EXCLUSIVE: An Interview With The Writers Of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

I recently had the chance to speak to Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the writers of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America 3. Hit the jump to hear their thoughts on everything from a walking Arnim Zola to Bucky's memories, Batman V Superman and more!

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By Josh Wilding - 7/28/2014

As well as the Captain America franchise, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are also credited with the likes of Pain & Gain and Thor: The Dark World as well. They're an extremely talented pair of writers and have guided Steve Rogers through WWII and into one of the most received comic book movies of all-time. They're currently working on a third movie in the franchise (set for release on May 6th, 2016), but ahead of the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier on DVD and Blu-ray next month, I managed to catch up with the duo to talk all things Cap! 

Which of the deleted scenes are you most excited for fans to see on the upcoming Blu-ray release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier
 
Christopher Markus: I don't know what's on the Blu-ray to tell you the truth! I'm trying to remember what we shot that didn't make it...
 
Stephen McFeely: There's a small scene between Natasha and Nick Fury sort of about, 'Why didn't you tell that you'd faked your death?' 
 
Christopher Markus: I don't know if it's on the DVD, but we shot a fair amount of Peggy, not present day old Peggy, but 1950s interview Peggy. [Hayley Atwell] did a pretty long run on that and all of it was great, but it started stepping on the scene that came after it so we cut it down.
 
Stephen McFeely: There's not that much on the cutting room floor. We did the commentary a couple of months ago and I don't remember them deleting that much.
 

Why did you choose not to include characters like the Red Skull or Alexander Lukin in the film? 
 
Christopher Markus: One, we wanted Cap to sort of examine the state of present day America. If you're going to walk around calling yourself Captain America, you might as well take a good long look at the country you're advertising, and to then fob the guilt off on an immortal German and an evil Russian seemed sort of, like, 'Let's let him soak in it for a while.'

It also seemed to soon to bring back the Skull because then it's like we only have one arrow in our quiver, and it's like, 'Yes! It turned out to be the Skull.' In a kids cartoon, it's ALWAYS going to turn out to be Skeletor [Laughs] because they've only got the one guy. 
 

Did you ever consider having Arnim Zola walking around or was it always the plan for him to be down in that Hydra base?
 
Stephen McFeely: You're talking to the right guys! [Laughs]
 
Christopher Markus: We always wanted to start him as a computer, and I would have loved to have dropped a little hint that maybe he had a little something in the back closet that he could walk away on, but you never know. It's pretty hard to kill a computer programme. I don't know how he ended up in that explosion...
 
Stephen McFeely: That's the most comic book scene in that movie, right? It's a conspiracy thriller until you get to the midpoint and then you have a big comic book vibe. So we did it the best we could and the Russos really nailed it, but it was always a weird tone for this movie because it dealt with the grittier, more adult tone of the Marvel Universe. We always wanted to make sure this remained a comic book movie and Chris was always quick to point out that we couldn't forget where this came from. I think perhaps had he walked away, it would be a bridge too far!
 

Are there any villains you're hoping to introduce in the future who are some of your favourites? 
 
Christopher Markus: That's a little tricky because some of them are theoretically very good. Some of them have great concepts but are really tough to pull off visually. Like Flagsmasher who wants to destroy nations, and that's a terrorist and seems like a guy you could work with, but he literally has a cape and flies on flying skies, and then you're like, 'Ok, do we take away everything?' and then he's just a guy and we're only portraying the character. They're tricky to bring across. I always wanted to do M.O.D.O.K., but it seems like we're leaving our grounded political arena way behind when you've got a giant floating head on a rocket chair. 
 
Stephen McFeely: Exactly!
 
Stephen McFeely: I'll do it one day, I'm telling you people! 
 

Are you still considering the psychotic 1950s Captain America? 

Stephen McFeely: [Laughs] Chris, would you like to put that to bed?
 
Christopher Markus: Yes! That was a smart remark, off the cuff. What I love about that whole run, the whole existence of that, is the sort of single minded desire to retcon everything into continuity, you know? 'But there was five issues in 1950 where he was a jerk!' I know he was a crazed college professor who had plastic surgery, but I think we can honestly say that he will not be making an appearance.
 
Stephen McFeely: You know, there's probably 20 minutes of movie there. There's something interesting about a guy who so desperately want to be [Captain America] and be a tribute...I just don't think it's a whole movie.
 

At the end of the movie, has the Winter Soldier regained his memories or is he simply learning about who he used to be? 
 
Stephen McFeely: Ohh, good question, but that's probably not answerable at the moment...
 
Christopher Markus: The guy's been murdering people for 70 years, I don't think you cure him. I would be disappointed if he got good guy'd too quickly. 
 

Can you tell us anything at all about Captain America 3, and how do you feel about the rivalry with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice on the same weekend in 2016? 
 
Stephen McFeely: [Laughs] 
 
Christopher Markus: We're not backing down!
 
Stephen McFeely: All those question, we surrender to Kevin [Feige!]
 

