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Interview: Filmmakers Stephen McFeely, Christopher Markus And Kevin Feige On 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Jillian Baker |
April 9, 2014 | 11:36 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is an action-packed, fun improvement on the original film.

READ MORE: Film Review: 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Following the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, we find the 1st Avenger struggling trying to adjust to modern society, and more importantly wrestling with the question of “who can he trust?”

Neon Tommy had the opportunity to sit down with the film’s screenwriters, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, and the President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, about this new installment in the Captain America franchise.

Interviewer: There is a major time shift from the first movie and I don’t think I’ve seen such little exposition for such big a shift, but it works...

Christopher Markus: We didn’t want to do two hours of IPod jokes.

Stephen McFeely: (Jokes) Or what awfully short skirts they have!

Christopher Markus: We wanted his clear eyes to look at our time. To see the differences we made in our country, in our world. We got past that really fast, you know, with the notebook gag but then it was all about “who can I trust?” Just to think about it, in the 60s Captain America got to go through that entire period in the comic…Civil Rights, Watergate…but the Marvel cinematic world doesn’t get that opportunity to do that.

Interviewer: How steep are you guys in the Captain America comic history?

Stephen McFeely: Increasingly steep as time goes by. We learned a lot, and we read everything we could get our hands on just to get the job. (Jokes) And we knew the guy had an American flag outfit. And it’s really fun just to keep reading 1) because they didn’t do far more outlandish things than what we’ll ever do. It’s very reassuring, but it also makes it harder to have a new idea. Like oh, he did that in 1975…(laughs) do it again.  But it’s kind of an honor; there have been so many people whose job it’s been to make up stories about this one guy.

Interviewer: Who thought about approaching Robert Redford for the film?

Kevin Feige: Well, Robert Redford approached us. He had recently gotten new representation, and I got a call from them saying, “Hey, Robert’s auditioning, do you have anything?” And I said, “Yes! Yes, we do, we do have something, oh my God!” He read a draft, said he wasn’t sure so the writers made a few small tweaks to the script and we gave it to him again and then he said he was in. He heard of our reputation, and his grandkids were fans of our films so he decided to reach out to us and try something new.

READ MORE: 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Actors Exhibit Stellar Performances

Tell us about hiring the Russo’s as the directors for the film. You’ve consistently made interesting – and some people would say daring – choices for your films. How did you make this choice?

Kevin Feige: Sort of the same way. You know, we just look at people who have done something that we’re fans of. In their case, it was the “Arrested Development” television series that they directed a while back, or more recently “Community.” We were wondering, “Who are these guys?” So we learned more about them and brought them in for a meeting. They came in three or four times and they really embraced this notion we had to do a Captain America film and put him into a 70s political thriller. Something sort of clicked in their brains and they came back and kept pitching us better and better ideas. It became very collaborative; they were ready and thought that they could do something like this, and we believed them.

Interviewer: This Captain America film is somewhat of an unexpected political thriller. Do you see that being an ingredient in your films down the line?

Kevin Feige: I hope what we’ll continue to do is bring out the unexpected. I wouldn’t say all the upcoming movies will be political thrillers, but we always look at the subgenres.  I don’t really believe in a comic book movie or a superhero movie. What is the story we’re telling? What genre of film can we embrace and build into our films to make them unique and really different? And that’s where the political thriller end really cracked open a whole new opportunity for us in this movie. For the future of our films with this character we are thinking about other genres to build our stories on.

READ MORE: Five Cool Facts About 'The Captain America: Winter Soldier'

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is out in theaters now! Watch the trailer below:

Reach Staff Reporter Jillian Baker here.



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