When creating a fictional world, quite often it’s the smallest details that help make that world feel real and believable. However, when you’re deep into the 13th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are a lot of small details that have been created by numerous people and incredible amounts of information that audiences need to know in order to get the full picture. However, the writers behind Captain America: Civil War have learned something from other popular media like Game of Thrones, sometimes the story can still be entertaining, even if you’re not quite sure what’s going on.
The writing team of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have been a big part of creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as writers of both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the newest entry, Captain America: Civil War. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Markus says that one of the most difficult things about the writing these movies is taking a topic which will likely be incomprehensible to many viewers, and still explaining it quickly, as to not bog down the film in exposition.
[I'm] heartened by the popularity of things like Game of Thrones where even the people who read the books and really love the show don't always know what's going on. Knowing 100% what a warg is, it's not essential to the enjoyment of the show.
It’s almost a backhanded compliment, though we can’t argue with its validity. Game of Thrones is packed with characters who all have very complex relationships with one another. It makes the material fairly dense, which is why all of George R.R. Martin’s books are a couple of million pages long. TV series don’t have the luxury of delving that deeply into the material, and a movie has even less time to do so. In the end, it’s better to just give your audience the general sense that you need to achieve, and move on from there.
One way or another, it’s important for Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus to get a handle on this, as the issue will only be worse with Avengers: Infinity War. The pair are also handling the script for those films, and as Infinity War is likely to be even more packed with characters, there will be even less screen time available to explain everything.
The breaks between connected MCU movies can be even longer that the gap between one TV season and another. This means that audiences may not always remember the details of certain characters or plot points. What’s the best solution to encapsulate all the data that the audience needs without rehashing the same material in one movie after another? Are you a viewer who needs to understand every step of the story, or can you let the small details go by and still enjoy your movie?