Captain America: Civil War is a solo film in name only, with many fans branding it as Avengers 2.5, and it's something screenwriters Steve McFeely and Chris Markus struggled with to balance it all out - including the additions of Spider-Man and the Black Panther. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the screenwriting duo talked about the make-up of the film - and also who they'd like to see brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"Namor. He is kind of a jerk and has a chip on his shoulder and he is a king and lives underwater," said McFeely. "The degree of difficulty is so high, though. Cause it could be a great movie or it could be truly terrible."
Marvel has worked at various times on a Namor solo film, with directors such as Chris Columbus, Philip Kaufman and Jonathan Mostow attached at various times to to a Universal Pictures-produced film. Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige confirmed in a 2014 IGN interview that the film rights had reverted back to Marvel, but there were "older contracts" and "entanglements" that prevented Marvel from pursuing it.
Markus offered an easier adaptation possibility, with the modern Marvel Zombies concept created by Robert Kirkman and Sean Phillips.
"I think it would be cool to make a Marvel Zombies movie but that would require a whole other wing or, at least, another dimension," said Markus.
Speaking of the movie at hand however, the screenwriters said that Civil War's introduction of new characters was very organic.
[Spider-Man and the Black Panther] came around very organically," said McFeely. "We needed a character that sat outside of the Avengers who was wronged by their actions and could take party in the festivities, if you will, and not have the same agenda to either side of the Avengers. By the same token we needed another fresh face—an ingénue—who would work with the Avengers and his ark would be something like 'Look I am playing on the big team!' We needed those different perspectives on the same conflict, people who didn't have the same angst about everything because they hadn't shared five movies with these people."
Markus argued that their debut here - with MCU origins to be revealed later - was an ideal situation.
"Part of the fun of comics in coming upon a new character or new superhero that is fully formed and then finding out where the came from," said Markus. "Spider-man has had five movies prior to now so it isn't necessary to give them an origin but it's fun to just come in on their kid. The same thing with Panther, this is not his origin in this movie but he has been introduced so now you can go into the mechanics of a real plot as opposed to having a half-hour where he become that guy and then having less time for plot.
"I think it makes for a better movie if people are just coming in," he added. "It also makes for a more organic Universe, where previously existing things are intersecting in an interesting way."
Markus and McFeely have been working with Marvel since 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, even braodening their scope to work on TV projects such as Agent Carter. They both applaud the long-form storytelling that the Marvel Cinematic Universe provides.
"The Long-from storytelling that they have committed to has completely influence every study. Everyone is rushing to do this. I think other people can do it. Maybe, "said Markus. "Marvel just did it slower and well and the filmmaking has grown and they keep aiming for better storytelling. Everyday you see that someone else has decided to make a new Universe. It is a testament to Kevin Feige."
"There is just so much history now that these characters are finally starting to feel like real people. It's like the fourth or fifth season on a really good TV show," added McFeely. "When we signed on to the first Captain America, I would have never thought this place would have become self-sustaining."
Looking ahead to the two-part Avengers: Infinity War (which they're also writing), the duo said there wil be multiple storyline 'stands', noting five specifically.
"There are a lot of index cards," said Markus.
"We learned with Civil War that you can have different stories that rotate around a central question," McFeely added. "So when we have people all of the universe, relating to one central thing, it is going to co-here more than having five separate strands that you are hoping will bang into each other by accident. This is nothing new. In Star Wars there are a lot of different things happening on a lot of different planets but it all comes together."
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6.