Captain America Writers Explain How The Winter Soldier Came About


Regular MCU screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely were the latest guests on Kevin Smith’s Fat Man on Batman podcast and among the various insights offered, the pair discussed their work on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a film that drew inspiration from the conspiracy-thrillers of the cynical ‘70s in its portrayal of the complex relationship between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes.

According to McFeely, this paranoia-infused angle was something that in part grew organically from the lonely backstory of the Winter Soldier.

The genre sorta came from what we wanted to do with the character…One of the most exciting things about him is he’s the man out of time. So what does that mean to be the man out of time. It should not be, ‘I don’t like these short skirts,’ right?…It should be, ‘I missed Watergate, I missed Vietnam, I missed all this stuff. We had all these compromises we’ve made as a society and why are we doing this?’ So that kinda led to the conspiracy political thriller where I don’t know who I can trust. So it really was, what do you wanna explore from that character? What genre can get that out of him?

Meanwhile, there’s the matter of Captain America himself. As a straight-laced do-gooder, Steve’s characterization could have easily come across as blandly old-fashioned. Markus explains how they avoided this pitfall while also making a dig at a recent development in the comic books.

We’re stuck with this guy who doesn’t change, you know? He’s never gonna be corrupted and become dark Cap or have worked for Hydra for hundreds of years. So if he’s gonna stay good, what do you put him through? And just, like, wallowing in the disgustingness that we live in is…it seems good, you know? And how would he react? He’s in this time and it’s not all great. What’s he gonna do? Is he gonna retire? He’s gonna tear the house down.

Of course, since Cap’s second solo outing in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the hero’s rebellious streak has only grown further as a result of the character’s staunchly principled nature. And having survived the recent Avengers: Infinity War, you’ll surely be seeing Steve again when the sequel drops on May 3rd, 2019.

About the author