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It isn’t an enviable task to write something like Captain America: Civil War. Sure, you get invited into the inner circle at the MCU, but to juggle that amount of old characters, and introduce a wave of new ones must have been a screenwriter’s nightmare. The scribes behind the latest Cap outing have spoken about the film’s creative process, saying what would have happened if they couldn’t get the rights for Peter Parker, and there was no Spider-Man in Civil War.

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have been there since day one for Steve Rogers; they wrote Captain America: The First Avenger, its superior follow up Winter Soldier and have ended the trilogy in glorious fashion thanks to Civil War.

It was a touchy subject for Marvel fans for years knowing that they couldn’t see Spider-Man on the big screen alongside his fellow Avengers; the rights to the character were over at Sony, but after the disappointing Amazing Spider-Man 2, a deal was made, and we rejoiced that Peter could swing in, just in time for the latest outing.

But what was the back up plan if these negotiations fell through? When talking to Collider, McFeely says “It was Black Panther.” Well now, this would have been a very different movie.

no Spider-Man in Civil War

Talking about the construction of the script, he continues, “We always had a recruitment section which allowed for smaller arcs. Because not everybody should have the same screen time, the same arc otherwise it would just be unwieldy.

“So we definitely had a recruitment section where, “I’m going to get my backup and you’re going to get your backup and so that meant we could probably do a couple of different things and those were always … And Spider-Man where usually the first draft choices for those. Yeah that’s the best way to answer it.”

Backing his writing partner up, Markus adds “It would have functioned differently.” With the method of storytelling, he says “It becomes like; what do I really need to see and what is the audience’s brain just going to fill in? Which is a weird thing we come upon every movie. We write the first draft and then, “Oh yeah. Absolutely need this. Absolutely need this.” And then, when you’re reading it through, or sometimes all the way to watching the cut, you’re like, “No. I know that.” Like, “We do not need to explain this. It is naturally occurring in a viewer’s head already.

There was almost another tiny addition

When asked about characters who didn’t make the final cut, Markus says “You know, almost everybody made it in. There was a period where we talked about bringing Wasp in. There was actually a draft Wasp was in because she was so almost on the edge of being in Ant-Man, but then you’re taking something awesome away from the Ant-Man team’s quiver if it’s like, “Well, we’re doing her!” Plus she had a similar skill set, so it’s like “Well, maybe we just isolate it to Scott.”

no Spider-Man in Civil War

McFeely adds “And as you see in the movie, you see that Scott is his own comic relief so it would change that a little bit. They would be this pair. Everybody else we would talk about them and then they’d go away, but we got most everybody back.”

You’ll have to wait and see Evangeline Lilly’s debut as the costumed crimefighter when Ant-Man and the Wasp buzzes into cinemas on 6th July 2018.