1st Look At Chris Evans as Captain America


Entertainment Weekly’s  latest issue features the first officially released shot of Chris Evans from CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER on its cover.
Fans of the character has been worried about the former “Human Torch” actor playing Cap, and it turns out that Chris Evans shared many of those concerns. He siad he turned down the part three times.

“At the time, I remember telling a buddy of mine, ‘If the movie bombs, I’m f—-ed. If the movie hits, I’m f—-ed!’”

Finally, he went to a meeting with Marvel executives and director Joe Johnston (THE ROCKETEER, THE WOLFMAN),  was impressed by their plans and approach to the film, and wound up signing a six-picture deal.

“I was just scared. I realized my whole decision making process was fear based, and you never want to make a decision out of fear. …I can’t believe was almost too chicken to play Captain America.”

The issue will feature a set visit to the production, shooting in England, and more from Evans and Joe Johnston, who sees Steven Roger as an ‘everyman’ character whose life and pyhsical form is suddenly transformed.  Johnston observes with understatement that it’s bound to create “some interesting personal issues.”
The issue hits newsstand this Friday, October 29th.

'Captain America' Tidbits and Rumors

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.”

union_jack_Invaders_8Heading 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 CaptaincaptAmerica68-goldengirl 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.

'Captain America' Locations – In UK

Captain_America__P_CropBBC News reports that Marvel Studios’ CAPTAIN AMERICA: The First Avenger will be using locations in Liverpool and Manchester for filming to begin in the coming weeks.
Susan Williams, drama liaison manager of the Vision+Media film office said that Manchester’s Northern Quarter will fill in for New York City in a car chase scene.

“We suggested the area to Marvel as its wide streets, towering buildings and pre-war architecture will make the perfect 1940s New York.”

Stanley Docks Liverpool - MerseyGateway org
Stanley Docks Liverpool - MerseyGateway org

How-Do.co.uk supplied the additional information that Liverpool’s Stanley Docks area will provide the setting for an action sequence involving a large scale WWII submarine mock-up.
Since the iconic U.S. superhero film is being shot in the U.K., I guess these locations make sense. I’m  more concerned with the seemingly grudging and revisionist attitude Marvel and director Joe Johnston appear to be taking to the inherently patriotic nature of the character.

Joe Johnston on 'Captain America'

Captain_America__P_CropThe LA Times featured a few words from Joe Johnston (THE ROCKETEER) about CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.

“We’re sort of putting a slightly different spin on Steve Rogers. He’s a guy that wants to serve his country, but he’s not a flag-waver. We’re reinterpreting, sort of, what the comic book version of Steve Rogers was.”
He wants to serve his country, but he’s not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver, he’s just a good person.
We make a point of that in the script: Don’t change who you are once you go from Steve Rogers to this super-soldier; you have to stay who you are inside, that’s really what’s important more than your strength and everything. It’ll be interesting and fun to put a different spin on the character and one that the fans are really going to appreciate.”

Why does it so often seem that Hollywood filmmakers tend to take exactly the wrong messages from comic books?
The Captain America of the comics, particulary in the WWII era, was indeed a “flag-waver”. He should be: he’s the symbol of all the postive ideals of the country. He is also its premiere solider. This is not a conflict.
You can be a very patriotic and proud of your country without being jingoistic. Jingoism is defined as a kind of extremism, a highly aggressive or even belligerent form of nationalism that favors warfare as the primary tool of statescraft.
Patriotism on the other hand, is a variety of idealism; a loyalty to and love of your country, pride in its values and of the welfare of your fellow citizens.
And that, I think, is the perfect description of who Steve Rogers has always been, whether or not he agreed with whatever policy was currently in force.
New Promo picture via YahooMovies

UPDATED: Hugo Weaving Playing Captain America's Nemesis, Gets Sidekick

Actor Hugo Weaving
Actor Hugo Weaving

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.

Wolfman fetches director Johnston

Aint It Cool News is reporting that Joe Johnston was selected by Universal to direct their re-make/re-launch/re-whatever of THE WOLF MAN, one of their most revered horror properties from their golden age. The curious exit of Mark Romanek (ONE HOUR PHOTO) just weeks before filming left a vacuum that had everyone from fanboy wetdreams John Landis and Joe Dante, to Brits like Martin Campbell (CASINO ROYALE) and Neil Marshall (THE DESCENT), to shits like Brett Ratner (RUSH HOUR, X3). From this group, Joe Johnson seemed like a real longshot; his track record features a lot of EFX heavy blockbusters like JUMANJI, HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS, and JURASSIC PARK 3 that make him the studio-friendly choice. No auteur tantrums, no doing 50 takes because a shot isn’t perfect, just a hired gun who’ll keep the train on the tracks. But Johnson cut his teeth working for Lucas in the early ’80s as an art director on EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and has thus far directed two wonderful (and totally different) films, THE ROCKETEER and OCTOBER SKY. That’s two wonderful films more than Brett Ratner has made; Ratner seemed to be the favorite after he performed the same ‘emergency fill-in’ service for Fox when Bryan Singer left X3.

Lon Chaney and Evelyn Ankers in THE WOLF MAN (1941).
Remember, filming is set to commence in weeks – not months. The script (penned by SE7EN’s Andrew Kevin Walker), actors (Benicio Del Toro as Lawrence Talbot and Anthony Hopkins as Talbot Sr.), EFX make-up (by Rick Baker!), locations, costume and design work are all already locked, so whomever Universal hires isn’t going to have too much wiggle room to put their own stamp on the proceedings.