UPDATE: We made a blunder originally and stated that Peggy Carter was introduced in The Winter Soldier. We were corrected by a keen reader. Yes, we know the difference. This is what happens when your brain shuts off from lack of sleep and your fingers just type automatically. Embarrassing mistakes happen.
SFX was able to interview the screenwriters of Captain America: The Winter Soldier — Christopher Markus and Stephen McFreely. Of the topics they touched on, SFX inquired about character establishment, comic book inspirations for The Winter Soldier, the direction of the third movie, and how Falcon’s announcement as the new Captain America in the comics will affect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Talking about character arcs, Markus says that unlike other traditional screenplays, Captain America’s character doesn’t really change. He’s basically a person that has things revolve around him. The Captain’s biggest metamorphosis comes in The First Avenger when he takes the super-soldier serum — transforming him from a ninety-pound weakling to a super-strong warrior. But aside from the physical change, the Captain, internally, remains pretty much the same — moral, upstanding, and courageous. Because of the success of Steve Rogers in the current cinematic universe, many of the traditional screenwriting methods have been proven to not apply.
As for the tone and style of The Winter Soldier, the screenwriters were asked if they had planned those aspects all along, or did they emerge from the story after writing it. McFreely said it was mostly intentional. Feige had approached them and suggested that the story should involve taking down S.H.I.E.L.D. And the Captain should be involved in that dismantling. Because the Captain is going at it alone, you suddenly have some type of a political conspiracy. Having Steve Rogers be a guy from the 1940s, made the political thriller slant even more obvious because he’s coming from a time when things, from out point of view, were black-and-white.
Would this more realistic, political tone pervade into the next movie? Markus says that it’ll be a real challenge and that the writing duo may be working on an “amalgam” of sorts — blending The Winter Soldier‘s tone with The First Avenger‘s tone. McFreely gives the credit of the Captain’s modern tone to Brubaker’s run of the comic book.
The Winter Soldier saw the introduction of Batroc and Sharon Carter. Do they see other characters in the Captain’s universe making it into future movies? Markus always has characters he wants to bring in. So far, all the ones they have wanted have all been successfully brought to the screen. The biggest dependency is on how appropriate the character will be to the story.
Since Brubaker was a big influence, Markus admits that one of the comic storylines, dealing with the Captain going up against the Secret Empire, was inspiration for The Winter Soldier. Conspiracies were nothing new in the comic world. Many elements from that story became the foundation for the second movie.
In the comic books, it was just announced that the Falcon will be taking over as Captain America. Asking whether or not we’ll see this story play out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, McFreely had this to say:
We tend to stay on the sidelines when it comes to the comics. We wait and see what we’ll steal from in three or four years from now! [laughs].
To read the full interview with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFreely, go to SFX.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be available digitally on August 19, 2014and will arrive on DVD and Blu-ray on September 9, 2014.