Most of us remember a time before Marvel Studios had access to Spider-Man, and we also remember the excitement felt when word spread that they had reached a deal with Sony to bring the web-slinger to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Had that not happened, the MCU would look much different and we would have never gotten to experience the unique qualities that Tom Holland brings to the character. Not only that, but could you imagine what Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War would’ve been? Much different is an understatement.
Luckily for us, there are some incredibly huge comicbook fans in some pretty high places. One, in particular, Kevin Smith, brings a boyish excitement with him whenever discussing comicbook films. As a filmmaker himself, he has a unique perch to look at these movies from, yet somehow comes into each one with an open mind and the same sense of wonder that the rest of us show up to the theater with. The difference between him and us is he gets the opportunities to speak with the writers, directors, actors, and studio heads and ask the questions that we don’t. And because he is so intertwined in nerd-culture, through his podcasts and reviews, we get to hear the answers without having to ask.
Kevin recently had Infinity War writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely on the “Fatman on Batman” podcast and video series he hosts with Marc Bernardin. During the interview, Markus and McFeely detailed how Kevin Feige would pop his head in the writer’s room occasionally with suggestions or notes, but they would always be simple statements that let the writers know where they could take their scripts. For example, when they were working on the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger, they weren’t sure if it was too soon to bring Bucky back, but in the middle of everything, Feige popped in and said, “Winter Soldier.” We know how that played out.
That wouldn’t be the first or last time that happened, but when they were working on Captain America: Civil War, Feige popped in again, but this time with a simple gesture insinuating he was shooting web at them. Marvel Studios had just closed the deal to bring Spider-Man into the fold, but what if that hadn’t happened? During the Fatman on Batman interview, the writers explained the initial plan…
McFeely: [Tony Stark] would recruit somebody else. He probably recruits Ant-Man, I think would be that idea. Well, we had a section where you could recruit somebody, right?
Markus: [Tony] actually went to San Francisco. It would not have been as cool.
McFeely: I believe [Scott] was watching his daughter play soccer. It wasn’t very good.
Team Cap and Team Iron Man would certainly have looked very different, but thankfully for us and the MCU, we got Peter Parker in time!