When Marvel first released CIVIL WAR back in 2006, their universe was divided on whether or not superhuman people needed to be registered. On the one hand, people with power could be dangerous if left unchecked. On the other hand, mandatory registration is the path to Nazis. Do you want Nazis? Because this is how you get them.
But the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn”t have secret identities. Even Ant-Man introduces himself by his civilian name when he meets Falcon. Plus – due to lawyers and other assorted evil – there are no mutants in the MCU. This left many fans wondering if perhaps the Inhumans would step into the role the mutants played in the comic book. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been grappling with the Inhuman issue since the Terrigen Mist infected the Earth”s fish population at the end of Season Two. Not exactly the Terrigen BOMB from the comics, but still an effective way to increase the Inhuman population before Civil War. However, this doesn”t appear to be the case.
Last summer I was on set for Captain America: Civil War. During an interview with co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, talk turned to what event would set off the Civil War chain reaction. As shown in the trailers, the film version will be on a more global scale than the comics. McFeely explained:
“There will be a Stamford Incident but it's not Stamford. We'll have an incident that will force the governments of the world to go, ‘Wait a second. Let's talk about the laundry list of things that we're not happy about. Let's finally do something about that.” It's more about oversight than unmasking or outing anyone.”
The immediate follow-up question to that is “What kind of incident?” The writers were mum on that but executive producer Nate Moore was more loose-lipped. Without giving away specific details, Moore hinted at who is responsible for setting the film in motion.
“Crossbones is interesting. Again, a character who we all love and an actor we all love. We felt like there was a really good way for him to, once again, kind of fan the conflict that was already brewing. Here”s a guy who is a free radical. Hydra has kind of gone under. He”s sort of doing his own thing now. What happens when he pops back up? He is, I think, probably more unhinged than he was in the last film. He is definitely serving his own agenda. He”s not afraid to kill people along the way. So he becomes almost the spark point for what happens with the rest of the film.”
Yet if Crossbones – last seen near death in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as his alter ego Brock Rumlow – is the catalyst, that rules out Inhumans as the driving factor for the plot. So what role will they play in this battle of wills between titans? None.
There have been rumblings over the years that Marvel”s film side and Marvel”s television side do not always communicate well. Jeph Loeb runs Marvel”s television division while Kevin Feige handles film. There are unique time tables and challenges associated with each form of media. And while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has had tie-ins with Marvel”s tent pole films, for now that exchange appears to be going one way. Right before the Civil War set visit, S.H.I.E.L.D had concluded their explosive second season. The world”s oceans were contaminated with Terrigen and fish oil supplements were exposing the population. Inhumans were popping up left and right. It seemed like a big deal. But not to the writers Captain America. When I questioned if the fish oil would play any role at all in the upcoming film, both men seemed confused.
Markus admitted he was behind on the show, “I have to confess, having come here, I've seen no TV since I got here in April. I haven't seen the vast majority of this season of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” There's fish oil?”
McFeely was just as lost. “Is there really fish oil? What are you talking about?”
As a fan of Marvel”s interconnected universe, it was a startling realization. Major events from the television side were happening without any knowledge on the film side. Perhaps by the time Infinity War begins production both teams will be on the same page. But this information is why I believe the Inhumans of the films will focus on the Royal Family – Black Bolt, Medusa, etc. – and leave the hybrid Earth-born Inhumans to the small screen. Guess we”ll find out in 2018.
Be sure to check out more of my Civil War set visit coverage!
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6, 2016.