12 October 2007

My Captain America cast

Marvel has announced that after next year's release of the Iron Man movie, they will tackle a project they should have done long ago (and before Iron Man): a Captain America movie. There was a Captain America film in the early 1990s, but it skipped theatrical release and went straight to video. It's so awful that I have a feeling the Red Skull produced it just to smear Cap's honor. In fact, maybe director Albert Pyun actually is the Red Skull, trying to undermine the American film industry. It makes sense considerng his track record.

Anyway, a big budget, epic Captain America movie is long overdue.

If I made a Captain America movie, or at least wrote the script, I would set it during the Golden Age and have Cap battle the Red Skull during World War II. It could be a great re-imagining of WWII propaganda and pulp adventure with a dose of gritty modern realism. I think it could be astonishing, and it would duck the problem of getting Cap into the modern day and having to explain his origin in two timelines—and it would avoid havng to deal with weighty issues of patriotism vs. jingoism in our society that would get in the way of comic book action and just polarize viewers.

It would be possible for Marvel to give Cap an origin in contemporary time and ignore the World War II basis for the character entirely, but I think that would cheat Captain America of much of his appeal: he's an old-fashioned individual, forged in the "Good War," and thrown unexpectedly into the contemporary world, haunted by the death of his sidekick.

Regardless, I think Marvel will take a standard Silver Age approach: show Captain America's creation through Project: Rebirth during the War, and then move forward to today, where Cap is somehow revived from suspended animation.

I don't know (nor does Marvel at this time, I would wager) what other characters will appear in the movie. I think it's safe to say that the Red Skull will be the enemy. He's too great a villain to pass up, too iconic. Sharon Carter will probably also appear as the love interest.

Now, given this hypothetical movie, and two other characters whom I would love to see appear in the movie, I offer you this… (Click for the big version)

You might notice a character missing from the cast: Captain America himself. This is because I really haven't been able to visualize a current actor to play him. Every time I think of an actor who might be able to play him, warning bells go off in my head. Nobody seems "right." I think a newcomer should play the Star-Spangled Avenger, someone about whom the audience would have zero preconceptions. The filmmakers need to find a fresh face who fits the part as well as Christopher Reeve fit Superman.

Yes, I could have also cast someone as the Falcon, Cap's longtime crimefighting partner in the silver age. However, I think that adding the Falcon into the mix in a first movie would overload the film—I don't want a Spider-Man 3 overstuffed Chicago-style pizza. Falcon would be great for a second film, however.

Anyway… Marvel, if you're watching, I think this is an awesome cast. Kretschmann and Biel are simply perfect.