Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are arguably two of the most consistent writers in recent years as far comic book movies are concerned. But they didn’t start their journey in the MCU with a bang. In 2011, the duo penned the screenplay for Captain America: The First Avenger, a fun but simple origin story. Later, they wrote Thor: The Dark World, which received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. But in 2014, everything changed when they combined forces with directors Joe and Anthony Russo and penned Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a film which many still regard as the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Heck, the pairing of directors, the Russo brothers and writers Markus and McFeely would go on to become the gold standard of comic book film storytelling. With the Russo brothers at the helm, Markus and McFeely went on to write Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, all of which received critical acclaim and broke the bank. However, it looks like the writing duo is just about done with the MCU, at least for the time being.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the duo had this to say:
McFeely: We’re gone, no. We are not working for Marvel at the moment.
Markus: For one thing, you can’t raise the stakes.
McFeely: We’re gonna make a bigger movie?
Markus: We’ve written for every character they have. It’s incumbent upon us, one, to let other people play with the toys, but also for us to go recharge our batteries, develop other skills, and then come back, should the opportunity arise.
McFeely: We love them, hopefully they like us, we would gladly go back when the need arises. But at the moment we’re not there. We were on, literally, continuously from [Captain America: The First Avenger] to the end of Endgame. It’s a long run.
As much as I would love to see Markus and McFeely continue to pen scripts for the MCU, their plan to step away from the universe is what’s probably best from an artistic standpoint. New voices in the MCU would make the upcoming movies in the universe feel fresh and different from whatever that has come before. Plus, I would love to see the pair exercise their creative muscles by writing screenplays for smaller films.
In the same interview with the LA Times, Markus and McFeely mentioned that they’re currently working on the script of Electric State which they hope would begin production next year. The duo is also working on a screenplay about the Cambridge analytical data scandal which is set to be helmed by David Gordon Green.