Since the announcement of Captain America: Civil War, and subsequent revelations about the plot, scope, and characters expected to appear in the film, many have wondered 'Why even call it Captain America movie?' Kind of like some people felt when the Man of Steel sequel became Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and evolved into more of a Justice League prequel than a sequel to Superman's story. But Robert Downey Jr, in a chat with Empire, says that people those people are wrong. The Iron Man star says this will absolutely be Cap's movie.
He addressed the issue when asked whether his Tony Stark was going to be the film's villain. "I wouldn’t put it that way. Ultimately it’s Steve’s story; it doesn’t say ‘Iron Man 4: Civil War’. I think that’s great too," says the actor.
Downey thinks the film is going to dive a little deeper into the character's heart, and take a look at what's going on under the hood. "I think Chris [Evans] has been hungry to bring even more of an underside and some shadow to that. I remember the comics - on the surface you got the sense that Cap was baseball and apple pie, but underneath there was all this churning stuff of being a man out of time. Now we know he’s made his peace with that. What’s the bigger issue?"
As for his own character, he's obviously expected to experience some sort of paradigm shift. He says the groundwork will be laid in this year's Avengers: Age of Ultron, but that in Civil War we'll see Tony tackling interesting issues. "[...]What would it take for Tony to completely turn around everything he’s stood for, quote-unquote, because he was the right-wing guy who could still do his own thing. The idea of Tony being able to march into Washington and say, ‘I’ll sign up’, wouldn’t have made sense if the political climate in the real world hadn’t shifted the way it has," says Downey. Which implies that the Russo brothers will continue the work they did in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, mining real life conflict. "It’s a little bit of things following a real world continuum in, ‘What would you do?’ You have to figure, ‘Were you to ask the question, what would the American government do if this were real? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Tony doing something you wouldn’t imagine?’"
Downey's involvement in the film at all was a surprise to many, who thought he'd be disappearing from the series after this next. With him getting older, and his price tag possibly climbing beyond the point Marvel would be willing to go, it looked like his last hurrah was on the horizon. So what made him decide to play ball? "I’m crazy about Evans. I really am. I don’t know why or how to explain this particular kinship we have. By the way, he hasn’t called me in six months," he says. He then adds, "Honestly, in order for this whole thing to have worked, I did my part, Hemsworth knocked it out of the stadium and then it fell on Cap. That was the riskiest. It was the one that had the highest degree of difficulty in making it translate to a modern audience. It was the Russos and Chris who, I think, really hit the line drive and won the series. I remember glancing through it going, 'Wow, that’s a different way to go.' They said, 'If we have you, we can do this or Cap 3 has to be something else.' It’s nice to feel needed."