How will Marvel’s Phase Three movies manage to top the spectacle of Phase Two? We just got our first glimpse at D23. Marvel just showed us the first footage from Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange—the latter of which hasn’t even started filming yet.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige came on stage and started with Doctor Strange. He said the film would push the boundaries of the cinematic universe. He confirmed Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor as cast members, along with Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange.
Cumberbatch couldn’t be at the event, but sent a video message where he promised “Girls, cars, explosions and a bit of astral projection into multiple dimensions. The usual fare.” And since director Scott Derrickson won’t start filming until November, Feige premiered a reel of concept art and visual imagery, set to music, to give fans an idea of what to expect. He said no one would ever see this reel again.
It started with images of New York City. Very much the world we know from The Avengers. Strange is the foremost neurosurgeon in the world, but he has a car accident that mangles his hands. His apartment and doctor’s office are all very high tech. He then goes on a quest to look for healing. There are images of foreign lands, possibly Chinese. It’s there he meets The Ancient One, played by Swinton, who begins to help him... but it “turns into much more.” We see images of all this, and it looks pretty sweeping and beautiful—but finally, the good stuff kicked in.
We see Strange standing beneath a huge black ball, him falling into a new dimension. Then he’s in what looks like space, very much in the mold of the colors of Guardians of the Galaxy. Back on Earth, we see cars floating in the air, streets twisting around like in Inception, Strange shooting yellow power out of his hands, and an image of his face in a sphere, almost like 2001. The reel ended with the only moving footage, of a CG Strange moving his hands to create the yellow power with his hands. Doctor Strange hits theaters in November 2016.
Next up was Captain America Civil War. Feige called it the end of the Captain America trilogy, and the “culmination of everything that has come before in the Cinematic Universe.” They are still shooting, with one week left in production, but both Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie flew straight from Germany to D23 to be on stage.
It starts with Captain America in a bedroom. “Eyes on target,” he says. Falcon is on the roof and launches a “red wing.” This is a small drone that shoots out of his pack, flies down to the street and under a car. It begins sending Falcon X-rays of the car, and they realize it’s a battering ram. Crossones jumps out of the back, Captain America jumps down to fight him, and he shoots a bomb onto Cap’s shield. Cap is forced to throw his shield into the air, so the explosion doesn’t hurt anyone. The two fight, Falcon flies in and Black Widow runs toward the action—this all takes place in a crowded foreign market place. Crossbones lands some huge punches on Cap with his mechanical arms, and there are knives embedded in them. Widow takes out four men. And just as Cap is about to beat Crossbones, he mentions Bucky. “What did you say?” Cap asks. Then the Marvel logo. We’re just getting started.
William Hurt’s character from The Incredible Hulk is talking in voiceover as we see Cap and the team walking through the Avengers headquarters. “The world owed you an unplayable debt. People see you as a hero. There are some who prefer the word vigilante—people are afraid.” Cap responds, “This job, you try to save as many as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t mean everyone.” Those last lines are over the ending shots of The Winter Soldier. Then we cut to the Ant-Man end credits scene. Bucky, aka The Winter Soldier, has been captured.
“Bucky, do you know me?” Captain America asks the captured Winter Soldier. “Your mother’s name was Sara,” he says.
And then we saw a montage of shots with some more voice over. We see Cap and Bucky walking to a bunker in the snow. “What would you call a group of enhanced individuals who inflict their will anywhere their choose?” someone asks. They show Vision, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, and other Avengers. Cap says, “Sometimes the safest hands are still our own.”
Then, finally, we see Tony Stark. “Sometimes I want to punch you in your perfect teeth.”
“We have no boundaries,” Stark says. “We’re no better than the bad guys.” “Is that how you see protection?” Cap retorts. A bunch of quick cuts, including Black Panther quickly, Martin Freeman in a room filled with monitors and more. No Spider-Man. Finally someone asks Cap “What do we do?” “We fight,” he says. We then see Cap, Bucky, Falcon, Widow and a few others running across an airport tarmac. That’s followed by a few quick, close cuts of fighting and then we see Hawkeye on top of Widow, trying to choke her. “We’re still friends, right?” she asks.
Then, after the title, one more scene. Hawkeye pulls up in a van and in the back of it, sleeping, is Scott Lang, played by Paul Rudd. “Oh my god, Captain America, it’s an honor” he says. He starts shaking his hand and staring at him. “I’m shaking your hand too long, right?” He turns around, sees Scarlet Witch and says, “I know you too, you’re great.” And then he just keeps touching Cap’s shoulders. “I know you know a lot of super people, so thanks for thinking of me,” Lang says. And that’s it.
Captain America: Civil War opens May 6, 2016.