The ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Writers Tell Us Why ‘Civil War’ Was The Biggest Corner They Had To Write Themselves Out Of


At the press conference for “Avengers: Endgame,” directors Joe and Anthony Russo joked that they loved writing themselves into a corner with some of the plot twists of these Marvel movies. (Yes, killing off half your characters at the end of a movie would be an example.) Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely found this really amusing since they are the two who are actually writing themselves into these proverbial corners.

Like everything surrounding Avengers: Endgame, they were hesitant to give a specific example, but then, kind of surprisingly, under the circumstances, actually did. And it all goes back to Captain America: Civil War. Here’s a film where Tony and Steve’s relationship became strained (which continues into Endgame) after Tony learns Steve’s best friend killed his parents. As McFeely says, there’s no coming back from some of that. But, they had to figure out a way and, ahead, they explain how that presented a challenge.

Also, in the newest clip that was just released, Tony still isn’t with the rest of the group. A longer version of this clip played at CinemaCon and Nebula is very much part of this scene. If Nebula is there, who was with Tony at the end of Infinity War, then where’s Tony? Markus and McFeely did give a joking answer, but I also hope it winds up being true.

So we know at the end of Infinity War Tony and Nebula are together. In the longer version of the clip that was put online, that we saw at CinemaCon, Nebula is with that group. So where’s Tony?

Christopher Markus: So they didn’t show you the 10-minute scene of Tony in the bathroom?

Oh good, I’m glad we’re finally getting those bathroom scenes. Is that why it’s over three hours long?

Stephen McFeely: If we can contribute anything to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s more realistic bathroom behavior.

Joe and Anthony Russo mentioned they love writing themselves into corners at the end of these movies.

Markus: Yeah, it’s easy for them to say, they don’t actually have to do the writing into the corner. They can just walk in and say, “Write yourself into a corner and it’ll be fine.”

Do you actually feel that way? That it’s a corner? Because I’ve seen that happen where there just isn’t another movie because there’s no way out.

Markus: Well, the thing is, if you know how to get out of it, you’re not in a corner.

McFeely: We did some, yeah, I can’t say anything. But we wrote ourselves into some real serious corners. Yes.

But with little exit paths?

Markus: Well, that we came up with afterward. Yes. But, basically, we totally screwed ourselves and then went, “Oh come on.”

McFeely: Like, we really want to do this.

Markus: But, if we do that, the movie stops here.

Well, what’s an example?

Markus: Well, I mean, there are a lot of back and forths, almost emotional corners in Captain America: Civil War.

McFeely: There’s no going back from a few of those moments.

Markus: There’s no going back, but they have the huge fight at the airport, then Tony’s back on his side, then he flips again and you wouldn’t do that all the time. It felt like, those felt like deal breakers, at certain points.

McFeely: I mean, I’ll say Chris is right. Civil War is a good one, by virtue of killing all of those super soldiers in the third act. So the big switcheroo was a very, very big decision. It’s kind of writing ourselves in a corner because there’s only one way that movie can end now. And it’s personal and smaller. But if we had not done that, you would have had just another punch ’em up with random stunt people.

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