Ex. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely Talk Avengers: Endgame & beyond!

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

It’s nearly here. Over ten years ago, IRON MAN became a massive success, one that has led to countless features and a blockbuster size MCU. And one that is going to face a few changes after AVENGERS: ENDGAME arrives. And today, at the film’s junket, we were given a brief glimpse at what the latest has to offer. In a surprisingly quiet, and perhaps a little heartbreaking sequence, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) share a few moments in the vastness of space, while they are seemingly faced with a desperate and impossible situation. As well, we witnessed one moment that our own Paul Shirey shared his thoughts on during his impressive CinemaCon coverage, which you can check out below.

Throughout the day, we were invited to sit through the press conference hosted by none other than Jon Favreau – we’ve shared some photos below as an extra treat. This was a lively discussion that was a bit difficult for those involved to maneuver through… after all, it’s damn near impossible to keep secret a film of this size and scope. However, they have managed to do it rather well. And while they didn’t tell us much, JoBlo.com had the chance to speak to the very talented Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely about ENDGAME, and maybe just a hint of what’s to come. Of course, this is a very spoiler free discussion, but one that may leave fans desperate to head to theatres when AVENGERS: ENDGAME will set the box office on fire this coming April 26th.

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Let's start off with this, how does it feel to help shape – along with the screenwriters of the other films – such a massive endeavor by wrapping up 10 years worth of story telling?

Christopher Markus: It’s an honor. It’s a very rare opportunity to, and totally unexpected. We got one job 11 years ago and it never stopped. It's pretty crazy.

Stephen McFeely: We’ve done six of the 22. It's like every few years, we kick the ball and run with it and try to push it down the field. I feel very responsible, for good or for ill. If people hate this, it's part my fault.

I don't think you have anything to worry about. Now there are fans who were kind of afraid that when Captain Marvel came in, she would just destroy Thanos. But there's a 3 hour running time, and that's very unlikely. How difficult was it integrating her into the story seeing as she's the newest addition and even with a backstory that predates Iron Man?

Chris: She slotted in very well to certain moments that … One of the lovely things about the MCU is on a story telling level, you need certain characters.

Stephen: Yes.

Chris: In a way, they could be anybody. But there's this massive pantheon of characters that you can put in … You need somebody to open that door. It could be Joe Blow, not the website-

I’d be good with that, though [Laughing].

Chris: -But the actual listed below. Or it could be William Hurt, and you're like, "Well, given the circumstances, let's have William Hurt." There are certain things that desperately need to happen in the machinery of this movie, and we can do it with her. It's awesome.

Stephen: The point of view of a new person, it's not unlike Black Panther in Civil War. It's the outsider who hasn't been involved in the storytelling up till this point, reacting to the same thing that our core characters have been reacting to. That gets us new flavors. Maybe I'm saying what Chris is saying. It's sort of one of the flavors that Marvel gives us. 

Now, it comes with its own problems because she's so powerful and that's why a lot of people think she's going to dust him. We've had powerful characters before, and we found ways to make them human and vulnerable and we’ve hopefully found the same thing here.

Since both Infinity War and Endgame were shot back to back, how involved were you guys on a daily basis?

Stephen: Too involved. We moved to Atlanta. 

Chris: We were onset every day, looking after what would happen on that day and then going off and maybe tinkering with next week's stuff. They were also editing as they shot. So holes in the narrative would become apparent as they put things together and you got, "We need this scene in there." It was constant.

Wow.

Stephen: Yes, it's been our lives for three and a half years.

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How much has it changed along the way? Did you guys in effect always have an end game to the story, or was it somewhat fluid in how it would all close out?

Stephen: It’s been the same story ever since we outlined it in the fall of 2015. Certainly, scenes have gotten better and swapped out occasionally, but the stories are the same. That's the same, and the end of Endgame is the same. But part of it is I've often described it as you're riding a bucking bronco and you want to make sure it gets back to where it's supposed to be. And if I'm not riding or Chris isn't riding it, we're the keepers of the original vision in a lot of ways. If we're going to change it, you should at least…

Chris: We are … Filmmaking gets so fractured and particalized and out of order, that you can, through no fault of their own, the reason you're doing this scene can fall away.

That's a good point.

Chris: It’s good to have us around to go like, "When these things are back in their proper order, this needs to go over there." And they're like, "Oh, that's why they're all here." And particularly when you're shooting stuff and you're keeping the script secret. Not everybody on the set even knows why this is happening. Then it's even more like, "Okay, we need a few people here who have read it just to keep-

Stephen: It was job security, even if they wanted to fire us, they couldn't fire us. We're the only ones who know everything.

That's a good position to be in. 

Stephen: There have been moments where I'm like, "Please fire us, fire me." 

No, they're not going to do that [Laughing]. With the Russo brothers, they've had such a huge investment in Cap. They directed two of the solo films, does that give them a vested interest in that character and paying him off in Endgame?

Stephen: No more than we do. We've written all of his movies.

Chris: Yes, but also-

Stephen: It assumes a question not in evidence.

Chris: Oh no, I'm not … Asked and answered. But at the same time, he wasn't the most prominent character in Infinity Wars. We're not paid off in Caps favor. We'll move people around as needed. 

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Aw, he's my favorite.

Chris: He’s my favorite, too.

Stephen: It’s what’s right for the story. We gave ourselves permission in Infinity Wars to backseat some characters, particularly if we knew we had great stories for them after the snap. We had 23 characters in that movie, so some people stepped forward. It's not a coincidence in some ways, that Doctor Strange had a really big story in that one and is gone now. That's real estate we can use for something else.

That makes sense. Feige has said that MCU will be forever altered with Endgame, of course. Should fans be concerned or excited about that?

Chris: Always excited. 

Yes.

Chris: I think 22 movies in, you can rest assured it's not going to be mishandled. It might be emotional but it's going to-

Stephen: Part of the journey's the end.

Chris: – Part of the journey's the end and it's going to feel right. 

With the Disney-Fox merger, is there something specific that you're excited about? The prospect of all these characters at your disposal?

Stephen: I’m excited about giving Kevin Feige more ammunition and more opportunities and more options. I really believe in his … I don't know what his vision is, but I believe he can figure one out. And he'll do it in a way that is right for the MCU that he and Marvel are already building. He won't be in a rush to put somebody with claws in there just because he's popular. He'll do it correctly. I don't have a horse in that race, I just want to see more and expanded.

Same with you?

Chris: Exactly. No, I mean there's all sort of characters that it's going to be a lot of fun to bump into some of these people. 

Stephen: It rewards investment. Chris says that, I go, "Right!" I want to see some version of Dr. Doom run up against Tony Stark. Oh my God, because I've already invested over here, let's bring them all in. That's great.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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JimmyO is one of JoBlo.com’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.