Captain America casting announced

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Some interesting news was officially confirmed today: Marvel announced on its website the main casting for the upcoming film, The First Avenger: Captain America. The movie is theoretically due out on July 22, 2011, though I’m slightly skeptical they’ll make that deadline (and would much rather wait than see it rushed). The movie is Cap’s early days, and we now know the top two billings:

Captain America, Steve Rogers, will be played by Chris Evans.

His partner, Bucky Barnes, will be Sebastian Shaw Stan.

I’ll start with Sebastian Stan, because there’s not much to talk about there. Never heard of him. If you click on his IMDB link above, you’ll see his resume is pretty thin. He’s done some episodes of Gossip Girl and is in Hot Tub Time Machine, which I would like to see, but that’s about it. Bucky seems like a character who was destined to be played by a relatively newcomer, so I have no problem with it.

Chris Evans is a little more interesting. I didn’t actually recognize him by name at first, but certainly by face. Most notably, he was Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four movies. He did Not Another Teen Movie early in his career, and has The Losers coming out soon. People were fairly divided on him as the Human Torch, with many thinking he came off like too much of a douche (which, to be fair, was how it was written at times). I actually liked him a lot as Johnny, and thought he was one of the best things in the FF films. Sure, he was a bit of a tool, but it seemed intentional, rather than the product of bad acting, and he was still funny. It’s a bit of a surprising jump from that to playing Cap, and I’m betting some fanboys aren’t too happy. I certainly didn’t see it coming myself; I did think they’d go for a bigger name, and a lot of “star power” actors were rumored. But I actually have a good feeling about this choice.

Also noteworthy in the Evans casting is that we’re seeing a trend bucked. When the comic books movie craze started, there was a prevailing wisdom that being in one comic book franchise would disqualify an actor/actress from playing any other comics’ characters. But suddenly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Evans is jumping from Torch to Cap (which I guess means we won’t get an FF/Avengers team-up movie ;)), not to mention doing The Losers. But also, Ryan Reynolds is leading a strong cast as Green Lantern after playing Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and signing on for a Deadpool solo movie. So for all of us hoping to see Adam West play the Black Panther, there’s hope yet.

Anyway, that’s all the casting announced so far, though we also know Cap will be directed by Joe Johnston, whose fairly brief directing credits include several commercial (if not necessarily critical) successes, including Jumanji, October Sky, and my personal favorite, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; most recently, he directed The Wolfman, which I never did see. Seems like a fine enough choice. The screenplay was co-written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who now have six movies to their credit, all co-written together, including the three Chronicles of Narnia films and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. I liked the first Narnia movie a lot, thought the second was so-so at best, and we’ll see on the third. The Peter Sellers film was brilliant and highly underrated — that may have been more a product of Geoffrey Rush’s performance than the writing; I haven’t seen it in a long time and can’t say for sure.

Looking forward to hearing more announcements as we go on, and I imagine I’ll get excited once we actually get down the road to the point of seeing a trailer. For now, Marvel Studios is off to an excellent start, so I’m fine with giving them the benefit of the doubt for a while.

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16 Responses to “Captain America casting announced”

  1. gokitalo Says:

    Frankly, I’m impressed Shaw finally decided to abandon his life of supervillainy for a music career. Kudos!

    I don’t know what to make of any of this, really. I mean, like you, I only know Chris Evans from the F4 movies (and I didn’t even see them), and Johnny Storm and Human Torch have preeetty different personalities. I did see Jumanji and The Wolfman, though. Wolfman wasn’t that great, although I remember Jumanji being fun (keep in mind that I last saw it when I was like, eight or nine).

    So, no strong feelings either way, really. At least we know it’ll be fairly faithful to comics Cap, since Marvel Studios is making on it.

    Um, that’s it from me. I leave the more insightful commentary to you or Spiff, our movie guy extraordinaire!

  2. gokitalo Says:

    Woops, we messed up. It’s actually Sebastian Stan, not Shaw! Ah well. Better luck next movie, Shaw!

  3. davidry214 Says:

    Lol, I’ll blame that slip on reading old Uncanny issues.

    Goki, you never saw the FF movies? Wow, what a bad comic nerd. 😉 The first one is pretty bad, but Rise of the Silver Surfer was good, despite some disappointment at the end.

    Yeah, Jumanji was fine. I enjoyed most his other movies too. October Sky is great. I kinda liked Jurassic Park 3, too, and same with Hidalgo. I think I pretty much loved Pagemaster as a young child, but haven’t seen it in like 15 years. Never seen The Rocketeer, though it’s considered a cult classic in certain circles. I imagine I’d agree if I did see it, since it apparently has my former lover, Jennifer Connelly.

  4. gokitalo Says:

    Whoa, I should’ve IMDB’ed the guy. Jurassic Park 3 was alright, and I dug Pagemaster too (although back then, I remembering being more interested in the trailer it had for the Power Rangers Movie- Ivan Ooze for the win!). I’ve heard good things about The Rocketeer; if anything, it’ll give you the chance to see your former beloved Jennifer in some ’50s outfits:

  5. davidry214 Says:

    Hott.

  6. spiffyithaca Says:

    Well, I was going to wonder why they got the guy who directed Jumanji for Captain America, but if he directed Pagemaster, he is clearly the MAN. So I’m all in on that.

