While Captain America: Civil War has been shattering the box office over the weekend, the movie’s screenwriters made some interesting revelations regarding the fate of a certain beloved hero and the inclusion of another.
SPOILERS FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR BELOW!
Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have been making the press rounds for Civil War in the past couple of weeks and -- in the wake of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice -- the subject of killing superheroes on the big screen came up, and so have the reasons why they made a major change to an iconic comic book storyline: The Death of Captain America. They’ve also touched upon the inclusion of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) in the movie.
As some of you may already know, Steve Rogers was assassinated at the end of Marvel Comics’ epic Civil War crossover event (2006-2007), with The Death of Captain America dealing with the aftermath of his death across eighteen issues only for Steve Rogers to be revived (of course!) in the six-part Captain America: Reborn (2009-2010). But Cap was left alive and kicking at the end of the Marvel movie (much to everyone's surprise, including yours truly), even though the rumor was that he would bite the dust by the end of the film.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Markus and McFeely addressed those rumors and talked about killing and/or not killing superheroes. Here's the exchange:
SM: Hey, we never told anyone someone was going to die!
CM: There is a corporate decision of, "We want that guy fighting in that movie, so you can't kill him." But, also, it would wrap up this conflict that we wanted to stay messy and keep it going so that everyone is still a little sick to their stomach about this conflict that they have not concluded.
SM: I see this all the time, like, "In order to shake it up they've gotta kill somebody!" Well, the challenge is, I think we shook it up plenty and there are ways to take big swings and move the ball down the field without just murdering half the cast. That's not the only way you can change the universe.
CM: Plus, comic book movies in general - but Marvel in particular - is accused of none of the deaths last. So, even if you put a death in, people are gonna go, "[Grumbling sounds]." So, it's like, why bother to do it? You can have more impact not killing somebody than you can killing people at this point. We'll kill them if they need to die.
SM: We're not afraid!
In a separate interview with Yahoo!Movies, the dynamic writing duo delved further into the reasons why they didn’t kill off our boy in red, white and blue, while the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill) died at the hands of Doomsday as per the DC Comics storyline.
“We never really went into this with the intention of killing Cap,” Markus revealed. “One, because he doesn’t really die, so we weren’t going to do the time bullet [like in the comics]. And there are other movies coming, and it’s like, 'Are you gonna kill him?’ And you get crap for fake-killing people. We fake-killed [Nick] Fury [in Winter Soldier] and it worked pretty well, but… At a certain point you’re lessening the gravity of the movie when you kill somebody, because people are like, 'Oh now we’re in comic-book world because he’s gonna come back.’ So you get more gravity out really hurting somebody.”
That'd be War Machine (Don Cheadle), by the way. As for Black Panther, seems like the initial plan was simply to meet T’Challa first, and to wait for his own solo adventure to get into the whole Black Panther reveal.
“You can get a lot of good stuff out of just plain old T'Challa,” Markus said. “So at one point we had [T'Challa] and Spider-Man and then Spider-Man went out and we were like, ‘Well, we have a guy who owns a superhero costume, let’s have him put it on.’ So it wasn’t so much that we didn’t want him, it’s how much of this are we going to burn off in one movie?”
McFeely thinks having introduced Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War first will actually pay off in regards to his standalone movie, slated for a Feb. 16, 2018 premiere.
“Black Panther was always going to do very well,” he said. “But I think a lot people will be very excited because he’s already been sort of presented in a movie that they were going to see anyway.”