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When you're writing for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's crazy enough if you're crafting a solo entry into the bigger picture. However, if you're one of the writers or writing teams that's graduated to writing an installment of The Avengers saga, then you're in a whole new level of complication. Just ask Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, as they're preparing the next two films that were previously known as The Avengers: Infinity War Parts I and II. While they've only racked up one title change, the writers are already in several drafts deep for both films.
Yahoo Movies sat down with Markus and McFeely, as they attended this year's San Diego Comic Con. While they obviously couldn't say too much on what's to come, the official word on the status of the screenplays to both The Avengers: Infinity War, as well as its follow-up set for the year after, is this:
We're many drafts in. We're on the third draft of movie one and the second draft of movie two. [We're writing them in tandem] as much as we can. On any given day, you're only working on one but that doesn't mean that next week, you aren't working on the other one. And certainly, notes are coming in and all sorts of production stuff is coming in, like for instance, 'that thing over there is now a window not a door so adjust that.' Or, 'we're not going to this town now, we're going to this town.' That kind of stuff happens constantly and will continue to happen for the next few months.
Naturally, the process of adjusting a major motion picture's screenplay is something that isn't a surprise to fans of movies in general. Scripts change all the time, and considering how The Avengers: Infinity War Part II will now go under a different name, some details and story structures will obviously need to change. However, considering how closely together both films are being written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, it's clear that they aren't going to be completely separate entities. Rather, it looks like certain elements will be more self contained, with two closely joined stories being told - rather than one mega story.
The writing process of Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely is definitely a well oiled machine, and they went into a little more detail involving the way they're crafting The Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel. In fact, the way they've described their writing and outlining process, it sounds like a bit of a tabletop game, as they laid out the following schematic for the Marvel Studios storytelling play set:
When we lock ourselves in a room with the Russo brothers and a couple of execs from Marvel, one wall has cards for movie one and the other wall has cards for movie two and another wall has little baseball cards of every character still alive in the Marvel universe - down to Darcy's boyfriend in Thor 2 - literally, anybody who did not die and has been established as alive. And then we looked at that began to shuffle the cards around. So basically, the big scene is when Darcy's boyfriend and Galactus get together and....[laughs]
While we're not expecting Darcy, or her boyfriend, to cross over into the story of The Avengers: Infinity War, it sounds like Markus, McFeely, and The Russos have a firm grip on the fact that if they really wanted to, they could. With so many characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a good number of them promising to show up in the next two Avengers flicks, it's important to know who's still in play, and who's locked up in an intergalactic prison, or worse, 20th Century Fox's legal rights. So much excitement awaits in the next two installments of The Avengers' story, but wherever it goes, it's going there in a very careful, and methodically laid out manner.
Rest assured, there's plenty of time to get the scripts in place for The Avengers: Infinity War and the as of yet untitled follow up, as they're scheduled for release on May 4th, 2018 and May 3, 2019, respectively.