One of the best parts of the Marvel cinematic experience is that all of the individual movies form a whole story, which will ultimately culminate in the next two Avengers films. These two chapters of the larger MCU saga were originally titled Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 & 2, at Marvel's celebration at the El Capitan in 2014. Since then, though, the studio simplified its plan by making them two standalone films, with only the first movie retaining the Avengers: Infinity War title. However, regardless of names, these movies are very real and are coming to theaters relatively soon.
Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are no newbies to the Marvel cinematic universe. They first cut their teeth on Captain America: The First Avenger before crafting two of the more critically successful films in the studio's library, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, with directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
The writers are now facing the biggest challenge of their careers in creating a satisfying ending to the entire first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Movies, the prolific writers gave an update on their progress.
"We're many drafts in. We're on the third draft of movie one and the second draft of movie two. [We're writing them in tandem] as much as we can. On any given day, you're only working on one but that doesn't mean that next week, you aren't working on the other one. And certainly, notes are coming in and all sorts of production stuff is coming in, like for instance, 'that thing over there is now a window not a door so adjust that.' Or, 'we're not going to this town now, we're going to this town.' That kind of stuff happens constantly and will continue to happen for the next few months. "
By the third draft of a script, typically the general framework of the upcoming movie has been created. Which should give the concept artists, production designers, pre-visualization wizards, and location scouts, a general direction when attempting to bring Markus, McFeely, and the Russos' vision to life. However, with movies like Black Panther and Captain Marvel still in the writing phase as well, they all have to stay very fluid and willing to adapt until the scripts have solidified.
Markus and McFeely have an extraordinary task at hand; while these two Avengers films are being touted as standalone, they are still going to be very much connected.
"When we lock ourselves in a room with the Russo brothers and a couple of execs from Marvel, one wall has cards for movie one and the other wall has cards for movie two and another wall has little baseball cards of every character still alive in the Marvel universe - down to Darcy's boyfriend in Thor 2 - literally, anybody who did not die and has been established as alive. And then we looked at that began to shuffle the cards around. So basically, the big scene is when Darcy's boyfriend and Galactus get together and....[laughs]. "
This is the MCU and the effects of the next team-up movie will certainly carry over to the Avengers movie, particularly with the involvement of Thanos and the presumed death of several Marvel heroes, if the comic books or actor's contracts are any indication. This gives the writers the enormous pressure of doing justice to so many beloved characters and franchises. On the other hand, they have the freedom of kids in a sandbox to make up the next great Marvel adventure, while also being the first writers to have the entire MCU at their disposal.
It's also a little hard to get past the "Galactus" comment, particularly with all of the Fox and Marvel rumors surrounding the Fantastic Four, but they clarified the comment by saying it was in jest. It's best not to dwell on it, but don't necessarily forget about it.
This past May, the screenwriters proved they know how to script conflict and understand how to match up superheroes whose abilities complement and contrast one another. The battle between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, two extraordinary human beings, was indeed a Civil War. However, the next Avengers battle will be the Infinity War, which signals a battle with endless possibilities. Hopefully in these final drafts, Markus and McFeely, along with the Russo Bros and the Marvel Studios' braintrust, find the best possible conclusion to a literal universe of stories.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers 4 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.