Captain America: Civil War is set to be one of the biggest comic book movie releases of all time. Set for a May 2016 release and directed by the Russo brothers, the sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which the brothers also directed) will be the thirteenth offering in the hugely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
The premise of the movie is that, following the catastrophic events that unfolded in Avengers: Age of Ultron, a Superhuman Registration Act will be implemented in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will require all superhero activity to be monitored and legislated by the government.
The legislation will divide the superhumans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the point of war - even splitting the heroes themselves down the middle - hence the "civil" part of the title. Two teams will form, led by Captain America, who's anti-registration, and Iron Man, who will be pro-registration.
It will be huge event, and it will certainly be unlike anything ever depicted in a Hollywood comic book blockbuster before. There are so many things to look forward to with regards to this movie, and the following are the ten biggest of those things.
This article includes Marvel Cinematic Universe spoilers.
10 Cap's Relationship With Bucky Will Be Explored
Captain America: The First Avenger introduced Bucky Barnes as Steve Rogers' best friend - just as he is in the comic books. He appeared to die in battle against Hydra, falling from a great height as his team raided a train.
He re-emerged in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as the titular villain, having been saved and brainwashed by Hydra. He showed signs of knowing who Rogers was by the end of the movie, however, and wandered off to explore his own origins.
Avengers: Age of Ultron confirmed that Rogers was still searching for Barnes, but the latter character wasn't in the movie. He will, however, be in Captain America: Civil War and audiences will undoubtedly be updated on the status of the relationship between the former best buddies - and that's something big for fans to look forward to.
9 The Possibility For Easter Eggs Is Bigger Than Ever
Comic book movie fans love Easter eggs, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in particular has been absolutely teaming with them since the first Iron Man movie in 2008. They've become part and parcel of the franchise and eagle-eyed viewers are constantly on the lookout for clues about the franchise's expansion and fun inclusions that are simply there for entertainment value.
Captain America: Civil War is the biggest opportunity to date to include Easter eggs galore, as it's the biggest, most complex event in the franchise so far and will include more characters than any movie that came before it.
With rumours about countless unconfirmed characters also being included (the Mandarin and Red Skull amongst them, for instance), it will undoubtedly be jam-packed with things for fans to watch out for in the background.
8 Ant-Man Alongside Other Heroes For The First Time
Ant-Man gets his first solo movie this year, with Paul Rudd taking the lead role as Scott Lang in the July offering, and he will face off against Corey Stoll's Darren Cross AKA Yellowjacket.
It's a movie that many believe could be a step too far for Marvel - the whole "shrinking and controlling ants" thing being too silly even for a universe with talking raccoons and walking trees - but Ant-Man will at least be facing off against a foe of a similar nature to himself.
What will be very interesting in Captain America: Civil War is seeing how the character works alongside the established heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Can he be relevant in battles that will include the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Scarlet Witch and Vision? Only time will tell, but it will definitely be exciting finding out.
7 Old Characters Revisited
Captain America: Civil War will reintroduce audiences to a number of great characters from previous Marvel Cinematic Universe instalments who will only have appeared once prior to their appearance in this grand event. The likes of General Ross, Brock Rumlow, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Agent 13, Ulysses Klaue and the aforementioned Bucky Barnes and Scott Lang will all return to the screen for the first time since their initial appearances - and that will make a lot of fans of those characters very happy.
There is also an opportunity for the return of other characters, such as Emil Blonsky, Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne, as well as countless other characters who have only appeared once before.
Fans will be excited to see the return of a number of confirmed characters and it will be exciting to see who else is confirmed prior to the movie's release and who might make a surprise appearance once it actually is released.
6 Great New Actors
Gone are the days when top actors appearing in comic book movies was a rare thing. The Marvel Cinematic Universe boasts some of the greatest and most famous actors of our time.
Robert Downey, Jr., Jeff Bridges, Tom Hiddleston, Tommy Lee Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Hugo Weaving, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Rene Russo, Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, Natalie Portman, William Hurt, Josh Brolin, Zoe Saldana and Christopher Eccleston are just some of the stars to have appeared in the franchise to date.
Rather excitingly, in Captain America: Civil War, they will be joined by the likes of Martin Freeman in an as yet unspecified role, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Daniel Bruhl as Baron Zemo. A top young actor will also take on the role of Spider-Man and it remains to be seen if the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch will debut in some way as Doctor Strange.
5 Great New Characters
As touched upon in the last entry, with the addition of exciting new actors comes the addition of exciting new characters.
Captain America: Civil War will see the Marvel Cinematic Universe debuts of the likes of Black Panther (the ruler of the fictional African nation of Wakanda and a formidable hero in his own right), Baron Helmut Zemo (a prominent Avengers villain from the comic books) and, of course, Spider-Man (a hero who needs no introduction and whose inclusion in this franchise for the first time is a very big deal).
It also remains to be seen who Martin Freeman is playing (with rumours ranging from Spider-Man's uncle - Ben Parker - to a new take on Doctor Strange's servant and martial arts teacher Wong) and there are rumours of the real Mandarin making his on-screen debut.
The point is, a load of new characters are set to appear - and that's a good thing.
4 Heroes Versus Heroes
Come the release date of Captain America: Civil War, the hero versus hero thing will actually already have been done on screen. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is released two months prior to the release of the Marvel Studios offering, but the fact is that the battle between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel will be nowhere close to the scale of the war between the Marvel characters.
Seeing two teams of heroes going up against each other will be a truly unique treat for cinema-goers around the world and exactly how it will work - and exactly how it will affect the landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise and the comic book movie genre as a whole - remains to be seen.
Regardless, it's sure to be interesting and audiences are in for one hell of a ride.
3 Who Sides With Who?
One thing that will be very exciting about Captain America: Civil War will be seeing which heroes side with Captain America on the anti-registration side and which of them side with Iron Man on the pro-registration side.
It is generally expected that the likes of the Winter Soldier, Falcon and Black Widow will side with Captain America, while War Machine and Vision will side with Iron Man but, other than that, the teams remain a mystery.
The addition of certain villains (Crossbones, Baron Zemo etc) and organisations (S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra etc) will make things even more interesting and, with other figures operating in the background (Hank Pym, General Ross etc), seeing the two sides come together will be a real treat.
2 It Will Set Up The Infinity War Movies
The Avengers: Infinity War movies may be three and four years away respectively (they will, of course, be two and three years away when Captain America: Civil War is released), but it has recently come to light that that Captain America: Civil War will set them up - and that's an exciting prospect.
Captain America: Civil War has every chance of becoming the biggest event in comic book movie history, but it will be dwarfed by the Infinity War movies, which will see every available hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - including the Guardians of the Galaxy - teaming up against Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet (and whoever else the Mad Titan recruits to work for him, such as Loki).
Speaking to MTV recently, Captain America star Chris Evans himself said "Captain America: Civil War is the jump-off into Avengers: The Infinity War [sic]. Civil War is going to be the setup for the real battle. So yeah, there are a lot of people - a lot of people in Cap 3."
1 It's Basically Avengers 2.5
This movie might have Captain America in the title but, make no mistake about it; it's as good as another Avengers movie.
The only existing characters who have called themselves Avengers that will be missing will be Hulk and Thor (and, of course, Quicksilver). Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision, War Machine and Falcon will all be present, alongside future Avengers including Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Black Panther and the Winter Soldier.
Avengers movies have always been the biggest draws in the franchise and that's basically what you're going to be getting with Captain America: Civil War. The only difference this time is that they're going to be fighting each other. Awesome.
What are you most looking forward to in this Marvel movie? Let us know in the comments section below.