Word swept the Internet late last night that Robert Downey Jr. is in almost completed talks to join the cast of Captain America 3. This isn’t a cameo or flyby appearance, Captain America 3 is believed to be based on the Marvel Comics event Civil War which pitted Captain America against Iron Man over the Superhero Registration Act requiring all those with powers to register with the government. Looking at it from a fan’s perspective you’d think this would be a slam dunk, but apparently, not everyone at Marvel thinks RDJ should have such a large role in Captain America 3.
Remember Downey’s appearance on Letterman last week? Downey responded to Dave’s question:
There’s no plans for an Iron Man 4. There’s no script for Iron Man 4, but they do have a plan and I think they’re going to announce it…they’ve very secretive about it.
When Letterman pressed Downey about Iron Man 4 Downey went on:
Just between us, no, but I’m going to do other stuff with Marvel. I’m still going to be involved with Marvel and there’s gonna be plenty of fun stuff to happen.
Well it looks like this might be that “other stuff” Downey was talking about. Exciting news for fans, but the scuttlebutt is that Marvel originally only wanted RDJ to make a cameo appearance in Captain America 3, but RDJ wanted to play a much larger role in the movie. This of course would mean more screen time, more lines, and a much more substantial paycheck.
Marvel Entertainment Chief Ike Perlmutter is said to have been so upset that he ordered the screen writers to rewrite Iron Man out of the Captain America 3 script completely. One reason Perlmutter might be so upset is that Marvel is historically very tight with the purse strings and contract payouts. Downey made $50 million from The Avengers and if this larger role is confirmed, he would earn an estimated $40 million for Captain America 3 including the film’s back-end earnings along with a bonus if Captain America 3 outperforms Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
That is one hefty payday and you can be sure that many of Marvel’s bigwigs won’t be dancing in the street about it. For them it’s a hard pill to swallow even with the incredible payback the studio earns from the box office and merchandising.
Thankfully Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President and RDJ’s agents at CAA (Creative Artists Agency) continued to meet and go forward with talks with the hope that these issues could be worked through. You’ve got to give Feige his due for sticking to his guns when it comes to executing his vision of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One major part of that plan is extending the acting life of the current Marvel characters for many years to come.
This all ties together with Marvel’s Civil War event announcement yesterday:
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 13, 2014
Clearly this is an effort to bring new readers into the Marvel fold and prepare them for the big screen version on May 6th, 2016. We’ll see RDJ and Chris Evans in Avengers: Age of Ultron May 1st 2015. Isn’t it interesting that when you look at Marvel’s biggest films most fall in that month of May, Avengers – May 1st, Avengers 2 – May 6, Captain America 3 – May 6.
Basically the story line for Marvel’s Civil War centers on the Superhero Registration Act, a new law created after a horrible super powered incident where the New Warriors attempted to apprehend a gang of super villains for reality TV show ratings which resulted in the destruction of several city and neighborhood blocks. At the center of the area was an elementary school. The explosion resulted in the deaths of over 600 civilians, 60 of whom were children.
Now those with powers had to register with the government or face incarceration. Tony Stark and Captain America found themselves on different sides of the argument, with Stark in favor and actively supporting the new law while Captain America felt it violated those with powers civil rights. This escalated into an all out Super Powered Civil War.
If you want more details on the storyline and don’t care about some major spoilers then you can click this link to Marvel’s page.
Another character heavily involved in the Civil War storyline is Spider-Man, with Sony holding the big screen rights to the character you would expect Marvel to write the character out and insert another to take his place and 95% of me thinks this will happen.
That remaining 5% that is currently a nagging itch at the back of my head is really my Nerdy Heart. Holding out hope that perhaps, just perhaps, Sony’s recent announcement canceling Spider-Man 3‘s release date and the rumors that Sony might be working out a deal with Marvel to allow Spider-Man to appear with other Marvel heroes just might be in regards to Captain America 3.
I know that sounds crazy, but let it bounce around in your brain for a minute. Trust me when I say that this is fantastic conspiracy theory stuff here, but wouldn’t it blow everyone’s minds? Give Sony a sure payday and allow Marvel to showcase one of their biggest characters. The realist inside my head reminds me that Marvel is currently waging a secret war against those other companies with Marvel character’s movie rights and trying not to give those companies any more material to work with.
What do you think? I think it is a brilliant move by Feige to keep the momentum going. Sooner or later there will be changes to the actors playing these iconic roles, but the farther into the future Feige and company can push those changes, the better.
Could Spider-Man take part in Captain America 3? If not, which character should take his place in the story? It would almost have to be an established character to truly bring weight to the role that Spider-Man played in Civil War.