There’s littlte bits of information and a few rumors floating around the internet regarding CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.
First off, ComicBookMovie, in a brief Q&A with director Joe Johnstion, learned there will in fact be some “Easter Eggs” continuty bits for comic book fans to find in the films.
“There are links between all the Marvel films, mostly ones that only the fans will pick up on. We have several subtle references to certain elements in THOR, but since CAPTAIN AMERICA is a period picture taking place in the 40’s, there are fewer opportunities for contemporary links to the rest of the Marvel universe. We can, however, create events in our story that will be paid off in AVENGERS and other Marvel pictures.”
Heading into Rumorville, IMDB’s CAPTAIN AMERICA entry indicates that UK actor JJ Feild (THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE) has been cast as Montgomery Falsworth, who is Captain Americ’s British countepart, Union Jack, a member of the costumed fighters known as The Invaders. If true, there has been no offical announcement.
ComicBookMovie also passes on the rumor that Amy Smart ( THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT) has been cast Golden Girl (Betsy Ross), based largely on the fact that she was apparently seen at a club in London with star Chris Evans.
Betsy (Elizabeth) Ross was an Army Intelligence agent in the early Captain America comics, later donning the costume of Golden Girl, and eventually replacing Bucky as Cap’s sidekick for a while. In a ‘retcon’ Marvel later changed it so that she assisted one of the Captain America replacements, Jeff Mace (the former superhero, The Patriot).
In the modern comics, there have been two Golden Girls, one of Japanese-American background. Gwenny Lou Sabuki, teenage daughter of a scientist, had short-lived super powers.
Again, this is just a rumor, at present.
How can something so wonderfully over-the-top fall so flat?
If you have seen the trailers for SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, you already know almost everything that’s good about it. Director Edgar Wright (who co-scripted with Michael Bacall, based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley) has crafted a deliriously over-the-top roller-coaster fun house ride, in which the agony and ecstasy of fighting for true love is literalized in terms of Fant-Asia-style battles, which are mixed with candy-colored videogame graphics and wrapped up in throbbing garage band rock music. It is by turns zany, silly, and hilarious, and it features the best martial arts action ever seen in a non-Hong Kong film. Why, then, does the film so often fall flat?
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD attempts to present a very special sort of reality – not that of the physical world but a reality of the heart. The ardent desire, the all-consuming passion, the desperate sense that this is a matter of life-and-death is externalized with physics-defying fight choreography that, albeit unrealistic, is a perfectly believable depiction of what goes on inside the soul of someone in love with an apparently unobtainable object of affection. The problem is that the actual love story feels like a mere excuse to tie together the fight scenes: SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD never generates the actual feelings that would justify the visual pyrotechnics; those emotions must be taken for granted. Once the premise is set in motion (Scott Pilgrim meets the girl of his dreams but must defeat her seven evil exes before he can win her), the plot hits a plateau, shuffling from one cool fight scene to the next, separated by dialogue scenes that, while amusing, feel like treading water.
Although the lulls are never allowed to last too long, fast pacing cannot disguise the emptiness at the film’s heart: there is nothing interesting about Ramona Flowers, the girl of Scott’s dreams, except that she has seven evil exes (her only distinguishing characteristic is a tendency to change hair color frequently – wow!).* Gradually, it becomes clear that more effort went into diversifying the fight scenes than developing the love story that supposedly justifies them. About halfway through, you are likely to find yourself counting on your fingers, wondering how many evil exes are left before the film can end. The problem is exacerbated by the too-hip self-awareness. The continual use of graphics, subtitles, and split-screen effects lend a hyper-real quality that prevents the excessive violence from outwearing its welcome, and the deadpan humor is the perfect counterpoint to the outrageous action (which the characters takes almost for granted). But ultimately SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD is afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve, for fear of seeming sentimental and square (just the opposite of the heartfelt romanticism seen in the best legitimate Fant-Asia films, like HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS).
Michael Cera is well cast as the perfectly inauspicious Scott Pilgrim, but Kieran Culkin steals the show as Scott’s gay roommate. Chris Evans does a great spoof of an action movie star, probably the best thing he’s done since playing MACE in SUNSHINE (2007), and more than enough to pique your interest for seeing him as Captain America. Winstead looks right as Ramona, the girl of Scott’s dreams, but her mysterious, stand-offish attitude – intended to suggest hidden depths – turns out to be all she has to offer, and she never generates any real chemistry with Cera.
In fact, the only member of the cast who generates any real warmth is Ellen Wong as Knives Chau, Scott’s previous girlfriend – a seventeen-year-old high school student of Chinese descent, whom Scott dumps after meeting Ramona. Chau is the one good element not revealed in the trailers for SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD – an unexpected emotional complication whose naivete spares her from the hip detachment undermining the other characters’ emotional lives. She is the one we really feel for, and after she transforms from helpless waif to vengeful fighting chick, we realize she’s the one Scott should really end up with. That he doesn’t is a mistake only partially compensated for by having her bless Scott’s romance with Ramona, letting him off the hook by telling him, “You’re not cool enough for me.”
As visually interesting as SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD IS, with sharp clever editing to propel even simple dialogue scenes along in an imaginative way, it is at times a bit dingy and dull during its non-action interludes. The humor is not always as funny as intended, and the rock-and-roll score seldom galvanizes the action with the full blast of intended electricity (a dueling bass guitar scene relies on the visuals to provide the snap lacking in the soundtrack). For all its merits, the film feels a bit like the Scott’s garage band: you enjoy them for their enthusiasm and desire to entertain, but beneath the rollicking feedback and distortion of the performances, you get a sense that the songs sort of do really suck. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD (August 13, 2010). Directed Edgar Wright. Screenplay by Edgar Wright & Michael Bacall, based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Cast: Michael Cera, Alison Pill, Mark Webber, Johnny Simmons, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Elizabeth WInstead, Satya Bhabha, Chris Evans. FOOTNOTE:
It is possible that this is a deliberate joke: Scott is risking his life fighting over a woman with whom he has little if anything in common. If so, the filmmakers never deliver the punchline, which should have come at the end, with Scott realizing his mistake and dumping Ramona for Knives.
