— by CAM SMITH —
While there’s been an abundance of swirling buzz emanating from assorted fan-driven internet circles for DC’s “Green Lantern” film and both Marvel’s Kenneth Branagh-helmed “Thor” and their 2012-planned superhero extravaganza “The Avengers,” the word on “First Avenger: Captain America” has been downright restrained.
For my geek dollar, that latter project is by far the most intriguing movie in the Marvel pipeline, not to mention the toughest sell. In an era where the world’s largest, most prominent superpower is bitterly criticized and detested by so many voluble voices abroad — a large chunk of potential ticket-buying revenue — how does one go about building a huge-budget tent-pole honoring a character so thoroughly tied to the principles and values of that very country? Especially one literally cloaked in red, white and blue?
In a brief morsel of an update from Fangoria, included at the tail-end (no pun intended) of their piece on “The Wolf Man,” they mention that director Joe Johnston — who will also be responsible for giving Cap his stars and garters on-screen — was apparently doing press from “the art department of ‘First Avenger: Captain America.’” Not much more is said, other than that the picture is aiming for a June 2010 filming start-date.
Although Johnston may seem like an odd — even discouraging — choice for the film, anyone old enough to recall his criminally underrated and underseen 1991 rolicking Disney adventure “The Rocketeer” will realize that he’s the perfect candidate to deliver a rousing, pulpy, heartfelt period-era action blockbuster. After the high-tech excitement of the “Iron Man” films and Chris Nolan’s grimly intense “Batman” flicks, it might be refreshing to see a colorful superhero movie follow in the increasingly desecrated footsteps of the “Indiana Jones” series and deliver a straight-up, grinning popcorn epic featuring a square-jawed, two-fisted hero taking on the dastardly, scenery-chewing villainy of the Nazis.
Recent, largely unfounded, rumors have been honing in on “Avatar” star Sam Worthington to don Cap’s winged mask. Though the actor has been quick to shoot them down, that doesn’t exactly mean he’s not being eyed for it — he could possibly just be keeping quiet until ink hits paper. Personally, I think he’s a great choice. He’s got the stature, stoic persona and physicality to pull it off. Plus, he’s an Aussie, which may help slightly placate the response from outside the U.S. of A.
In the meantime, take a gander at Devin Faraci from CHUD’s interesting – and somewhat unexpected – speculation as to what form “First Avenger” could take, and then do your fair duty and light up our comments section with your own choices of which villain(s) you’d like to see on the receiving end of Cap’s mighty shield. Red Skull? Baron Zemo? HYDRA? Crossbones? Slug? Hitler!? Don’t be shy!
You gotta admit, it’s pretty exciting and amazing to think that in a few short years we’ll have a better live-action “Captain America” feature than this:
(Artwork by Alex Ross)
Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.