Captain America: The Winter Soldier's screenwriters have talked about their decision to take down S.H.I.E.L.D. in the film, which has implications for the TV series Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus said that they had been tasked with finding a big ending for the film by Marvel studio boss Kevin Feige, who gave the go-ahead for the devastating blow to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Stephen told The Hollywood Reporter: "We couldn't do that without Kevin Feige coming in and saying, 'Hey, it's OK to take down S.H.I.E.L.D.' It allows Steve Rogers to effect change. And there's no greater example of the Marvel Universe and how it operates than S.H.I.E.L.D.
"If Steve can take that down, then he's brought a significant change. We'll throw out ideas, and Kevin doesn't want us to take small steps.
"So we'll take big swings, and sometimes he'll pull us back and sometimes he'll add to it and say, 'No. Bigger. Let's take down all of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Then we rub our hands together and go, 'Fabulous'."
Christopher explained why they had chosen S.H.I.E.L.D. for Steve, aka Captain America, played by Chris Evans, to deliver an axe blow to.
He said: "The debate was, 'What's a big enough thing for him to tackle?' It can't just be one man is embezzling from the slush fund. When Kevin said, 'Make it as big as possible. Take down S.H.I.E.L.D.' it was like, 'Okie-doke'."
The writers admitted it could have a big knock-on effect for the cast of ABC's TV series - shown on Channel 4 in the UK - and Stephen said of their reaction: "When they screened it for them two months ago, I think everyone liked it but kind of went, 'Holy c***. Do I have a job tomorrow?'."
Christopher added: "We'll see how everyone feels about it at ABC."