Having seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, it is more than apparent that directors Joe and Anthony Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely work well together. Their creative sensibilities clearly mesh well, and it has resulted in them having a great deal of success with some complicated projects. There is, however, one notable thing that they still don’t see eye-to-eye on, and it concerns Steve Rogers’ travel through time at the end of their last Marvel movie.
In the wake of the release of Avengers: Endgame in 2019, both pairs of filmmakers conducted interviews with the press regarding their perspectives on Captain America’s actions in the final scenes of the blockbuster, and fans were surprised to learn that they didn’t match up. That was three years ago, and the men have since collaborated on the upcoming Netflix thriller The Gray Man… but apparently they have not yet reached an agreement about who is right in the time travel argument.
Yesterday afternoon I traveled to the AGBO office in downtown Los Angeles to interview Joe and Anthony Russo about The Gray Man, and while discussing their work with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely I asked if there had been any change in their Captain America-centric disagreement. Laughing, Anthony Russo said that they’ve only gotten further away from each other in regards to their separate conclusions, saying,
Fans will remember that Avengers: Endgame closes with Captain America traveling back through time to return all of the Infinity Stones and live a full life with Peggy Carter, but the point of contention between the Russos and the screenwriters concerns the timeline on which Steve Rogers spent his time.
In Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s view of Avengers: Endgame’s ending, Captain America travels back through time on the pre-existing timeline and is living his life with Peggy while his past self coexists and remains frozen at the North Pole (until he is woken up to eventually fight with the Avengers). The writers have even co-signed the idea that Steve is present at Peggy Carter’s funeral, as seen in Captain America: Civil War.
Joe and Anthony Russo have a different take on Captain America’s trip through time. They argue that his trip to the past inherently creates an alternate branched reality that is separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon depicted in all of the films, and that he had to travel across timelines back to the MCU so that he could give his shield to Sam Wilson.
The Russo brothers are sticking to that argument, even though it gets a defiant response from their frequent collaborators. Joe Russo continued,
With Loki making all kinds of changes to our perceptions of timelines in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Doctor Strange meddling with alternate dimensions in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, the whole conversation on the matter in the canon is pretty crazy right now, let alone with the simple question of what happened with Captain America at the end of Avengers: Endgame. We’ll just have to wait and see where it all goes as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige continues to execute the plan on his big board.
You can keep track of everything coming from the Marvel Cinematic Universe on screens both big and small via our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV guides. And for those of you excited for the latest Joe and Anthony Russo/Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely collaboration, The Gray Man is almost here. The action blockbuster will be hitting theaters on July 15 before being made available to stream on Netflix July 22.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.