is one potential detail we can all accept - that Captain America: Civil War will be much better than its comic counterpart (which isn't much of a contest anyway, Civil War freaking sucked). Let's just hope this has more bearing on the MCU than usual, seeing how Cap's second venture didn't change the status quo much at all.
Okay, maybe it did in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., but be honest, that doesn't count.
Let's just look at that glorious scene again.