Joe and Anthony Russo's superhero blockbuster Captain America: Civil War had a ton of characters on opposite sides of a growing conflict. But it could have had more.
Civil War co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely took to the stage at the Horton Grand Theater in downtown San Diego for a lively discussion about the MCU, and their vast contributions to the overall landscape. It was an extremely informative discussion about the choices they have to make during their process, and we learned how locations shift, and heroes who almost made the story get left behind. One such character who almost factored into the airport battle in Captain America: Civil War was Michael Douglas' Hank Pym, a major part of Peyton Reed's Ant-Man movie and almost a sliver of the War. As the writers recall:
McFeely: At one point [in the airport battle], Michael Douglas came in and had a bunch of ants. In a draft! Put yourself in our position. It's so early -- and it's the same problem now [with Infinity War] -- it's so early in the process when we are writing. So we're writing for scripts that are changing. We're writing characters who haven't appeared in their own movie yet, let alone filmed their own movie. Those scripts are changing all the time. And our missive [for Civil War] was, 'Civil War: let's put, reasonably, as many people into that as we can.' And so we went, 'OK, who's available?' So you start with a big list.
Markus: And we hadn't seen Ant-Man yet.
McFeely: We have no idea how big his part is going to be. I heard he hates the Starks. Maybe we can do something with that? You start with everything, and whittle down to what's reasonable.
They bring up some very interesting points here. Tony Stark's parents are a major catalyst for the action in Civil War, but it has nothing to do with their beef with Hank Pym. But a second point was brought up in the panel shortly after it was revealed that Markus and McFeely wanted Hank Pym to storm the airport tarmac with a bunch of ants. Namely, Scott Lang doesn't control any ants in the Captain America: Civil War airport battle. And that's very strange. It's a huge part of Scott's powers, his ability to communicate with ants and use them against his enemies. We know now that Kevin Feige requested that Ant-Man attack Iron Man from within. But he never uses an ant. Are there no ants in Germany?
I have a different theory. It was discussed that Joe and Anthony Russo had to negotiate, with great passion, the ability to use Giant Man in Civil War... stealing a little thunder from the planned Ant-Man and the Wasp movie, reaching theaters in 2018. Maybe Marvel knew they needed to save some cool ant sequences for the actual Ant-Man sequel? Maybe, like other good ideas, it just ended up on the cutting room floor. But I love hearing stories about how Marvel pieces their movies together, and I appreciated this time with Markus and McFeely, talking all things Captain America: Civil War.