The men that wrote both cinematic Captain America adventures so far have been tasked with writing the third film in the series. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely will once again put the words into Chris Evans’s mouth as he dons the blue suit, grabs his shield, and heads out for his most ambitious solo project, Captain America: Civil War. Considering they wrote both of the previous films, which had drastically different narrative styles, what’s the plan for the next one? What about Peggy Carter, who’s seemingly becoming more entangled with the Stark family than we ever expected?
IGN sat down with half of that writing duo, McFeely, to tackle some of these questions. In terms of the style and tone of Civil War, it sounds like we can expect a more fluid continuation of what we saw in The Winter Soldier. Where as the first film was a patriotic, nostalgic World War II tale, the second was a political thriller filled with espionage.
“Every Captain America movie has a genre and Civil War is the musical! No, I think part of the reason for bringing back us and bringing back the [Russo] brothers is because Marvel is very pleased with Winter Soldier aesthetically. I think itâ€™s a really adult movie. Itâ€™s very well made and thatâ€™s partly the texture of the movie. You can argue itâ€™s the most realistic of the Marvel movies, whatever that is to you. I think itâ€™s fair to say that a Russo brothers movie will stay in that vein.”
What’s Peggy Carter’s deal? It would appear she’s much more connected to Howard Stark than we originally thought, and how does that play out with his son Tony, aka Iron Man? With Civil War seemingly centering on Captain America versus Iron man, how will Cap’s love interest factor into the proceedings? Does she have some sort of maternal relationship to Tony?
“As we have not started shooting, and Iâ€™m on my fourth draft of many, that question [of who Peggy was to Tony Stark] has been in and out all over the place so who knows. So many things can shake out but weâ€™ve had conversations and we pitched scenes. Some stay and some donâ€™t. But we saw [Peggy] in Winter Soldier, so we know sheâ€™s around.”
How long has Marvel been mulling over this story? What was the sticking point, if any? McFeely offers a thoughtful response that reveals that they couldn’t simply adapt the book because, in many ways, the actors playing these heroes have made the characters their own:
“Itâ€™s been on and off the table for a while, letâ€™s put it that way, and itâ€™s a challenge to do it and make sure that all the characters that weâ€™ve established, and everyoneâ€™s established in the MCU are serviced and sound correct, right? Because thereâ€™s a difference between the characters in Civil War, which was written in 2006, 2007. The MCU doesnâ€™t exist [when it was written]. There isnâ€™t a Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Evans who has helped create the character so we need to make sure that that template gets adjusted and what have you in order to make sure it services these characters and not just sort of rip off their parts and make them look like them.”
Elsewhere in the interview, McFeely compares Evans to Gary Cooper, saying he brings an unexpected stillness and a depth to the character that makes him great to write for. He also says that the comic book genre is to Hollywood now what westerns were to Hollywood in the 50s and 60s. Hollywood always plays the hot hand when it finds that sweet spot where technology and mainstream interest converge, and he just thinks these kinds of movies are currently having their moment in the sun.
Oh, and regarding all the recent chatter surrounding a certain web-slinger, McFeely sounds downright relieved that he didn’t end up having to include him in Civil War. “More problems for me!” was his stock answer on the subject.