Monday, March 22, 2010

Castin' America

Over the last few weeks, the question marks surrounding The First Avenger: Captain America had begun to swirl around an increasingly eclectic circle of young actors who fit the general physical requirements of the title role. It appeared very briefly that The Office actor Jon Krasinski might take the part, then the blogosphere nearly melted down when the winds blew in G.I. Joe star Channing Tatum's direction. Now word arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Captain America has been cast, and Chris Evans has him.

This would mark Evans' second sojourn into the cinematic Marvel Universe, having previously played the Human Torch in -- and been one of the two best things about -- the Fantastic Four movies cranked out by Fox in '05 and '07 (the other best, by the way, is Michael Chiklis as the Thing). He's also in this summer's The Losers, based on the DC/Vertigo comic which ties him with Ryan Reynolds in the big screen superhero sweepstakes, with both actors playing two Marvels and one DC (FYI, Reynolds was Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity, Wade Wilson in Wolverine, and has the title role in the now-filming Green Lantern).

One way or another, this is the project that will likely propel Evans into a whole new stratosphere of visibility. Not only will he headline his own movie as Captain America/Steve Rogers, but he'd also appear in the Avengers team-up movie and various other Marvel projects in various stages of development. Given that his career until now has mostly been spent playing young wiseacres who get by on their charm, I don't see much in Evans' filmography that points me towards him being a credible Cap, but clearly there was something there that prompted Team Marvel to reportedly offer the part without his even having to test for it.

This is a key entry in Marvel's movie assault, so there's a lot of marbles at stake -- something I'm sure they're all fully aware of. With my lifelong fondness for Cap a matter of record here and elsewhere, and with director Joe Johnston having made clear more than once that this flick will be the real deal, I remain optimistic about Evans' prospects in the part. Certainly the terrific choice of Hugo Weaving as arch-villain The Red Skull is further cause for excitement on my end. Filming on The First Avenger: Captain America is due to begin shortly in England, and now the long wait begins for pics of Evans in the star-spangled suit.

1 comment:

The Mad Swede said...

I share your scepticism about Evans in the role. Since I haven't seen him in anything but the FF films, I am somewhat scared that that might be his range... and that would not a good Captain make, IMHO.

Hadn't heard about Weaving until now, but that has me much more pleased. My one concern would be as to whether Weaving can get the proper German twang on his accent (or even deliver certain lines in German, for that matter). If he cannot, that could kill the illusion completely for me, but other than that he's certainly shown he's got the acting chops, even behind a rigid mask.