Now that Avengers: Infinity War has been out in the world for more than a month -- and taken in $2 billion at the global box office along the way -- the people who made the film can sit back, breathe a little easier, and chat about how the film got made and how they feel about it looking back.
This week, the film's screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, did just that during a wide-ranging conversation with a live audience at Kevin Smith and SYFY WIRE contributor Marc Bernardin's Fatman on Batman podcast. Over the course of the chat, Markus and McFeely covered pretty much everything, including how they landed the first Captain America film, how they shifted from period drama to spy thriller with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, how the writing process began with Infinity War, and how MCU head honcho Kevin Feige gives them big news (he let them know they got Spider-Man by popping his head in an office door and making the thwip motion with his hand).
Near the end of the chat, after questions from the audience, Smith and Bernardin each took a turn with questions of their own, and Smith took aim at the Distinguished Competition. Given that Marvel films have almost universally been well-received hits, and Warner Bros.' DC Universe films haven't done quite as well (with the notable exception of Wonder Woman), Smith wanted to know how Markus and McFeely would 'fix' the DC Extended Universe. The duo was surprisingly candid.
"I would look at what Marvel did out of necessity, in that they didn't have their A-list characters," Markus said. "They didn't have Spider-Man. They didn't have the X-Men, and they went down the line and found a... I mean he's pretty f**king famous, he's Iron Man, but he wasn't [raises hand] there, and they made a really good movie out of it. I might put Batman and Superman and everybody else -- I mean Wonder Woman's doing fine -- aside for a second, go through the vast world and go 'that guy, or that girl,' and go 'let's just make a really good movie and not a universe and see what happens.' There's a lot of spaghetti being thrown at the wall."
McFeely didn't have quite as much to say, but he echoed Markus' thoughts. "My familiarity with the DC universe is not that great, so I can just go, sort of strategically, it's 'make one,'" he said. "You know, to quote Justice League: 'Save one person.'"
Then it was Bernardin's turn, and he asked the duo to talk about characters they would have liked to include in their Marvel films, but couldn't fit in. After noting that producer Nate Moore (who worked with them on both Winter Soldier and Civil War) is always trying to get Union Jack into the films, Markus launched into an appreciation of the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, or MODOK.
"There are characters who I love who I'm sure someone else will get a hold of and do great things with," he said. "We've never tried to put them in... I've wanted to put M.O.D.O.K. in, and it's very hard to go, 'Here's the supporting character: The giant head. And then we're gonna get on with the story. We just came to him for information.' You kinda gotta design the whole movie around the guy with the giant head. But I have love for M.O.D.O.K. and I also think, properly done, he'd be f**king terrifying."
For much, much more from Markus and McFeely, including their new, non-Marvel work with Infinity War director Joe and Anthony Russo, check out the full video above.