Captain America: The First Avenger – All You Need to Know

10 Sep

Looking for news / rumors / leaks about the upcoming Captain America movie? Grumpy Fanboy does it for you.

If you’re like me, you’ve waited for decades in frustration for a decent on-screen adaptation of Captain America. You’ve thrilled to Cap throwing his mighty shield in the original cartoon. You’ve also grimaced through the live action attempts that followed, from the helmet-wearing, plastic shield-bearing 1970s television series to the more faithful but still clumsy straight-to-video 1990 production.

This time our hopes are actually high because the upcoming Captain America: the First Avenger (target release date: July 2011) is coming to us from the same people who have (so far) delivered two excellent Iron Man films and have a grandmaster plan to assemble all their main characters, including Cap, the Hulk (released June 2008) and Thor (due in May 2011) in a star-studded Avengers film in the summer of 2012.

With Captain America still 10 months away, only so much information has been released officially. Here’s what any self-respecting fanboy needs to know:

THE CAST

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America – He played Johnny Storm / the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies. I would not have picked him myself but I remain hopeful because he’s charismatic enough and has proven he can do physical roles (The Losers, Push).

Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull – Best known as Agent Smith from The Matrix trilogy and Elrond from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I have no doubt he can capably pull off the role of Cap’s arch-nemesis.

Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury

Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter

Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark

Tommy Lee Jones as Col Chester Phillips

Stanley Tucci as Dr Abraham Erskine

Sebastian Stan as James ‘Bucky’ Barnes

Neal McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan

Toby Jones as Arnim Zola

JJ Field as Montgomery Falsworth

What the casting reveals about the story:

With so many well known actors playing characters like Peggy Carter, Col Philips, Dr Erskine and Bucky, you can guess that much – if not most – of the film will take place during World War II, when Cap first became active. Arnim Zola’s casting indicates there will be more than one villain and hints at the involvement of the criminal organization HYDRA. Falsworth is the first of many in the comic books to wear the costume of Union Jack, Britain’s own version of Captain America. Will Union jack make an appearance? Finally, Barnes becomes Cap’s sidekick in the comics. Will Bucky be in costume and meet an untimely death towards the War’s end?

The presence of Tony Stark’s dad and Nick Fury underlines that this story is part of the same continuity as the Iron Man films. Sam Jackson as Fury (with no casting announcements about a younger Fury) tells us that a good chunk of the film will be set in the present, though it’s hard to tell whether his appearance will be as brief as in previous films. The presence of Dum Dum Dugan, Fury’s second-in-command at SHIELD, also suggests more modern-day scenes.

IMDb also lists Bruce Willis, Nicholas Cage and Helen Mirren as part of the cast, though their roles have not been listed. (IMDb has made bad calls before so this should be considered just a rumor.)

THE COSTUME

Artist renditions of Cap’s new costume first began surfacing last June.  The suit is more reminiscent of the Cap from Mark Millar’s The Ultimates, rather than the classic Cap outfit with wings on the mask and shirt made of chain mail.

In contrast, an eyewitness account by an extra describes Chris Evans in costume, though the version he saw was dramatically different from the ones in the artist renditions. He describes an outfit made of old fashioned materials that did not fit as snugly as in the drawings. This description clashes with Chris Evans’ own description of the suit in an interview with MTV. Most recently, shots of a stunt double in Cap’s costume filming a motorcycle chase sequence have surfaced, showing Cap’s outfit as more loose-fitting than in the drawings.

What these sneak peeks at the costume reveal about the story:

All these imply that we will see not one but several costumes as we follow Cap’s career from his origins in World War II to his being discovered in suspended animation in modern times.

Personally, I would be very happy to see the Jack Kirby-esque Cap suit, no matter how briefly. The new costume design looks great, with updates that make it look like it belongs in the real world. The shield looks beautiful, as it’s pretty faithful to the comic book. But I do miss the little wings in Cap’s temples.

Tune in for more updates about the upcoming Captain America movie from Grumpy Fanboy:

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