Robert Downey Jr. Talks Iron Man's Evolution in 'Captain America: Civil War'

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:49 Written by  iamrogue
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Robert Downey Jr. Talks Iron Man's Evolution in 'Captain America: Civil War'

This year, Iron Man and Captain America fight side by side, battling a "batshit crazy" robot in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Next summer, though, these two of Earth's Mightiest Heroes go up against each other in Captain America: Civil War, the superhero slugfest of a sequel that sets Tony Stark against Steve Rogers in an MCU battle royale.

That means Robert Downey Jr. is facing off against Chris Evans, so while another Iron Man isn't in the cards anytime soon, Stark's sticking around. But a Tony who would actually trade blows with the star-spangled Avenger isn't quite the Tony we know now; sure, he and Cap have some tension, but they're a long way from slapping each other around.

Downey Jr. has shed a bit of light on his franchise jump and the character evolution that leads to the dust-up between two Avengers in Captain America: Civil War.

Speaking with Empire, by way of Collider, the star explained how he became involved in the Winter Soldier follow-up. 

"They said to me, ‘If we have you, we can do this, or Cap 3 has to be something else.’ It’s nice to feel needed," he said. "And at this point it’s about helping each other, too. I look at it as a competition and I go, ‘Wow, maybe if these two franchises teamed up and I can take even a lesser position, with people I like and directors I respect, maybe we can keep things bumping along.’"

In the Mark Millar-orchestrated Marvel Comics event from which Civil War draws its title and inspiration, a mega-calamity prompts the government to register and police superhuman activity.  Stark comes down firmly on the side of registration, advocating an end to secret identities and increased oversight.  Cap falls on the other side of the line and before long, they're leading two massive factions of heroes against one another.

Since it's still Cap's movie (his name's in the title, after all), does that mean Iron Man crosses a line into villainy?  Is Stark the bad guy in this sequel? 

"I wouldn’t put it that way," said Downey Jr. "The biggest question is, for Chris and for Cap, how do we bring Cap to a place where people go, ‘Man, I never thought I would see such a vast change in Steve.’ After you see Snowpiercer, you’re like, ‘I want to see a little bit of that guy.’"

"It’s natural to change your views," RDJ elaborated. "The main thing to me is, what sort of incident could occur, and what sort of framework could we find Tony in? The clues about where we might find him next are in Ultron. But what would it take for Tony to completely turn around everything he’s stood for? Joss [Whedon] brings this up all the time. It’s kind of weird that these guys would have all these throw downs all over planet Earth and yet when the movie’s over, nobody minds. What would the American government do if this were real? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Tony doing something you wouldn’t imagine?"

Indeed it would.  Indeed it would.

Captain America: Civil War, which starts production this April, is shaping up to be the biggest non-Avengers Marvel movie yet.  Not only are Cap and Iron Man throwing down, but Scarlett Johansson is joining in as Black Widow, along with Sebastian Stan as Winter Soldier, Frank Grillo as Crossbones, and Anthony Mackie as Falcon, along with new additions Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Daniel Bruhl as the villain.

IAR recently spoke exclusively with Anthony Mackie about reprising his fan-favorite Winter Soldier role, Sam Wilson.  When Jami Philbrick asked Mackie which side of the superhero war he'll end up on in the next Captain America, Mackie replied, "Listen; you would never meet anybody that doesn't want to hangout with Tony Stark. Tony's the man! I have no idea. I have no idea how they are going to use me. I have no idea how they are going to introduce all of those characters."

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