“I wanted to be an auteur; that was what I wanted to do,” “Black Widow” and “Captain Marvel” screenwriter Jac Schaeffer told an audience (watch the video above) at the 18th Whistler Film Festival, where Variety honored her as one of their 10 Screenwriters to Watch. Marvel Studios hired the up-and-coming Schaeffer a year ago as the sole screenwriter for a 2020 film centered on the Black Widow character that Scarlett Johansson has played in six Marvel Cinematic Universe films to date.
Schaeffer is now also credited as one of the seven writers of the “Captain Marvel” film starring Brie Larson that will be in theaters next month. Schaeffer explains, “It was the kind of essentially script doctoring that I had never wanted to do, but I was working for Marvel and they put me off ‘Black Widow’ to do that work and I was like, ‘Okay, they think I’m going to do this’ and I did and I actually liked the speed of it.” She elaborates about her “Captain Marvel” contributions, “They would ask me to work on [a] scene that was going to be a shot a week later [and] I didn’t really know what the guiding principles were, but they would be very clear, like, ‘We need voice work’ or ‘This needs to be funnier’ or ‘clearer’ or ‘This character is not working’.”
The “huge machinery” of Marvel represents a departure from Schaeffer’s entry to the industry. She explains, “I started as an independent filmmaker and a director, so I wrote whole scripts with the plan of making those whole scripts entirely by myself.” Schaeffer’s only prior released feature is the 2010 romantic comedy “TiMER,” which she indeed directed, produced and wrote, but she admits that it has been “a surprise” how “interested” she is in her work under Marvel and how she finds herself “challenged to get better.” Schaeffer concludes, “There are so many different kinds of screenwriting, which I didn’t understand at the outset.”
In the near future, you can check out how our experts rank this year’s Emmy contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Emmy predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on July 16.