If you’ve read my blog, you’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a huge Marvel fan, probably second only to my love for Star Wars. 😉 So it likely comes as no surprise that I geeked out — big time — over the recently released second trailer for “Captain America: Civil War” (we finally get to see the new Spider-Man!). The film comes to theaters May 6, and it already looks amazing. I’m trying not to let myself get too hyped up ahead of time, because I felt the same way about the trailer for “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” a film that ultimately didn’t quite live up to the expectations fans had for it. However, I think “Civil War” will end up delivering the darker conflict and character development we were hoping for from “Age of Ultron.” We’ll get to see what happens when the Avengers are forced to fight against each other in a conflict with more gray areas than black and white.
“Civil War” isn’t the only superhero vs. superhero film this year — “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” premieres March 25. I admit I do have a Marvel bias, so that’s probably one of the reasons why I’m not *quite* as excited for “Dawn of Justice” as I am for “Civil War.” 😉 It also will be difficult for DC to top Christopher Nolan’s previously released Batman trilogy, which ranks among the best superhero movies ever made. Will one of these two superhero vs. superhero movies emerge as the victor at the box office, or do they both have a chance to shine?
“Captain America: Civil War” will likely be the highest-grossing film of the summer, barring another “Jurassic World”-type surprise (and it may even be the highest grossing film of the year, though I’m still pulling for “Star Wars: Rogue One”). I’m really excited to see this film, which I hope will be genuinely game-changing for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in a way that “Age of Ultron” could have been but wasn’t. Iron Man and Captain America are my two favorite Avengers, and I’ve always enjoyed watching the dynamic between them. Although the dilemma raised by the film is a completely hypothetical one, it’s also incredibly intriguing: should people with super powers be held accountable for their actions, and if so, who should hold them accountable? And do the people holding the superheroes accountable need to be held accountable, as well? Another feature which makes this conflict interesting is that Tony Stark, who’s normally a bit of a rebel, is in favor of more government oversight of superheroes, while the formerly loyal soldier and ultimate S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Steve Rogers find himself suspicious of that authority.
I’m also super excited to see the introduction of Black Panther, and I’m glad Spider-Man and Ant-Man will have roles in this film. The only potential downside I see is that the film could end up packed with too many heroes, and we’ll lose sight of the central conflict between Iron Man and Captain America. This is going to be a big, epic film, but it also needs some powerful personal moments, as well.
I’m a little more concerned about “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” but I’d like to see it succeed too. This film also has an opportunity to show how superheroes hold each other accountable, and then set aside their differences to combat a larger threat. Unlike Marvel, which spent several years releasing solo superhero films and then gave us an epic round-up, DC is introducing a lot of heroes at once and then will give us individual films later. While this strategy could backfire, because we don’t have the same attachment to some of these new characters as we do to Thor or Captain America, thanks to their solo films, it could help get people excited about these new characters and motivate fans to see the solo films when they do come out.
Some have expressed skepticism about Ben Affleck as Batman, but I think he could surprise us. I like how the film is presenting an older, more world-weary Batman. This isn’t an origin story; Batman has been a vigilante for a long time now, and maybe he’s struggling under the weight of it all. I think “going darker” is a good strategy for this film; Marvel movies are known for being fun — and funny, but a grittier tone could help “Dawn of Justice” stand out. I hope Wonder Woman will have a significant role in this film, and I’m looking forward to her solo film in 2017. Right now I’m not sure if I’m buying Jesse Eisenberg’s take on Lex Luthor, but I’m hoping that will surprise me too.
So, what do you think? Which superhero showdown film will top the box office? Which one are you most looking forward to?