October 03, 2008

Wrapped in the Flag

Comic Book Resources is running a poll on who should play Captain America in the new movie slated for 2010. So far, here are the results:

And I have to say, I don't like the idea of any of these guys as Captain America, even though many of them are actors I really enjoy and respect.

Pardon me while I think out loud for a bit.

Here's the deal: Captain America is a scrawny blonde-haired, blue-eyed kid who grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan during the Great Depression who gets injected with some super steroids by Uncle Sam to become a patriotic juggernaut against the forces of tyranny during the 2nd World War before being frozen in suspended animation and thawed out in modern times. He's like a character out of a Mickey Rooney movie who gets transformed into the one superhero that every other superhero instantly defers to as soon as they're in his presence.

May favorite line about Captain America comes from the 1st issue of Mark Millar's genius re-imagining of The Avengers in "The Ultimates", where a paratrooper about to be dropped into a Nazi hot zone calls Cap crazy to his sidekick, Bucky Barnes, for not wearing a parachute.

Bucky just laughs and says "Cap things chutes are for sissies."

Or, better yet, towards the end of that same series, where a villain demands that he surrender, a bloodied Cap points to the "A" printed on his mask and shouts:

"You think this letter on my head stands for FRANCE?!?!?!"

So, which of those actors can you imagine believably pulling off that role in the same way that you just nodded in total agreement about the casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man? Honestly, the closest to it would be Matthew McConaughey - he's whitebread enough and, judging by his performance in "Reign of Fire" he can do intensity, but he's bit too southern to play a New Yorker, and he doesn't really have the steel in his eyes that I would want for that character.

Aaron Eckhart is pretty close, but just perhaps a bit older than I would want, simply because I have a hard time seeing him doing much of the fighting & stuntwork that goes into Captain America. Although, to be perfectly honest, Tim Roth did a great job as kind of a proto-super soldier in "The Incredible Hulk" this summer, but that was only in one scene against a CGI Hulk. Personally, I want the scene where Cap wades into a gang of 30 Hydra agents and hands them their collective asses like a red-white-and-blue fighting whirling dervish, and I want it as authentic as the fighting Messrs. Bale & Nolan put together in "The Dark Knight".

I love Wil Smith, but, I'm sorry, Captain America is not Black. Period.

Hmmm. Eric Bana? No, that would be like casting a Yankee to play James Bond.

Frankly, I don't think you need a big name. In fact, I think it's better that you go with an unknown and let him create the role.

How about Timothy Olyphant? Anybody who's seen "Deadwood" knows he's an intense bugger, can get physical, and is a heck of an actor. But, to be perfectly honest, I really want him for "Green Lantern" - he was born to play cocky test pilot Hal Jordan.

OK, now I'm really rambling. :-) I'll have a LOT more to say about Green Lantern at a later date.

The short answer is "Go with an unknown, Marvel". Captain America is not Iron Man. Everybody knows who that character is, so you don't need a star to sell the movie.
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