The popularity of Black Panther and Captain Marvel (which is still the number two movie in North America) is undeniable, but the two characters who may represent the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn't get much screen time in Avengers: Endgame - and as it turns out, the big reason is all about timing, according to co-screenwriter Stephen McFeely.
"There wasn’t a lot of time to adjust," McFeely told the New York Times. "It’s not like we could say, 'Hurry, put Shuri in there.' We started [filming Infinity War and Endgame], and then Black Panther started, we’re still going. They finish. We’re still going."
As it turns out, audience reception to Black Panther in particular shifted during the process of creating Avengers: Infinity War - but not with enough time to adjust story plans to focus on more Wakanda characters.
"When we’re doing the tests [before Black Panther opened], and Cap goes, 'I know somewhere,' and then you cut to Wakanda, the audience goes, 'Oh, that’s interesting.' But when you do those tests after the movie comes out, all you have to do is [makes drumming noises] and people freak out."
Adding to the lack of Captain Marvel in Endgame, McFeely says her solo film wasn't finished before Endgame's story came together.
"Same issue with Captain Marvel," McFeely elaborated. "We shot [Brie Larson] before she shot her movie. She’s saying lines for a character 20 years after her origin story, which no one’s written yet. It’s just nuts. Certainly, Captain Marvel is in [Endgame] a little less than you would have thought. But that’s not the story we’re trying to tell — it’s the original Avengers dealing with loss and coming to a conclusion, and she’s the new, fresh blood."
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now.