CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Writers Talk Crafting A 'Fun' Spider-Man & Balanced Film

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Writers Talk Crafting A 'Fun' Spider-Man & Balanced Film

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Writers Talk Crafting A 'Fun' Spider-Man & Balanced Film

In a new interview with TIME Magazine, Captain America: Civil War writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely talk crafting the film, introducing new characters and laying the groundwork for Infinity War...

Captain America: Civil War is set to be Marvel's biggest film yet, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely recently sat down with TIME Magazine to discuss the effort they put into crafting the epic superhero sprawl. The writers have been working together for over twenty years, and have handled writing duties with two Captain America films, along with Thor: The Dark World, Agent Carter, and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War two parter. When it came to adapting the material for the big screen, Markus and McFeely opted for a different approach to the Civil War comic book, which presents a far more definitive perspective on the conflict, with Captain America being framed in a more positive light than Tony Stark during the conflict. McFeely wanted  a different, more balanced take on the material, making sure that the audience would be just as divided as the Avengers. "Civil War the comic does a lot of great things. Because there is no villain, Tony Stark plays a darker, Machiavellian sort of role. We wanted to break the Avengers up, break the audience, and to do that we need you to choose a side. We always said at the very beginning, we want people walking out 50/50."

Given the seriousness of the stakes, it was very important fopr the writers to find a tone that suited the nature of the story while having just enough levity. "For us, it’s treating everything seriously and treating characters realistically," McFeely said. "Funny things happen in dark situations because people are nervous or scared or covering something, so when things get lighter, we do it based on character. Peter Parker comes into the situation excited and nervous and new to the whole thing, so that’s going to create a lightness, but he’s a different character than the Black Panther, who isn’t necessarily a bunch of laughs." Markus continued: "We’re dragging Tony Stark into Captain America’s world. Tony gets to still be funny, but it’s coming from a place of anxiety. He’s not behaving in a way that isn’t consistent with what you’ve seen before. I almost think it’s more effective bringing Tony into Cap’s world than it would be bringing Cap into Tony’s world."

One of the most-talked about aspects of the film is the 17 minute airport fight scene between "Team Cap" and "Team Iron Man", which has received tremendous praise. McFeely maintained that it was important to balance story alongside the wish fulfillment of seeing these characters come to blows visually.  "We certainly do the first pass at this. But that fight scene goes through so many different versions in terms of what’s possible, structure, what the fight coordinator can bring, probably even more importantly what visual effects can accomplish. There are a whole number of guys with computers who can figure out interesting ways for people to fly and punch and duck. Our best contribution over the course of the many months it takes is to keep character and story focused, because it can go pear-shaped real easily as everyone says, 'Wouldn’t it be awesome if…'". Markus continued, "There’s the 10-year-old boy wish-fulfillment of, you know, 'I’ve always wanted to see Black Panther hit Spider-Man,' but if those two characters don’t have a really good character conflict, it’s just going to seem hollow. What’s paramount in the fight scenes is us keeping an eye on where that person is internally when they get to that fight. Everyone is changed by every fight so that it is not, 'He won, I lost, wait ‘til next time, I still hate you.' They have to come away and reconsider their standpoint every time, because it costs something to beat up your friend."

Despite the main conflict, Spider-Man's entrance into the MCU is the talk of the town, and both writers wanted to make sure they gave a thoroughly memorable entrance to the teenaged webslinger. "In a section where you’re going to recruit new heroes, one side goes and recruits a guy who just had a movie, and hopefully you go, 'Hey, it’s Paul Rudd!' And the other guy goes and gets a brand new kid, but let’s face it, everybody knows who he is. We assume that in that audience, you have seen one of those five movies, so when [Tony Stark] goes to Queens, to a teenager’s apartment, and says, 'Hi Parker,' you’re going to get a giggle." Markus was adamant that Peter Parker's youth and relative inexperience play a role in the story.  "We just wanted to write the most realistic 15-year-old boy we could. And it’s really that youth and innocence that is what’s fun about him in this movie. You get to a point where he speaks for the audience. He’s going, 'This is fun,' and not just an incredibly dour boxing match. This is the greatest thing you’ve ever seen, because it is to Peter Parker."

The two writers will collaborate again on the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, and will reunite with their co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo. McFeely and Markus acknowledge that crafting the culmination is a daunting task, but promise a film with no limits. "We’ll be handing in the first drafts of both movies soon. It is a tall order and it’s a bit insane, but it’s a lot of fun. I’m sure once people read them and go, 'That’s five times more expensive than any movie ever made,' it will need to be reined in, but at the moment there are literally no limits, both galactically and conceptually. We’ve had a great time writing these grounded movies in the Cap universe, but now this is really something quite different."

Captain America: Civil War releases May 6, 2016.
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