Chris Evan and Robert Downey Jr. in "The Avengers"
Chris Evan and Robert Downey Jr. in "The Avengers"
Credit: Marvel Studios
2015's Civil War #1
2015's Civil War #1
Credit: Marvel Comics

Well, we did predict the subtitle would be Civil War a month ago, didn’t we?

In what would be a shocker of a development, Robert Downey, Jr. is reportedly nearly set to play Tony “Iron Man” Stark once again in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This time, however, he would be appearing as a secondary player in Captain America 3 alongside Chris Evans’ Steve “Captain America” Rogers.

Variety reports that Downey is in “final negotiations” to reprise his role as Tony Stark, in what they say will kick off the film adaptation of Marvel’s ultra-successful Civil War storyline.

According to the trade, Downey was initially in talks for a short, three-week role, but pushed for a more substantial part in the film. Variety reports that while his power play angered Marvel Entertainment’s Ike Perlmutter, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige maintained a cooler head and salvaged the deal.

If made official Downey will reportedly receive around $40 million plus backend participation for Cap 3, on top of a likely additional payout if the film outperforms Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

This deal, again if signed, would extend Downey’s run as Iron Man beyond next summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers 3 in May 2018 and would align with comments Downey Jr. recently made on The Late Show regarding his future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The comic book storyline saw Captain America and Iron Man pitted against each other, as they came down on opposite sides of the Superhero Registration Act. The law meant superheroes would have to register with the U.S. Government and become agents of the nation, meaning they also have to reveal their identity alongside the extent of their abilities. In the comic, Iron Man supports the act while Cap is against it, eventually leading to the two each leading a faction of heroes against each other. In the middle? Spider-Man, who rumor has it Marvel Studios is trying to work out a deal to use in their films, while Sony Pictures would retain the rights to make solo films with the character (and supporting cast). The storyline lead to multiple character deaths, including some very high-profile ones, and fallout felt in the Marvel Comics universe for years thereafter.

Eventually, if Cap 3 “kicks off” the Civil War storyline (which suddently makes Marvel’s winning game of chicken with Warner Bros.' Batman V.  Superman: Dawn of Justice over the May 6, 2016 release date make a lot more sense), then reason suggests it would spill over into Avengers 3, perhaps with a Thanos invasion serving as the galvanizing force to reunite the team.

As for the Civil War storyline, Marvel Comics just teased earlier Monday that the story would be revisited in some way in Summer of 2015, though they did not reveal any details.

According to Variety, Marvel Studios and Downey Jr.' s reps at talent agency CAA declined to comment on the report.

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