© Marvel Studios

First we heard that Iron Man 4  is looking more likely than ever. Now, according to industry sources, Robert Downey Jr. is this close to signing on to Captain America 3.

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, rumour has it that the movie may trigger the start of Marvel’s massive Civil War crossover story, the repercussions of which reverberated in the entire Marvel universe for years.

Before that though, RDJ will reprise his role as the charismatic and reckless billionaire Tony Stark in The Avengers: Age of Ultron next year, which will introduce Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) roster.

Whose side are you on? © Marvel

The Civil War storyline, written by Mark Millar, saw the introduction of the Superhero Registration Act, which coerced anyone with superhuman powers to reveal their real identities to the US government and agree to work for the authorities.

Stark supported the initiative, but Cap disagreed, saying that it abused civil liberties. The ensuing battle saw the rest of the Avengers take different sides, pitting friend against friend.

Marvel also announced earlier this week that it is rebooting the original Civil War comic book miniseries in summer 2015, which will lead up to Captain America 3 premiering in theatres. No word yet on whether Millar will be continuing the story he created in 2006, or how closely the movie will hew to its comic counterpart.

Word is that RDJ’s part in Captain America 3 was originally meant to be a smaller role, but in the course of negotiations the role got meatier, setting the foundation for even more films to add to the franchise in later years.

Considering that the two biggest movies of the year so far were Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy – taking in US$714 million and US$687 million worldwide respectively – it’s no wonder this decision was made.

“You’re not getting rid of me that easily,” said RDJ. © Marvel Studios

In the meantime, we’ve still got Age of Ultron to whet our appetites before we get to see what is arguably the superhero showdown between Iron Man and Captain America. In the comics, the Superhuman Registration Act was enacted due to Scarlet Witch’s cataclysmic meltdown detailed in the House of M story arc.

Does this mean that Age of Ultron will lead to similar events? Or will Tony Stark experience something that will lead to the change of heart seen in Civil War?

I’m torn between crying nerd tears of joy and yelling at The Powers That Be at Marvel. When they started the Civil War storyline in 2006, it was a sprawling, complicated mess that was hard to follow if (like me back then) you were a casual fan who was only focused on following one or two titles.

The aftermath of Civil War actually made me mad enough to stop reading comics for a couple of years.  I can only hope that Marvel has learned enough in the last decade to not make a mess of it this time.

Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch
“Who’s our dad again?” ©Marvel

That, however, isn’t my main problem with this admittedly exciting development. Most long-time comic fans know that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch have a very famous father called Magneto. But as we’ve reported before, Fox owns the rights to the X-Men movie franchise and the word “mutant”, which is why the twins are not referred to as such in the MCU.

It’s really a pity, because the twins’ fraught relationship with their father (especially in Quicksilver’s case) is a very important part of their back story and understanding their motivations.

The copyright issue gets even more complicated when you consider that Spider-Man (movie rights owned by Sony) played a HUGE part in the original Civil War plot – though word is that Marvel and Sony are in quiet negotiations to bring their respective cinematic universes together. 

Captain America 3 is slated for release on May 6, 2016, mere weeks after DC’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits cinemas. It looks like fans of superhero movies are in for a exhilarating ride in 2016!

Source: Variety.com

What do you think – are you excited at the prospect of seeing Iron Man pitted against Captain America? Tell us!