Of course Marvel Studios is never going to do a direct
adaptation of “Civil War.” It can’t. The storyline requires far more scope than a single two-hour movie could ever allow, and besides, there are too many characters, many of whom are currently owned by other studios. Spider-Man is the most obvious, with Sony now planning to extend the character’s franchise and his various enemies
. The only realistic option for a direct “Civil War” adaptation would be a Game of Thrones
-style miniseries, which would require a new canon from the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, and wouldn’t be as cost-effective as a single blockbuster movie release.
If Marvel Studios’ recent output is anything to go by, the best hope for a “Civil War” movie is a vague adaptation that takes a few aspects of the story and then builds a new concept around them. This is pretty much the way things went for Iron Man 3 (based on Warren Ellis’s “Extremis” story arc), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and others.
Until recently, most of the debate about a potential “Civil War” movie was moot, because the Avengers franchise could still go in virtually any direction. But following the game-changing events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, there are now lots of world-building details that could point to “Civil War” for Avengers 3, once Ultron has (presumably) been defeated in the second Avengers movie next year.
Avengers 3 is likely to be the point where Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. bow out of the franchise to make way for new characters, and from a practical standpoint “Civil War” would be a great way to get rid of Iron Man and Captain America’s central roles. But aside from that, there are plenty of in-universe reasons why “Civil War” is now a genuine possibility…