Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had a plan in place when they began working with Joe and Anthony Russo on the third Captain America movie. That was until Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige whispered the two words that turned their ideas upside down.
Markus and McFeely, who also wrote Avengers: Infinity War, spent some time chatting with Kevin Smith last night during a live taping of Fat Man on Batman. Smith and co-host Marc Bernardin asked the writers what their original plan for Captain America 3 was, and they admitted that Civil War wasn't always in the cards.
"We had a model for the Zola plot," Markus answered. McFeely went on to elaborate on that point by saying that Feige changed everything when he popped his head into their office and revealed that the plan was to introduce the Civil War storyline.
"Yeah, the Bucky plot. So we were working on that for a long time before Civil War. Again, that's the other Kevin Bomb. He just goes, 'Civil War.'"
"So the room goes quiet," Markus continued, "and Joe Russo just goes, 'Oh, he just gave us a billion dollar movie. Holy crap.'"
As the chat with Kevin Smith continued, the writing duo explained that their boss liked to drop his "Kevin Bombs" quite often. Markus went on to say that Feige did something similar when he told them about Spider-Man's MCU introduction.
"It also helped the time he came into the room, and we were way down the road [working on Civil War], and he said, 'You might have to change one thing, because' and then he went-"
Markus then made the iconic Spider-Man motion with his hand, indicating that the studio had acquired the rights to Marvel's most popular character.
"This is the best pain-in-the-ass I've ever had."
So what would've been the plan if Spider-Man's rights hadn't worked out? According to McFeely, Tony Stark would've approached another popular character.
"He would recruit somebody else, he probably recruits Ant-Man, I think would be the other idea," the writer explained. "We had a section where you could recruit somebody....I believe he was watching his daughter play soccer, it wasn't very good."
Of course, Spider-Man's introduction ultimately flipped Ant-Man's story on its head. Instead of being recruited by Stark, Ant-Man goes on to fight with Captain America, which results in his subsequent house arrest and sets up the entire plot of Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Fortunately, things went down the way they did, and we've been gifted with a couple of wonderful franchises because of it.
You can check out the full Q&A with Markus and McFeely here. Their next film, Avengers 4, is set to hit theaters on May 3, 2019.