Screenwriters Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely Talk ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ and the Sequel

     July 17, 2011

With Captain America: The First Avenger arriving in theaters next weekend, I spent most of yesterday interviewing the cast and filmmakers.  As I said in the intro to my Chris Evans interview, I absolutely loved this movie and think everyone involved did an amazing job bringing Captain America to life.  Trust me, if you were nervous about Chris Evans as Cap, or that Marvel couldn’t make a period piece, you’re going to be blown away next weekend.

Of course no movie can work without a great script, so credit needs to be given to screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.  And I’m not alone in thinking their script was solid, as a few months ago we reported they’d been hired to write the sequel.  So when I sat down with them for an exclusive interview yesterday, they talked about how they got the job, how much input did they have in the story or did Marvel come up with the major plot points, the Easter Eggs, the challenge of making the movie fit into the Marvel universe, and we spent a ton of time discussing the sequel.  Hit the jump to watch.

captain-america-the-first-avenger-movie-imageRegarding the sequel, they told me they’re hard at work trying to figure out the story, which makes me think after Captain America makes a ton of money (which it will), Marvel will announce a release date for the sequel in 2014 or 2015.  But that’s just my guess.

The thing to know about Captain America: The First Avenger is that the movie spends a lot of time showing him battling Hydra, but it also jumps from battle to battle with gaps in the time frame.  I learned yesterday that some of the gaps could be as long as four months, so what they’ve done is allow the possibility of future films to still explore the WW2 time period, without damaging what they’ve already shown us.  What that means is…a future film could spend most of the time in the present day, but flashback to WW2 for an event or two that we might not have seen.  It’s a great way of connecting both worlds.

Obviously if you’re trying to stay spoiler free, you should wait to watch this interview.  But if you’re read the comics, you know what happens in Captain America.  As usual, it’s time indexed so you can watch the parts that interest you.

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeelyChristopher Markus and Stephen McFeely Time Index

    • :29 How they got the job. They say they chased the job and Marvel sought them out. Wanted to do a period superhero movie.
    • 1:26 How much input did they have on the story? Marvel told them they’d like to use Red Skull, and they need to get Captain America to The Avengers.
    • 3:10 What was the most dramatic shift in the script that occurred? They say originally Red Skull’s transformation was going to be seen onscreen, but ultimately they decided to have him already be transformed once the movie starts.
    • 4:30 Easter eggs. They say there are some Easter eggs in there that you have to look very closely to spot. The Stark Expo is a pivotal scene in which to take a closer look.
    • 6:15 They talk about the cosmic cube and how they settled on the object as their MacGuffin.
    • 7:37 Talk about the evolution of technology in the film and how the cosmic cube aids in technological advances like the Hydra vehicles.
    • 9:01 The challenge of making the movie fit into the Marvel universe. They said they had an advantaging being the first film chronologically in the Marvel universe.
    • 11:06 Talk about the sequel. They say they’ve signed the papers, and they’ve been throwing ideas around with Marvel.
    • 11:49 Will the sequel be a period film, set in present day, or a mixture of both?

Markus: “I think we definitely wanna sample all the possibilities. I think it would be hard to do a straight-up pure period one once he’s gone into the future in The Avengers.”

McFeely: “It takes the stakes out.”

Markus: “You know where he’s gonna end up. I don’t think you ever wanna abandon WWII completely because it is so where he came from and it is his entire reason for existing.”

McFeely: “And it’s worked well in the comic books forever.”

Captain America: The First AvengerMarkus: “Yeah I mean Brubaker does great stuff with, you know he goes to Paris now and he’ll flash back to the liberation of Paris and it’s like: one, it’s really cool but it’s really informative as to who this guy is that’s standing there. So we haven’t settled on a percentage you know—80/20, 50/50—of what it would be but I think we definitely would like to season it.”

  • 13:15 Talk about Hayley Atwell’s character meeting up with Captain America in present day, when she’s aged, and whether or not she appears in The Avengers.
  • 14:40 They talk about how Atwell’s character is the embodiment of Steve’s dilemma of not fitting in.
  • 15:58 The limitations of Captain America’s powers in the present day, and how he’s an impressive figure in the 1940’s, but up against present day weapons he’s not as powerful.
  • 17:36 Talk about how they’re reading a bunch of Captain America comics to come up with story ideas for the sequel.
  • 18:19 How famous will Captain America be in his world after WWII? Say they’re hashing that out now and it will ultimately depend on The Avengers.
  • 19:52 How informed are they about the script for The Avengers in regards to their sequel? They say they couldn’t definitely come up with ideas until they read Joss Whedon’s Avengers script, because they didn’t know if Whedon had already included them in Avengers.


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