Thanks so much for taking the time to speak to us!
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Pasto - 7/28/2014, 12:25 PM
I wish we got Red Skull.
Jollem - 7/28/2014, 12:33 PM
what about the deleted scene where stevie makes out with present-day peggy?
Andree24 - 7/28/2014, 12:33 PM
Don't worry Chis Markus, Disney will "BACK DOWN", for you. Batman v. Superman will be the movie event of 2016. Even Marvel fans know that.
NovaCorpsFan - 7/28/2014, 12:33 PM
I've read 2 of those answers before.
NovaCorpsFan - 7/28/2014, 12:34 PM
@Andree24
Yeah, we do.
Jollem - 7/28/2014, 12:34 PM
"and how do you feel about the rivalry with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice on the same weekend in 2016?"

sorry, cap
Phronesis - 7/28/2014, 12:35 PM
Great writers, you can tell they're huge fans of the character. Every choice, every idea that made it out into the film was for the best. It's excellent and exquisitely entertaining. Never going too far off from what it is. It remained consistent.
IronMountaineer - 7/28/2014, 12:36 PM
I love these guys, they really seem to know their stuff! But yeah, I really though Pierce would turn out to be skull or lukin, but I get their angle. It does seem like they have plans for skull to show up again though.
Nomis - 7/28/2014, 12:38 PM
The Zola scene was the best part for me.
PAF - 7/28/2014, 12:38 PM
@Andree24

Doubt it. They're willing to lose a couple of millions so WB won't get that billion.
Jollem - 7/28/2014, 12:39 PM
'the mandarin' is a "racist stereotype"

'captain america' is a "racist stereotype"

waffles?
PAF - 7/28/2014, 12:39 PM
Also, I love these. They do their damn homework!
Darlene1974 - 7/28/2014, 12:39 PM
Amazing writers! Hope CA3 will be huge-as too!
0megaDaGod - 7/28/2014, 12:39 PM
This is all I wanna hear in Cap3

yossarian - 7/28/2014, 12:40 PM
AMERICA!


Congrats on the interview.
Pending - 7/28/2014, 12:41 PM
I'm glad they're not backing down WB/DC has way more to lose in this situation.
ProfessorX - 7/28/2014, 12:41 PM
A Winter Soldier cameo in AOU would be cool.
MrCBM56 - 7/28/2014, 12:41 PM
Great interview. Excellent film. Second favorite CBM-







Winter Soldier is my favorite MCU villain.

"Bucky?"

"Who the hell is Bucky?"

The last fight was beautiful gritty. The way Cap took every blow, refusing to take down his friend. I almost teared up at the end.
0megaDaGod - 7/28/2014, 12:41 PM
I really wanna see these guys tackle other characters after Cap 3. The Winter Soldier felt so fresh so and so rare. And they really work well with the Russos. I really can't wait to see what they bring with Cap 3 cuz anything that can manage to up the ante past TWS is something I need in my life
0megaDaGod - 7/28/2014, 12:43 PM
@Batfleck

LMAO! The Cap costume in the comics is hilarious from certain angles
IronMountaineer - 7/28/2014, 12:43 PM
@Yoss America indeed!!
Jollem - 7/28/2014, 12:43 PM
"bucky?"

"what the [frick]'s a bucky!?!"

way better
MrCBM56 - 7/28/2014, 12:44 PM
@0megaDaGod I agree. Would love to see a Punisher film by these guys.
AwesomeSauce - 7/28/2014, 12:45 PM
Marvel Studios have never and will never back down from WB/DC.
TowerOfOrthanc - 7/28/2014, 12:45 PM
flagsmasher could be cool. taskmaster would be badass on the big screen
soforizo - 7/28/2014, 12:46 PM
0megaDaGod - 7/28/2014, 12:39 PM

This is all I wanna hear in Cap3
---

HA! I wish. Ain't gonna happen though. Hollywood types rarely ever attack their media siblings.
MrCBM56 - 7/28/2014, 12:46 PM
Can't wait to buy the DVD. Been resisting watching copies online, I need a better experience. Surround sound, 52", Blu-Ray. Damn.
0megaDaGod - 7/28/2014, 12:47 PM
@MrCBM

Yea, just the way that they captured the vibe was incredible. I havn't really felt that immersed in a story other than when I watched TDK, Avengers and Spider Man 2. The whole theater was jumping and reacting to every twist and turn. It was definitely a rare feeling "For people like us" - Wolverine
0megaDaGod - 7/28/2014, 12:47 PM
And I LOVE their idea for not using the Red Skull, even though you know how tempting that was
Jollem - 7/28/2014, 12:48 PM
i DO need a coaster. that's what people say, right?
0megaDaGod - 7/28/2014, 12:51 PM
@Soforizo

It might sound shallow, but I seriously don't even mind whatever the content of the speech proceeding the line is, as long as it's equally as epic

I just wanna hear Evans say in the sternest voice possible

"No. YOU move."
ckal - 7/28/2014, 12:51 PM
CATWS is tied with the Avengers for best comic book movie of all time.



I also loved the Winter Soldier who I would really love to see more of in the MCU. I agree with Christopher Markus - I would be very disappointed if the Winter Soldier turned good guy so fast. Let him simmer in a darker gray area for a while.
Jollem - 7/28/2014, 12:54 PM
cap'n 3 soundtrack. do it



if eifel 55's blue song can make it...why not?
yossarian - 7/28/2014, 12:58 PM


GiantNerd - 7/28/2014, 12:58 PM
Captain America : The Winter Soldier is the best CBM I've ever seen. It's literally impossible for me to pick a flaw in it.
CookieKid247 - 7/28/2014, 1:00 PM
Willem Dafoe for MODOK!
Gusto - 7/28/2014, 1:02 PM
I like the way Jollem thinks!

Dandy - 7/28/2014, 1:03 PM
So far Captain America: The Winter Soldier is my favorite blockbuster of this year.

1) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2) Lego Movie
3) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
4) X-Men: Days of Future Past
5) How to Train Your Dragon 2


But the year isn't over yet! We still have a few more blockbusters left.

These guys have done a great job with the Captain America films and I can't wait to see what they bring us for Cap 3 and Agent Carter.
Reasonnnn - 7/28/2014, 1:03 PM
HMMMMMM
Dandy - 7/28/2014, 1:05 PM
Whoops, messed that up. Forgot about the fantastic Edge of Tomorrow.


1) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2) Lego Movie
3) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
4) Edge of Tomorrow
5) X-Men Days of Future Past

Sorry, How to Train Your Dragon. You're at #6.
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