|Source: Comic Vine|
Variety have this week supposedly revealed the identity of a thespian who'll reprise an iconic role in Marvel Studios' impending follow-up to their hit superhero blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier along with a sizeable handful of details regarding its overarching narrative. The as-of-yet-untitled sequel to perhaps the finest Marvel Cinematic Universe outing to date will once again be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo - who, if readers hadn't already heard, will additionally helm at least one episode of ABC's Marvel's Agent Carter in time for its broadcast next January - and will primarily explore the fallout of both its immediate predecessor and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
If the source in question is to be believed, then a paramount element of this exploration of what it means to be a superhero in the aftermath of the human-led creation of a deadly robotic armada will be Tony Stark, set to be played for the seventh time by none other than Robert Downey Jr. Word has it that Downey Jr. and Marvel Studios' execs battled near-endlessly over the extent of his supporting capacity within (what we'll for now call) Captain America 3's plot, only for resident MCU expert and helmer Kevin Feige to intervene and defend the need for Stark and his iron-clad alter-ego to make a fully-fledged return - and trust us, the reason behind the Armoured Avenger's presence here is the most tantalising detail we've come across since Thanos was confirmed to cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy this Summer.
The plan from here on out appears to be for the MCU to move in the direction of a loose yet dramatically heightened adaptation of the controversial comic-book crossover event known only as "Civil War", with Captain America 3 serving as the first metaphorical building block in this respect. Quite whether Stark and the titular defender of American liberties will come to blows over the infamous Superhero Registration Act - a troublesome piece of legislation which, as its name suggests, forces super-powered individuals to sign up with the government and therefore could well come into effect on-screen if Age of Ultron's narrative leaves New York and/or the rest of the world in ruins for a second consecutive time - here isn't clear just yet, but Variety reckon that at the very least, the "Civil War" arc will span the entirety of Phase Three, meaning that Thanos will be placed on the back-burner for a while, potentially appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as a major player whilst he bides his time in the hope of obtaining those all-important Infinity Gems.
As unashamed and wholly vocal fans of Walt Disney Studios and Marvel Studios' astounding accomplished multi-medium franchise, we're quietly in favour of their choice to adapt one of the more divisive pieces of source material, even the move could entail a split amongst their fandom in terms of their anticipation for and engagement with what's to come. Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Thor 3 - better known as the other MCU entries set to comprise Phase Three - don't exactly seem to lend themselves to seamlessly contributing to the aforementioned arc due to the otherworldly nature of the majority of their protagonists, yet at this point, it's starting to seem damn near churlish to lament or question the dynamic duo's creative decisions given the levels of critical and commercial success alike that they've achieved without fail of late. Roll on the future, then!
Captain America 3 ricochets into cinemas worldwide on May 6th, 2016.