'Captain America 3' Adds Robert Downey, Jr.; Will Kick Off Marvel's 'Civil War' Storyline

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When Robert Downey, Jr. sent film sites around the world into a frenzy last week by intimating -- and then backpedaling very quickly -- the idea that he might be in talks for Iron Man 4, we held off on writing up any of the action, mainly because it seemed like Marvel might have an actual announcement hiding up its sleeve. And as it turns out, the studio was indeed sitting on some pretty big news: Downey has been in talks for what sounds like a co-starring role in Captain America 3.

The deal, per Variety, will bring the publisher's Civil War storyline to the screen, so Downey's heavy involvement makes sense: in the comics, after an incident involving a group of heroes goes haywire and the U.S. government insists on all superpowered beings registering themselves -- secret identities and all -- the costumed community splits in two, with Tony Stark/Iron Man supporting the government and Steve Rogers/Captain America leading an opposition group.

One of several hugely successful crossover events in Marvel comics history, Civil War delved into a number of resonant sociopolitical themes in post-9/11 America without skimping on the battle action, and ended with a -- well, we won't give it away here. Suffice it to say that in attempting to adapt the story, Marvel's film arm is taking on what might be its most ambitious undertaking yet.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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