With one week of filming to go, Marvel bros Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie flew into Anaheim from the German set of Captain America: Civil War to make a quickie appearance at Disney’s D23 fan convention with giant nerdy grins on their superhero-chiseled mugs.
More importantly, they brought with them a four-minute peek at the summer 2016 flick filled with first looks at the brutal street battles, drones, mech-suited villains and superhero frenemies who set the stage for the bitter Avenger-on-Avenger face-off set to kick off Marvel’s Phase Three.
We see Crossbones (Frank Grillo), the HYDRA double-crosser rumored to be at the center of a plot that sees a Captain America-led mission go horribly wrong, sparking the cataclysmic events of Civil War. Footage opens with Cap and Mackie’s character Falcon, who sends his trusty Redwing—now a scarlet-hued drone, sadly not a real bird—swooping stealthily underneath Crossbones’ heavily-armored vehicle, scanning it.
The scene quickly explodes into action as Captain America, Falcon, and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (in undercover garb) battle the knife-wielding, skull-masked Crossbones, who has a message for Cap about his long-lost BFF Bucky Barnes. Barnes as the Winter Soldier is seen rescuing Captain America from drowning, and a later scene reveals he’s regaining his memories. He remembers Steve’s mother. He remembers Steve’s newspaper-covered shoes!
Unfortunately for those in the superhero game, public opinion is turning. “The world owes you an unsayable debt,” says General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, played by William Hurt, ostensibly cautioning Captain America. “But while a great many people see you as a hero, there are some who prefer the word ‘vigilante’ ... people are afraid.”
That divide is what splits the superhero fam in Civil War, with Robert Downey Jr. briefly seen lecturing Captain America about lack of boundaries and oversight. Disney and Marvel know they’re preaching to a comic book-loving choir that knows what’s coming, so they also peppered cheeky lines alluding to the titular civil war into their D23 reel. As Black Widow and her Avengers bestie Hawkeye tussle on the ground, she asks, “We’re still friends, right?”
Onstage, the erstwhile Captain America and Falcon admitted they love Disney so much, “we go in our trailer and sing the Frozen theme song,” Mackie declared to a delighted crowd of Disney nerds, many of whom had camped out overnight for a first peek at Marvel’s upcoming output.
But the best moment of Marvel’s D23 peek into the future came courtesy of one of their stars of this summer. In a MCU crossover bit, Ant-Man’s Scott Lang rolls out of a white van and comes face to face with Steve Rogers and realizes he’s been recruited. “You’re great,” he gushes, fanboying out on the first Avenger. “You know a lot of super people, so thinks for thanking of me. Thanks for thinking of me."