Who has been, reportedly, in the frame for the Captain America role? A better question might be who HASN’T been up for the role. The winged mask of the star-spangled Avenger is one that most of the cream of Hollywood’s leading, and up-and-coming men, have been lining up to don. Anticipation is at a fever-pitch for the announcement that is, hopefully, soon to be made.
Director Joe Johnston is currently at the pre-production and casting stage of the movie currently titled “The First Avenger: Captain America” (did they learn nothing from “X-Men Origins: Wolver-zzzzzz…”?). In recent interviews, whilst doing press for his current film “The Wolfman,” Johnston has said that they are down to a shortlist of candidates for the role.
One notable rumour of who is on that shortlist is Captain James Tiberius Kirk himself, Chris Pine. Already shouldering a burgeoning new franchise with the rebooted “Star Trek” and set for the role of the new Jack Ryan, it can be argued Pine is turning out to be the Harrison Ford of his generation — with multiple franchises on the go. Although Pine’s representatives have since denied any offer has been made, he is definitely a strong contender.
A fan favourite in some circles is “Supernatural” star Jensen Ackles. For me, though, Ackles just doesn’t have anything special about him. Sure, he may look All-American — as would befit The Captain — but so does every other blonde-haired, blue-eyed dime-a-dozen actor who’s walked into auditions.
The “killer” rumour for me, though, has to be of Ryan McPartlin. A relative unknown unless you are a fan of NBC show “Chuck” (and if you aren’t, why not?), McPartlin’s character is, ironically, called Captain Awesome. And even though his role on the show is primarily a comedic one, I can easily see him being able to take on the commanding, confident role of The First Avenger. I could readily imagine him taking on a more serious role like Captain America, and at 34 years of age, he easily fills the quota as the eventual leader of the Avengers. Pine in comparison is 29, which granted is not a drastically young age for a leading man superhero-type. But as I said, this man needs to be able to lead and command The Avengers. He needs to be able to put Tony Stark in his place, yank the god of Thunder down from his high horse and knock some sense into The Hulk when needed. I can see, and would love to see, McPartlin doing that. Some people may only be able to see him in a comedy capacity, but under the tutelage of Johnston he could own the role.
Obviously, McPartlin has played down the idea of being cast as Captain America, yet interestingly acknowledged that he’d read for the role. Want a juicy (I think) piece of evidence that McPartlin is a lock for the role? Well answer me this, why would a relatively-unknown actor be invited to the premiere of a certain director’s new film — “The Wolfman” — if he isn’t in advanced or completed talks about the director’s next film?
With the film currently slated for a June 22, 2011, release and filming due to begin in the summer, a casting announcement is imminent. After the brilliant and criminally underrated “The Rocketeer,” directed by Johnston, and the filmmakers saying they are aiming for a “Raiders of The Lost Ark” vibe, I am confident the film is in safe hands. But my choice? Pine would good … Ackles would be bad … but McPartlin would be Awesome!
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