This article has been edited and expanded to clarify certain points.
Looks like images posted at Ain’t It Cool News of Chris Evans’ costume for CAPTAIN AMERICA might actually be the real deal.
Seems to be inspired in part by the Ultimates Capt. America costume. (Click pic for larger version)
I think they missed a very obvious choice; rather than two red straps, they could have made the red & white stripes of the costume armor plates, sewn together under impact-resistant fabric for flexibility—just like real bullet-proof vests. And what’s with the BROWN boots and gloves, the fillmmakers have never seen Red or at least “Oxblood” shoe polish, which was quite popular in the WWII time-frame?
The design reminds me of an armored-up version of the 1944 Republic serial C.A. costume, in which Cap went without wings on his cowl, and caried a gun. In that fim, Captain America was not ‘super-soldier’ Steve Rogers, but instead frustated with red-tape District Attorney Grant Gardner (Dick Purcell).
Could be a lot worse, though. The good Captain has never had good luck on the silver screen.
On TV in 1979, the producers changed the costume and “improved” the character into Evel Knievel on steriods—a tactic that subverted the Living Legend in to a figure of tacky triviality that seemed more like sabotage than adaptation.
Witness poor Reb Brown below: He even LOOKS a little embarrassed.
Hollywood seems to have a fear of costumed superheroes and larger-than-life characters and storylines. Often, the creatives there appear to need to either turn them into camp or satire, or choose to water them down into mundane shadows of their four-color originals.
Of course, even when they get Captain America’s costume right from a basic design standpoint, the execution of the costume (and movie) can be disappointing, as we can see from Cannon’s barely-released CAPTAIN AMERICA (1990).
So, I can’t complain too much about the costume changes for director Joe Johnston and Marvel Studio’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. One can hope at least that their hearts are in the right place to do justice to the comic book icon.
It’s been rumoured for a while now but Marvel have sent out an official press release stating that Hugo Weaving (THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE MATRIX) has been cast as Red Skull, the main antagonist in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER is the latest Marvel superhero to get the Hollywood adaptation treatment and focuses on Steve Rogers (AKA Captain America), a sickly young man who was enhanced to the peak of human perfection by an experimental serum in order to aid the United States war effort. In the comics Red Skull had various different incarnations, but the film he’ll be a Nazi officer personally groomed by the one and only Adolph Hitler to spread terror and intimidation. After wreaking chaos throughout Europe, he’s eventually clashes with Captain America.
Hugo Weaving, as we all know, can play a great villain and that he’s officially on for the film is good news. Weaving will be joining a cast that already includes Chris Evans (FANTASTIC FOUR, SUNSHINE) and Hayley Atwell (MANSFIELD PARK, THE DUCHESS). Joe Johnston (THE WOLFMAN, THE ROCKETEER) is directing CAPTAIN AMERICA which starts shooting in the UK next month, ready for a July 2011 release date. UPDATE: Toby Jones (THE MIST, HARRY POTTER) has signed on to play Arnim Zola, a mad scientist and another of Captain America’s antagonists. In the comics Zola is an expert biochemist and geneticist working for the Nazis creating clones and monstrous beings.
Hot on the heels of the Chris Evans as Captain America announcement comes the news that Sebastian Stan ( THE COVENANT, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE) has been cast as his side-kick, Bucky Barnes, in the upcoming big-budget film adaptation of CAPTAIN AMERICA.
In the comics Bucky Barnes was a teenage orphan, eager to join the army but too young to enlist so instead became a mascot. It’s during this career change that he discovers Captain America’s true identity and becomes his partner, only to be killed off at the end of World War II and then resurrected in 2005.
Interestingly enough, Sebastian Stan was actually in the runnings to play Captain America himself at one point until Evans took the role. The shoot for CAPTAIN AMERICA is set to start this summer, with a 22nd of July, 2011 release date expected.
Sources close to The Hollywood Reporter are claiming that Chris Evans has been approached for the role of Captain America, Marvel’s latest superhero to get the Hollywood treatment. Despite not having been screen tested, Evans has apparently been offered the chance to star in the upcoming film, currently entitled THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA (here’s hoping they shorten that title).
This development, however, has not been confirmed by either Marvel or CAA (Evans’ representatives) but would include him starring in up to three Captain America films and, of course, the long gestating Avengers movie. Evans certainly has the charisma and all-American appeal to carry off the role but two things stand in his way; his commitment to the Anna Faris romantic comedy WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? (scheduled to begin shooting around the same time as CAPTAIN AMERICA) and his previous acting gig as The Human Torch in two FANTASTIC FOUR movies.
The role has been one of the most widely contested in recent memory as Michael Cassidy, Patrick Flueger, Scott Porter, Wilson Blethel and Mike Vogel, John Krasinski and Chace Crawford have all been vying for the job.Whether or not Evans has been offered, or has even accepted, the role yet expect to hear an official announcement soon. What do you think about this casting decision? UPDATE: Sources close to The Hollywood Reporter claim that Evans has accepted the role as Captain America and all that’s left to do is sign the contract. This seems like a slightly risky move for Marvel Studios but it could well pay off if the fans come to accept Evans in the role.
THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA is being directed by Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III, The Wolfman) and is set to be released some time next year.