Robert Downey Jr. is on the verge of joining the cast of Captain America 3.
According to Variety, which first broke the news, the actor is in final negotiations to play billionaire Tony Stark in the third installment which will be an adaptation of the Civil War story-line with the subtitle of either “Fallen Son” or “Civil War”.
Earlier this month it was rumoured that Downey Jr. was in negotiations with the Marvel Studios to reprise the role in a forth Iron Man movie but it seems those negotiations were actually directed towards a co-starring role in the upcoming Cap sequel, slated to begin production in the Spring for a May 6, 2016, release.
There has even been speculation that this planned story-line may be the reason for Warner Bros’ decision to move the release date of a certain superhero movie that also pits two legends against each other, Batman Vs Superman.
Should the deal go ahead this would be a massive turning point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the plot for the movie would pit Captain American, played by Chris Evans, against Stark, as they feud over the Superhero Registration Act, which forces anyone with superhuman abilities to reveal their identities to the U.S. government and agree to act as a police force for the authorities.
With Tony supporting the act and Rogers opposing, the resulting battle between the Marvel superheroes had ramifications that lasted for years in the comic books, including Tony Stark taking charge of S.H.I.E.L.D for a time. The story-line also led to the assassination of Captain America.
With the writers previously hinting that Captain America 3 would be the beginning of the end for Steve Rogers and the impact that The Winter Soldier had on the MCU as a whole with the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D, the Civil War story-line has been looking more and more plausible for some time.
Only this week Marvel announced plans to reboot the Civil War comic book miniseries in 2015, which would help introduce the story to new readers leading up to the movie release.
It’s not clear at this stage how the Civil War story would play out, since the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have secret IDs to reveal as well as the fact that so many of the main characters from the comics are owned by other movie studios and so will not be part of this adaptation. It’s likely however that the fallout of Avengers: Age of Ultron will have a massive influence on the Cap sequel.
It’s also important to note that Spider-man is a key character in the Civil War story-line. Could Sony and Marvel Studios be bringing us the cross-over movie sooner than we think?
Neither Marvel or Downey’s agency, CAA, has made any official comment, but the talks could see the actor reap as much as $40 million-plus. The actor made more than $50 million for his work in the first Avengers, and sources said he was looking for something similar.
Since Variety’s initial report, the news has now been confirmed by other large media outlets including The Hollywood Reporter but until we get that official thumbs up from Marvel nothing is guaranteed.
Whatever the official outcome, it certainly looks like Captain America 3 will follow in the footsteps of it’s predecessor and reshape the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Captain America 3 is due in cinemas on May 6, 2016.