Yeegads, is this whole “First Avenger: Captain America” casting situation turning into a confusing muddle of titanic proportions, or what? It would probably be easier, at this point, for me to simply name young male actors not rumoured to be donning the character’s blue, red and white tights than keep up with the litany of talents currently circling the role.
To wit, the most prominent names associated with the project so far are: John Krasinski (“The Office”), Garret Hedlund (“Tron: Legacy”), Chace Crawford (“Gossip Girl”), Chris Evans (“Fantastic Four”), Michael Cassidy (“Smallville”), Wilson Bethel (“Generation Kill”), Scott Porter (“Friday Night Lights”), Jensen Ackles (“Supernatural”) and Mike Vogel (“She Out of My League”).
Today Hitfix added another to the tally with 35-year-old Ryan Phillippe, who the site states is now a confirmed contender to sling Cap’s trusty shield.
Then, as if one more wasn’t enough, Mike Fleming over at Deadline Hollywood reported that Marvel “has made an approach” to Channing Tatum — he of “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” “Fighting” and “Dear John” fame.
So how do these two stack up in regards to suitability? As far as Phillippe goes, I think he’s got the acting chops to pull off the role. Despite some fairly vanilla acting turns in his youthful salad days, he’s since shown remarkable promise in a number of major vehicles, including “Crash,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” “The Way of the Gun” and the little-seen spy thriller “Breach.” However, at 5’9”, he’s just too short-of-stature to play the strapping mega-athletic avenger and might also be seen as a bit long-in-the-tooth for the character — who is being written as a fairly young man. I’m not surprised that his name has popped up, but he seems like a pretty big dark horse.
As for Tatum, his strengths are the exact opposite of Phillippe’s in that he’s physically ideal, but has shown a frustrating inability to inject much charisma or life into any of his performances. Put him in the costume and he’ll look like the comic-book come-to-life, but have him start delivering his lines and you’ll swear that he’s been swapped with a life-size mahogany replica. The poor lad would be utterly blown off screen opposite Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull (Or Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in “The Avengers,” for that matter) and that just won’t do.
I wish they’d just give the job to Chris Evans, who has the look AND the personality necessary to do justice to the Captain America we all know and love. The dude’s got charm out the ying-yang and anyone who saw Danny Boyle’s “Sunshine” knows that he can convincingly play a commanding leader-type — which is exactly what the role desperately requires. It’s unfortunate that his past-employment as Johnny Storm in the two “Fantastic Four” films will probably work against him, however I say if Ryan Reynolds can portray both Green Lantern and Deadpool, Evans should be afforded the same luxury.
With a July 22, 2011, release-date still seemingly written in stone, things are probably getting mighty frantic over at Marvel HQ. I’d expect we’re going to see a few more names tossed into the ring over the coming days, but I’m fairly confident that, as time is rapidly dwindling away, a final decision is just barely around the corner.
That said, you can bet that, as your read this, Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker and Chris Klein are making some pretty serious phone calls …
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.