Sherlock star talks moral ambiguity, while Marvel’s head honcho promises a grounded, personal story


While we’re not sure exactly who Martin Freeman will be playing in Captain America: Civil War next May, whether it be from the comics or an original character, the actor has started hinting at what his role will be in the film. When he was asked about how he will factor into a movie already brimming with characters, he responded:

He works for the American government. He works in conjunction with the superheroes, and certain agencies that help to tame the superheroes’ power, I suppose. So you’re not quite sure which side he’s on. It looks a little bit like he’s playing one game when actually he’s playing another. It’s the kind of character I like because it’s ambiguous and because you don’t know whether he’s good or bad. I like that area that isn’t black or
white, I like the grays, because I think there’s more fun to be had in not playing one obvious line

Freeman is best known for his heroic roles in Sherlock and The Hobbit, but his turn in the Fargo television series last year proved he works well in the morally gray. While the Civil War comic event mostly came down to the opposing philosophies of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, there was a lot of institutional corruption and corporate meddling taking place behind the scenes – maybe this will be an area they play up for the film? With the World Security Council showing a distrust of superheroes in The Avengers, as well as the mass destruction in Sokovia at the end of Avengers: Age of Utron, it makes sense for the consequences of their actions to be felt. Freeman has said he will continue to play the character ‘Unless they fire me’, so it’s fair to assume Marvel would have locked him in to a multi-picture deal.

Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige also made some comments about the next instalment in the MCU:

Civil War is a relatively simple story. [Avengers: Age of Ultron] had a lot going on. Civil War is a surprisingly grounded story about two characters that most audience members have come to know and like and admire finding themselves on different sides of a political argument, like the country does on many occasions, and how they both respond to that. That’s the story. So it’s actually a very, very simple story, and then how their personal relationships fit into that.

This is particularly reassuring to me, since I was worried the movie may be over-stuffed. Although we liked Age of Ultron a lot, it was bursting at the seams with new characters, plot and narratives it had to pay off. Anthony and Joseph Russo knocked it out of the park with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and proved they could handle an ensemble while still developing Steve Rogers as a character, but it seems like they’ll have a similarly tough gig keeping all these plates spinning. In Civil War they’ll be tackling the central conflict between Iron Man and Captain America, and the tracking down of Bucky that we glimpsed in the post-credits scene of Ant-Man. The confirmed cast already shows that the Avengers line up from the end of Age of Ultron are set to appear, as well as Paul Rudd returning as Ant-Man, William Hurt as General Ross, Frank Grillo as Crossbones, and Daniel Brül as Baron Zemo. Factor in the introduction of Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and the likely inclusion of Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man as well, and it doesn’t sound too simple. It’s easy to think that Captain America might get short-changed in all of this, but Feige insists that he is the focus:

“Can he save his friend? Can he turn the Winter Soldier back into Bucky? Is that even possible? While the Winter Soldier, from most other people’s point of view, is the deadliest, worst assassin of the past 70 years. So some people are like, ‘Cap, you’ve got to let go. He’s not the guy that you used to know.’ So it’s a surprisingly personal story with a simple and very efficient plot that I think allows all those characters to have a presence and interact in a way different from other films we’ve made.”

It makes sense to make the questionable position Bucky holds a source of tension in the film, and we do know that the Winter Soldier was responsible for the murder of Tony Stark’s father now, so he will have a personal stake in the matter too.

I’ve got to say, every detail that comes out about this movie gets me more and more excited.

What do you guys think?