Through Eventful’s Director Series, we’ve given you the scoop on big name directors and producers. While the final creative vision of a film comes down to these two roles, it’s the writers and screenwriters who create the major framework of a film. These men and women have modernized the grand tradition of storytelling, weaving these timeless stories that mirror and affect the everyday lives of audiences around the world. This week, we’re giving you a look at the collaborative duo of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely; screenwriters of the upcoming Michael Bay action/comedy, Pain & Gain.
Markus and McFeely found their big break when they were hired to write a screenplay adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; one of the most beloved children’s series by one of the most popular authors of all time. The duo faced a huge challenge: they had to adapt the story to appeal to both general audiences and lifelong fans. Their task became more difficult when director, Andrew Adamson asked them to incorporate his “memories” of reading the book. Whatever the pair did, it worked. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a financial and critical success, which lead the pair to write the Narnia sequels.
Building off that success, Markus and McFeely accepted Marvel Studios’ offer to pen a script for Captain America: The First Avenger, which was based on the original WWII-era comics by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. Once again, the writers found themselves in a familiar predicament: writing a script that appealed to Cap fanatics and establishing a critical piece of the Avengers Universe that continues to play out in the series. Markus and McFeely earned Marvel Studios’ trust and were hired to pen the script for the sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World, the latter of which opens in November.
But, we digress. The thrilling and action-packed film, Pain & Gain is based on a true story. This gripping tale grabbed national headlines after journalist Pete Collins wrote a three-part series called “Pain & Gain” for the Miami New Times. Using these articles, our featured writers adapted the screenplay and will once again prove they can turn a suspenseful story into a captivating film.
Ask your smartphone to set a reminder — Pain & Gain opens April 26, when you can see for yourself just how skillfully Markus and McFeely craft an action-packed script. Just don’t think we’re done bringing you actionable director, producers and screenwriters. We’ll be back next week with a super-hero worthy blog post featuring screenwriter Drew Pearce, the man behind the other acclaimed, upcoming Marvel Studios film, Iron Man 3.
Cover photo courtesy of Tyler Nienhouse