    Chris Evans? Not as much. I like him, and do think he was a perfect Johnny Storm/Torch, and clearly he has some talent, but I think this is still a missed opportunity here. Getting Chris Evans means they’re going for a younger Cap, and really, going for the possibility of a long franchise. Which is fine, but come on, how awesome would Jon Hamm (Don Draper from Mad Men) or Nathan Fillion (Castle, Dr. Horrible, Serenity/Firefly) have been as Cap? They’re leaders, they’re MEN. They have a gravitas and American appeal and pull that I don’t think Evans does.

    Evans is certainly the best choice out of the crappy list they were looking at, but meh.

  7. davidry214 Says:

    I disagree, at least somewhat. I love Fillion, and like Hamm a lot (what I’ve seen of him). However, I don’t think either would necessarily have been a better choice. One, neither is blond, and I know Spiff is going to say “fuck being blond,” but this isn’t the same thing as making Kingpin or Nick Fury black, a trait that has no bearing on the characters. There’s a subtle but important symbolic significance to having a blue-eyed, blond-haired white male as the ultimate weapon against Hitler.

    Secondly, and much more important, they’re too old. We haven’t seen Evans stretch himself as an actor yet; my guess is he’s fully capable of pulling off manly gravitas — we certainly don’t know that he can’t do it. But we do know that neither Hamm or Fillion can look like they’re in their early 20s, which is a substantial point of the whole damn story: A scrawny kid who wants to help his country undergoes a transformation into the ultimate soldier. It’s not about a “MAN” who’s fully developed and in his late 30s and just puts on a suit.

  8. spiffyithaca Says:

    For what it’s worth, I got the idea of Jon Hamm from Alex Ross, who was quoted as saying Marvel would be “insane” not to cast him.

    And fuck being blond. But no, that’s not at all what I’d say. What I’d say may or may not look goofy/real or work, but I feel like in this day and age with the technology and crazy makeup, they could make Fillion or Hamm blonde and blue eyed and do so well. Of course, now I just envision aussie Downey in Tropic Thunder, lol.

    And both actors could lose a ton of weight and be scrawny if they were dedicated to the role to play shrimpy Steve Rogers (which would give them added ethos/kudos) OR they could hire a different much younger actor to play pre-Super Soldier serum Rogers and then cut to him beating up some Nazis.

    Basically, they could work. Yes, it’s not as seamless as having a scrawny blonde and blue eyed talent get buff and shit, but honestly, we’ll be seeing the MAN version of Captain America a helluva lot more than we will the scrawny bitch (especially in all subsequent movies, and let’s face it, we’re thinking not only a Cap franchise but the Avengers franchise), and there’s no doubt in my mind that Hamm or Fillion would make a better leader and hero than Chris Evans, and could handle the role for awhile before they’re too old for the role.

    That said, I certainly hope Evans can pull it off.

    They should’ve hired Captain Awesome from Chuck, really. lol

  9. davidry214 Says:

    Sure, they could make those two blond, and maybe it would work. But try picturing it. I think either would look awful. But that’s better than the other idea. I really, really hate the idea of two separate actors. It’s not the old Hulk TV show. It would seem so cheap, especially when it’s avoidable.

    I still think both suggestions are too old. Even for the MAN version, which your argument seems to revolve around. They’re 40 years old. I don’t really want to see a 40-year-old Cap; it just doesn’t fit with any part of the mythos at any time. At least they went with someone who looks the part, and I’m sure they made certain he could act it as well. You’re judging all these people on previous roles, one particular role as an immature character with Evans. Just because he didn’t play a MAN in FF doesn’t mean he can’t act the hero and leader just as well as those (old) guys.

  10. spiffyithaca Says:

    To be fair, they’re both 39 and don’t look that old at all.

  11. davidry214 Says:

    Yeah, I looked that up too, and foolishly thought 39 was close enough to round off to 40. It’s not like they look terribly old, but neither looks in his 20s, either.

    Supposedly, John Krasinski was a legit candidate, which would have been weird. Not saying he couldn’t have done it, but I can’t picture that.

    I heard someone say that Evans would have been better for Hawkeye, which is probably true, though I don’t know if Hawk is even going to be in Avengers.

  12. spiffyithaca Says:

    I heard about Krasinski, and yeah, agreed. I love him, but not sure he could pull of a superhero like Cap. I would’ve been real intrigued to see the outcome of it though.

    I’m going to be Hawkeye, so no worries

  13. davidry214 Says:

    Well, congratulations.

  14. gokitalo Says:

    He wears purple and fires long objects from his shaft. Spiff is the perfect choice for Hawkeye.

    OR they could hire a different much younger actor to play pre-Super Soldier serum Rogers and then cut to him beating up some Nazis.

    That’d be tough to pull off. You’d have to find an actor that looks AND sounds almost just like buff Steve. Some fancy camera work (or face copy/pasting, like they did with Agent Smith in Matrix 2 or 3) might do the trick, though.

    “They should’ve hired Captain Awesome from Chuck, really. lol”

    Bwahahahaha, I would definitely watch that. Ha, they should just go all the way and make Zachary Levi into Bucky

  15. Gokitalo Says:

    Clearly, my archery vocabulary needs work. The shaft is a part of the arrow, not the thing where you store arrows (that would be the… QUIVER, Green Arrow fans!)

  16. davidry214 Says:

    Spiffy leaves me quivering.

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