'Civil War' Is The Biggest Film Marvel's Ever Done

This year has already seen the release of two major superhero blockbusters in Deadpool and Batman v Superman, but the biggest of all is still to come. The Marvel cinematic universe puts forth its first 2016 effort on May 6, when Captain America: Civil War hits theaters. The film is the thirteenth to be produced by Marvel Studios, and the largest they've ever done; featuring even more heroes than last year's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Because of its sheer size, some fans are wondering if Civil War will be split into two parts, a la The Hunger Games: Mockingjay or Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows.

Civil War focuses on a conflict that arises between Iron Man and Captain America. The government wants superheroes to only act under their jurisdiction and direction, citing catastrophes that the Avengers have been a part of as the reasoning why their power can no longer go unchecked. Iron Man supports this idea, while Captain America does not. That's conflict number one. A second piece of their fight revolves around Bucky Barnes, AKA the Winter Soldier. He's a fugitive and Iron Man wants to bring him in for his crimes, but he's also Cap's best friend who committed his dastardly deeds while brainwashed, so Cap wants to defend him. The two heroes each lead a team of about six heroes each, including new characters Black Panther and Spider-Man, against each other in a massive battle, hence the "Civil War". Add into the mix the villains Baron Zemo and Crossbones, and you've got one loaded movie. But in spite of all that story, Civil War is going to be concluded in just one film.

But just because there's only one Civil War movie, that doesn't mean the film won't affect the rest of the Marvel universe moving forward. It definitely will. Some characters are expected to die, and the Avengers are definitely not going to be on the best terms after the events of the film. These factors will come into play soon; maybe not a whole lot in the next two relatively separate Marvel films: Doctor Strange, out in November; and Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, out next May; but certainly in the next grouping of films. July 2017 sees a new Spider-Man movie, where the character will presumably pick up where he left off in Civil War, and November 2017 brings Thor: Ragnarok, and the God of Thunder will undoubtedly be dealing with some of his fractured teammates. Then 2018 brings Black Panther and the next Avengers film, and this I think is where fans are getting confused.

The next Avengers movie is a two-parter. Avengers: Infinity War - Part One hits theaters on May 4, 2018, and Avengers: Infinity War - Part Two debuts the following year on May 3. Some fans may have heard that the next Avengers movie will be split into two parts, which is true, and then erroneously assumed that Captain America: Civil War was the next Avengers movie. Although Civil War does feature most of the Avengers, and looks an awful lot like an Avengers movie, it's technically not. It's the third installment of the Captain America trilogy following The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier, and the focus of the film will be mainly on Cap.

So there you have it. Despite its enormous cast of characters and Avengers-like qualities, Captain America: Civil War will not be getting a direct sequel — but its outcome will likely reverberate throughout the Marvel cinematic universe for years to come.

Images: Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Studios; giphy.com