Late last month, I spoke to "Captain America: The First Avenger" screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely about the just-released trailer for the Marvel movie. Our conversation ended up covering a wide range of subjects, including their own take on the film's first full-length trailer and the source material that inspired their script. Heck, the name "M.O.D.O.K." even got dropped...
Now that WonderCon is in the rearview mirror and the news wire seems to have calmed down a bit, I finally had a chance to revisit that interview and run the final few segments. In the following portion of my chat with Markus and McFeely, they discussed their work on the "Captain America" sequel and how they managed the need for Marvel movie-verse continuity with this and future projects.
MTV NEWS: When you were writing "The First Avenger," did the need for a greater Marvel movie landscape shape your story at all?
STEPHEN McFEELY: Yeah, but it was never intrusive. You're going to need a MacGuffin, so if it's related to the Marvel Universe, that's fine by us. We already had a villain, so if we wanted to also weave in Howard Stark it wasn't that hard. Someone has to fill some of these beats.
CHRISTOPHER MARKUS: We probably had the easiest jobs in terms of interweaving the universe of Marvel movies, because we're chronologically first. We don't have to pick up the threads from the other films.
McFEELY: [Laughs] We can leave dangling threads!
MTV: In a lot of ways, you're really setting the stage for the rest of the Marvel films...
MARKUS: It was fun, because we could say, "This thing is going to come back later on." We could also look at it like, "That woman who Steve Rogers loves is going to be 100 years old in the next movie." It just added an extra charge to it when you're writing the scene.
MTV: And you're writing the "Captain America" sequel now, too?
MTV: I know it's early in the process, but do you have a timeline in mind for the sequel? Will it be more World War II adventures or, since it will come out after "Avengers," will it be a modern-era Captain America?
MARKUS: We're very early, still. This is the fun part — when we can say, "Hey, we can do this!" and everyone says, "Yeah!" No one says anything negative at this point in the process. We have a million great ideas and haven't thrown any of them out yet. That being said, it's sort of a weirdly huge opportunity for storytelling in that you know modern Cap through the Avengers at that point, and just by the nature of what we were talking about before, there's going to be a lot of his World War II history we haven't shown. We're going to have two entire timelines to play with.
McFEELY: I wonder if the reaction to ["The First Avenger"] will steer us in some way. First, if it does well... Then, if it does well and people embrace the World War II aspect of it, maybe there's pressure to return there in a large way. But if they don't embrace that aspect and just love Chris Evans as Steve, maybe there's less pressure to do that — you can just keep him in the Avengers universe.
MTV: We spoke to Jon Favreau a while back when he was still expected to direct "Iron Man 3," and he said he wasn't sure what the story would be because he didn't know where everything would be left after "Avengers." Do you feel any of that uncertainty with the "Captain America" sequel?
MARKUS: It's weirdly the same opportunity that the Marvel comic book guys have been having the last however-many years. All of those Avengers characters have solo comic books. You have to say "Captain America was on vacation the day when that solo adventure happened," or explain why Iron Man didn't call all of his super-powered friends when he was fighting that guy. It's a bizarre problem to have... It's not really a problem, actually. [Laughs]
McFEELY: I think ["Iron Man 3" director] Shane Black is the one with the first burden. He's the one who has to handle the first post-"Avengers" movie.
"Captain America: The First Avenger" hits theaters July 22. Keep it locked to Splash Page for the final segment from my interview with "Captain America" screenwriters Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely!