At this week’s Television Critics Association press tour, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World) spoke at length about the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, touching on everything from the film’s comic origins to what classic actor Chris Evans is most like.
Civil War is an… interesting choice for a story to adapt to film, as the concept doesn’t fit so well into the MCU (none of the Avengers have secret identities and they all worked for SHIELD until Cap drove a couple of flying aircraft carriers into it, spoilers). So, what did McFeely think of the task?
“It’s been on and off the table for a while, let’s put it that way, and it’s a challenge to do it and make sure that all the characters that we’ve established, and everyone’s established in the MCU are serviced and sound correct, right? Because there’s a difference between the characters in Civil War, which was written in 2006, 2007. The MCU doesn’t exist [when it was written]. There isn’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.”
And why even do this not-very-good story?
“There’s a depth of myth [to the Civil War storyline],” said McFeely. “People asked this earlier at our other panel, why now? Why are comic books so prevalent? Why are these movies doing so well? In some ways, we’ve become a genre that you can do well now given the world of computers and perhaps it’s also just a time in the sun. You went to the movies in the 50’s and 60’s you went to a western. So at this point, you’re going to a superhero movie. It’s taking over that same black hat, white hat myth-making surface. I don’t have a much smarter answer than that.”
Talking about Chris Evans, McFeely compared the actor to a legend and may have chosen sides in Civil War.
“I might be repeating myself. He’s Gary Cooper for me. Him as Cap is Gary Cooper. He can do a lot with stillness and because Cap is usually right and usually held up to be right, people want to be lead by him.”
The pair was asked what kind of relationship Tony would have with Peggy Carter. McFeely (it really seems like he was the only one who said anything, right?) answered,
“As we have not started shooting, and I’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 we’ve had conversations and we pitched scenes. Some stay and some don’t. But we saw [Peggy] in Winter Soldier, so we know she’s around”.
Personally, I totally want her to be Aunt Peggy. You know you do too.
Lastly, when asked to describe the film version of Black Panther, the writers stonewalled.
“I’ll keep that one close to the vest,” said McFeely, “but I’m very gratified that they went with Chadwick and that he said yes because he’s a good get.”