– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are feeling pretty good these days. The capper to the trilogy of CAPTAIN AMERICA movies they’ve written has been very well-received, and the film is doing phenomenal business (its global cume has already sailed past $750 million). What’s more, the duo are next going to tackle their first ever AVENGERS movies- a position they’ll be taking over from Joss Whedon, who wrote the last two. Considering that AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Part 1 is going to be the next big crossover event in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some found it surprising that Markus and McFeely didn’t include that film’s big baddie in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. In a chat with The Verge, the scribes explained why Thanos didn’t appear in CIVIL WAR.

Well, I mean, he’s going to have two movies…So we didn’t want to play him out and then have people be like, ‘Eh, more of this guy…’,” said Markus, revealing that they wanted to keep the villain fresh for audiences. After all, they’ve been getting teases and glimpses of the characterfor four years already (Thanos first appeared in 2012’s THE AVENGERS). So over-playing the “Thanos Card” was something they wanted to avoid.

But there’s more to it than that, says McFeely. “Yet again, they gave me 45 seconds of Thanos!’ That does nobody any good,” he said. “The ‘Civil War’ story is about this group breaking up on their own accord, and they do not need to be helped by the guy from space.” Indeed, with the MCU about to get all cosmic, McFeely and Markus seemed to want to keep this film more grounded, and more focused on the human half of what’s going to be an intergalactic war.

We also wanted [Civil War] to be a very kind of boots-on-the-ground, grounded movie that set the stage for ‘Infinity War,’ that sets all the Avengers apart from each other and at their weakest point,” Markus added. “So that when this giant purple man does show up, they’re not ready for it.

This approach makes a ton of sense, and will likely add to the heart of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Parts I & II, since it gives layers, levels, and dimensions to our heroes- rather than, “Okay, here’s a big alien dude. Let’s all just form up and go after him.” The fact that plenty of time has now been focused on their internal conflicts means that there’ll be more complexity to the team’s dynamic when Thanos finally rears his head. And, besides that, would anyone have really been excited by yet another 15-second cameo by Thanos? I think not.

Personally, the only character not addressed in any way in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR that surprised me was Stephen Strange, aka DOCTOR STRANGE. Considering his film is next on the Marvel slate, and BLACK PANTHER isn’t due out for another couple of years, I was surprised that they didn’t try to- in some way- prepare us for DOCTOR STRANGE, which comes out in November and looks to be a total left turn for the MCU with a very serious, very supernatural tone. Instead, they devoted their two post-credit sequences to [*SPOILERISH ALERT*Black Panther and Spider-Man, who we won’t be seeing again until at least three films from now. 

But maybe that’s just me.

In any event, what did you think of Thanos sitting out CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR? Did that surprise you? Was there anyone else you were expecting to drop by for the fun? Discuss.

SOURCE: The Verge

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.