A big press junket for The Wolfman was recently held in Los Angeles, but the prime objective of anyone who could get to director Joe Johnston was to find out whatever they could about his contribution to the Marvel world, The First Avenger: Captain America.
The movie isn’t set to be released until July 22, 2011, but with no sign of even the first casting announcement, folks are beginning to wonder what’s going on. Two massive Marvel movies are primed for release that summer — the other being Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, which bows May 6 — but Thor has all of its casting well in-hand, hence the question marks. These two movies are the final two pieces before 2012’s The Avengers begins its epic descent toward our eyes.
So what exactly did Johnston have to share about his movie and where things stand? Well — a lot, to be quite honest. Johnston touched on the type of gentleman he wants to cast in the all-important role and when we should meet this man, how he’s handling the tricky-but-iconic costume re-invention, and what other known characters or maybe even villains we could see showing up in the movie.
As for Captain America himself, the director admits that it has come down to five or six guys ranging from ages 23 to 32 that they are currently screen testing. Though it doesn’t sound like a complete impossibility, he doesn’t want to cast a big superstar; much like Thor, he wants to grab an unknown actor and pour in some big names around him in supporting roles. Also, as I would have thought was kind of a prerequisite, Johnston did confirm that the actor would indeed be American. We’ll have to wait and see for sure how it all plays out for we the fans, but supposedly the actor chosen for the role will be signed and sealed no later than March 1; let’s just hope we’re told who it is as soon as they decide!
One big issue was also Captain America’s look. The old comics have the superhero wearing the American flag red, white, and blue colors, but aside from the patriotism, it’s not a very appealing look to today’s audiences. Much like Superman, the struggle is finding a way to keep things faithful and re-envision the suit at the same time. Johnston’s plan for this is simple: a USO performance! See, when they realize that their special serum turned a scrawny Steve Rogers into a super soldier, they don’t want to risk losing him in battle, so instead they suit him up in a flashy American flag suit, and have him perform in a USO show. Rogers hates this suit, but as he develops his persona, he also develops a more effective and protective suit for his needs which secures the symbolism, but tones down the flashy colors.
Here’s what Johnson said about the costume, according to The LA Times:
He realizes the value of the uniform symbols but he modifies his suit and adds some armor, it will be closer to the Cpa costume in some of the comics in more recent years . . . this approach, it’s the only way we could justify ever seeing him on a screen in tights, with the funny boots and everything. The government essentially puts him up there as a living comic-book character and he rips it off and then reclaims some of its imagery after he recognizes the value of it. We think it’s the best way to keep the costume and explain it at the same time.
I for one actually don’t want them to tone it down too much. To me, it sounds like they might want to remove the red, and I was actually looking forward to some strong red color. There’s a more modern-looking Captain America suit we’ve seen images of with a mesh material and where the blue is a much darker shade with some good red coloring, and considering this movie is to be taking place in World War II, the blue and red against depressing shades of gray was an appealing visual to me. Here’s an idea of what I mean (just picture the colors a tiny bit brighter) — hopefully they stay somewhat close to this.
Now, some other sources got to Johnston as well and found out who else we might see in The First Avenger: Captain America. The guys over at AICN were nudged and informed that a show on Sirius Radio reported that none other than Red Skull would be the villain in the movie. The source claims that this is confirmed, but it has not been confirmed by any official source to us yet. The report was said to come out of the same Wolfman press junket that all of this other information is coming out of, so who knows exactly who pinned Joe Johnston in a corner and excavated some great information. Fans of Captain America couldn’t ask for a better villain to be utilized here, so fingers crossed.
CHUD also received some inside information. On their end, they discovered that The Invaders would also play a major part in the movie. Johnston tells them that this team with special abilities that fights alongside Captain America would actually “be in the entire second half” of the movie. Click the link here to find out all of the characters that you could see on The Invaders team.
And that about does it for this massive Captain America update. As said before, hopefully it’s no later than March 1 that we discover who exactly will grab this coveted title role, but it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun to find out all of the recognizable names that are cast in the supporting roles as well!
[Sources: Collider, The LA Times]