The newest Captain America: Civil War trailer has dropped and so have many Marvel fans, felled by the sheer “YES” of what the new footage delivers: Black Panther hunting a motorcycle-riding Winter Soldier. Ant-Man riding one of Hawkeye’s arrows into battle. And of course the appearance of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Here’s a deep dive into the new revelations …
The trailer opens with this enigmatic shot. Distant mountains in a quiet tundra. It’s beautiful, but where the hell are we? The voice we hear is Chris Evans as Captain America: “This job … We try to save as many people as we can. That doesn’t always mean everybody.” He sounds a little lost, too.
From the patches on the arms of these soldiers, we can discern we’re likely in Siberia. The patch, with a Russian flag, has Cyrillic lettering that reads: “Russia” and, at the bottom, “border guard.” Whoever is running this detention center, it’s Russian controlled. And the Cold War was the primary battleground of the Winter Soldier. But they’re not necesarily the bad guys this time around. Civil War is about an international coalition of governments who seek to control (and punish) those with superhuman abilities. Maybe they Russians are just doing their part, rather than something nefarious.
As Cap says he can’t save everybody, we get this shot of his old friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), emerging from cryogenic sleep as the brainwashed assassin known as the Winter Soldier. The last time we saw him, he had broken from his captors and was piecing together his former identity. Maybe this is a flashback. Or maybe he didn’t get away as easily as we assumed. Or, again, maybe he’s simply being detained by the good guys.
This is interesting. Amid lingering debate of the destruction and casualties from rival DC’s Man of Steel movie in 2013, Marvel is listing its own casualty counts from past movies as William Hurt’s Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross scolds the new Avengers about their tactics. Here we see that the Chitauri alien invasion in 2012’s The Avengers took the lives of 74 people and caused $18.8 billion is damage.
The takedown of HYDRA-infested S.H.I.E.L.D. and its fleet of hellicarriers in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier killed 23 people and only caused $2.8 billion in damage. Credit to Cap for keeping costs low in his solo outing …
Avengers: Age of Ultron led to the biggest loss of life – 177 people. And a staggering $487 billion in damage. (To put that in perspective, it’s almost as much as Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned at the global box office.*) That’s what happens when an entire fictional city-state falls out of the sky. And it explains why the new restrictions being imposed on “enhanced individuals” – which leads to the split between Cap and Iron Man – are known as the Sokovia Accords.
After an explosion at a U.N.-looking forum, we see T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman’s prince of the fictional nation of Wakanda, grieving in the rubble. He may just have ascended to the king’s throne. Of course, he also has another identity – Black Panther.
Here we see Black Panther racing the Winter Soldier as he speeds away on a motorcycle. Even without wheels of his own, T’Challa takes him down the way a real black panther might pounce on a gazelle. The source for this grudge? He blames The Winter Soldier for that explosion. What we don’t know is whether Bucky Barnes is truly guilty. Clearly, Cap doesn’t think so.
Wakanda is the primary source for all Vibranium in the world — that super-strong metal that comprises Cap’s red, white, and blue shield. Since he has unlimited stores of the substance, Black Panther has constructed a suit made out of woven Vibranium threads. It not only looks cool — it’s bulletproof, baby.
We see Tony Stark diving free of a helicopter as it approaches this undersea apparatus — what looks to be a very expensive hidden detention center. So, maybe that Russian jail wasn’t where the good guys stash their bad guys.
This looks to be a much cleaner, well-lighted place. But who runs it? We hear Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark saying “We need to be put in check. And whatever form that takes, I’m game.” Then we briefly see him pacing around this room, but if he was going to drop in for visiting hours, why did he fly away from the helicopter that was landing there? My guess: he was stowing away below the aircraft, to find out where it was going. One thing we don’t see in the trailer is Daniel Bruhl, who is playing the villain known as Baron Zemo. His exact role in this story is being kept under wraps, and that character is a well-connected, scientific-minded type. Maybe this isn’t so much a detention center as a place of … experimentation.
Marvel always pulls a few editing tricks in its trailers, pairing up shots that are from separate scenes to avoid giving away too much. Here we see Cap standing in the kitchen of someone who either can’t afford curtains or is simply using newspaper to prevent anyone else from seeing inside. It’s a pretty shabby home, but as Cap says, “This doesn’t have to end in a fight, Tony,” the scene shifts from that room to the grimy Russian detention center. So they’re not from the same sequence.
Here’s where it gets weird. There’s Winter Soldier in the background as Iron Man throws Cap across the room But who — or what — is in that creepy-looking pod off to the right?
Iron Man is not just mad. He’s disappointed.
She’s reluctantly on Team Iron Man, but look at what Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow can do — without any kind of supernatural powers, chemical enhancement, or technological armor.
In the comics, Scarlet Witch and The Vision developed a romantic relationship. Here, as you can see, you always hurt the one you love. Elizabeth Olsen (whose character aligns with Team Cap) has unleashed her powers on Paul Bettany’s synthezoid (later seen flying into action alongside Team Iron Man.) They appear to be at the new Avengers headquarters, but who’s that sprawled on the floor? My money is on Hawkeye…
Speaking of Hawkeye, here’s a moment comic book fans have been waiting to see in live-action for more than three decades. It was Avengers issue #223, with a cover by Ed Hannigan and Klaus Janson, that first showed Clint Barton teaming up with the little guy. You can’t see him in this shot, but watch …
That’s Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man surfing on a fragment of Hawkeye’s arrow. A similar version of this shot was done in animation in what can only be described as a hard-hitting GIF.
As the shot continues, we see Ant-Man weave right between the fingers of Iron Man’s metal gauntlet, but whatever damage he unleashes from here will have to wait for the finished movie.
On set, the cast and crew of Civil War referred to this as the “Splash Page” fight, named after those moments in comic books that are so powerful they take up a whole page — or a double spread. This is the long view as the movie’s tensions between Team Iron Man and Team Cap explode into violence at the Leipzig/Halle International Airport in Germany. (It was really a parking lot at a studio in Georgia, with a giant green backdrop where the terminal would be added digitally later.)
Here, at long last, is where Spider-Man joins the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, snatching Cap’s shield right out of his hands and binding his wrists with a web. Tom Holland introduces himself with an understated: “Hey, everyone.” But it’s the even more subtle narrowing of his eyes that reveals this suit is not the typical one we’ve seen the webslinger wear. Is there a strategic purpose behind that? Maybe aligning with Iron Man has given Peter Parker access to some useful new tech.
Okay, that’s it for this deep dive into the Captain America: Civil War trailer.
We Audi here …