Mere days away from Captain America: Civil War, audiences around the country are getting stoked for a superhero schism of epic proportions. The battle between Team Iron Man and Team Captain America isn’t merely a great way to spend the afternoon at the cinema, either. For followers of the MCU, it will kick off Phase 3, laying the groundwork for the massive intergalactic conflict in The Avengers: Infinity War.
But with all these scattered characters and plots floating around, how in the world do the writers of Infinity War keep track of them? More so, how do you go about introducing an old favorite character into the fray?
Steve McFeely and Chris Markus (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) already had some challenges bringing new additions into Civil War. In an interview with THR, the screenwriting duo discuss pulling Black Panther and Spider-Man into an already crowded film. McFeely says each new character had to “come into the film organically.” The key also seems to be removing the origin stories and keeping “a lot of index cards” according to Markus. The writers clearly used Cap 3 as a proving ground for scripting the bursting-at-the-seams Infinity War cast. McFeely describes the process:
“We learned with Civil War that you can have different stories that rotate around a central question. So when we have people all of the universe, relating to one central thing, it is going to cohere more than having five separate strands that you are hoping will bang into each other by accident. This is nothing new. In Star Wars there are a lot of different things happening on a lot of different planets but it all comes together.”
And with Civil War having come to fruition, the writers now have the experience and know-how to bring together the numerous superhero favorites and new characters fans will see in Infinity War. Of those characters, there is one particular Marvel superhero the both men would love to see in the cinematic universe: Namor, the Sub-Mariner. McFeely elaborates:
“He is kind of a jerk and has a chip on his shoulder and he is a king and lives underwater. The degree of difficulty is so high, though. Cause it could be a great movie or it could be truly terrible.”
And with such an amassing of superheroes already meeting up for Infinity War, it would be great (although unlikely) if the Sub-Mariner could join the fray. But if there’s any writing team capable of bringing additional characters into the MCU, it’s McFeely and Markus. They’re already responsible for scripting several of Marvels biggest hits, such as Thor: The Dark World and Winter Soldier.
However, Aquaman is already in the works over at DC. Bringing the MCU equivalent to the screen may not exactly win Feige and Marvel originality points. On the other hand, Namor isn’t truly the Marvel equivalent to Aquaman many think he is. Sub-Mariner is actually quite antagonistic to the landlubbers in the comics. And, while he may not be a potential Avenger conscript (although he has signed up before), his defiant characteristics and setting create a whole new set of difficulties for Marvel's writers and filmmakers.
Depending upon how well-executed James Wan’s saga plays out, it could become an example of how (or how not to) make an underwater superhero flick. Now that Marvel owns Sub-Mariner’s rights again (at least partially), who knows, maybe the time is right for this anti-hero to make his entrance into the MCU. There certainly are a few untitled spots scheduled after Phase 3 ends.
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – 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 Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.