13.Jun.2008 Captain America casting news and rumors (and/or, one die-hard fan’s view the Cap movie!)
So, according to Latino Review, Marvel is looking for an uber-large star to fill the shoes of Steve Rogers for the upcoming film based on founding Avenger Captain America. The frontrunner, according to the rumor/article, is Leonardo DiCaprio with Brad Pitt a close runner-up for Steve Rogers’ boots—or apparently as Thor.
Now before I get a bit ranty and give you all my casting and plot ideas for a Captain America flick, let me just preface this whole thing by saying that Steve Rogers’ Captain America is my superhero. I’m of the opinion that every comic book fan has that one hero that they have a link to that’s so strong it’s inherently part of who they are and the whole reason they read comics: to me, that’s Captain America. As big a Spider-Man, X-Men and Hulk fan that I am, I could stomach some less-than-good parts in all these franchises by telling myself that Hollywood has to change certain things in translation for a mass audience. For a Cap movie, I can’t—cannot—have that be the case. I need a Cap movie to be an amazingly well done superhero epic or I will freak out. Seriously.
So, as far as Leo goes, I have to agree with the duderino over at Latino Review…
I personally believe DiCaprio is an odd choice. To me, Leo’s tall and lanky figure is perfect for Steve Rogers pre-super soldier serum but I wonder how they are going to make Leo look like a bulked up super soldier.
…I also agree that Leo’s got the acting chops to really pull off this role, but he’s just too darn thin!
This dude is thick! Beefy even!
As for Brad Pitt, I think he’s a great actor and proved he can be a bad ass with a shield in “Troy,” but I think he’s a bit too old and not quite “super” enough looking to portray a super soldier. However, I can see either of these two in the role (despite my feelings that they aren’t the best choice) and neither of these two choices make me have to vomit—hard, for nine days—like the Cap-casting rumors about Matthew McConaughey did. So, that’s a plus!
Still, I’m not sure a BIG BIG name portraying Steve Rogers would really work best for a Captain America film. I think a Captain America film’s greatest asset has to be it’s story. A great story that makes sense of a man misplaced in time who is a paragon of American idealism and moral virtue is the essential ingredient for a Cap film. “Iron Man” had a great story, but even if it hadn’t been so perfect, the big acting talent—well-suited to the film and character and feel of the comic they were portraying—could’ve pulled it off. Tony Stark/Iron Man feels like a character and property best handled by big Hollywood names. He’s the shiny Avenger so give him the big shiny Hollywood movie! Cap is a classic. He’s a hero that I think could easily be misused in the hands of a super-Hollywoody film. Don’t get me wrong, i want a big budget for my favorite hero’s flick, I just don’t want the mentality of big-budget Hollywood behind it.
So, my Cap-casting advice would be to get someone who fits into the Steve Rogers camp. You do a “Superman Returns”/Chris Reeve thing and get a no-name actor that can become Captain America just like the U.S. Government got Steve Rogers and made him into that symbol—like they made him Captain America.
Now, if you’ve been paying attention to what Wizard TV‘s been up to, then you likely saw “Friday Night Lights” and “Speed Racer” star Scott Porter doing some interviews over at Wizard World Philly. Now, Scott doesn’t fit my no-name actor criteria for the role, but he was lobbying hard in some of those interviews to get himself cast as Captain America (can’t blame a guy for trying!). I think Scott could be a good choice to play a young, World War II era Cap, though I think a modern Cap needs to look like he’s got a bit more mileage on him (being frozen for 40 or more years’ll do that to ya!). Scott’s got the uber-American, wholesome look to pull off the look of one young man symbolizing the good ol’ U.S. of A., and really impressed me by calling out Joe Q on the reveal of Kitty’s Astonishing “conclusion” three weeks earlier in Uncanny. He reads comics. He gets it. And, he’ll know how much a proper portrayal of Cap means to die-hard fans like myself. In that respect, I think he’d be a great frontrunner for a younger, pre-being-frozen Cap.
As far as timeline, in my opinion a Cap movie has to take place in both the WWII era and modern times. I think people need to see the gritty, war epic aspect of this character to understand him in a modern context. I’m not saying you need a Millar-style Ultimate Captain America, I just think understanding this man—who’s a war hero living in the future seeing what he fought to win for America and deciding why to fight for it again—is crucial to the character.
If you don’t understand WWII Cap then modern Cap can come across as kind of goofy. I mean, the guy punched out Hitler—a scene which has to be in the movie!—you cannot skip that aspect of him and what that means to every single character around him! He is the definition of superhero—the first superhero!
Based on some of that rambling, I think you need two or three people playing Steve Rogers in this film: You need the scrawny pre-serum Steve, the WWII era super-wholesome Steve and the modern war-torn (and slightly older and looking a bit world-weary) Steve. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think the WWE’s John Cena is the perfect physical specimen for Cap…
…but he could never pull off the acting tour-de-force needed for Steve Rogers. Do I have a set cast in mind? No, because I’m not sure the ranks of Hollywood hold it. I do think a lot of the actors being talked about for the role online and around this office (DiCaprio, Pitt, Damon) are a bit too small, but in the end, I think the key is capturing the eyes of Cap. You need to see the soul of America when you see the eyes of whoever portrays Cap, that’s the key!
In the end, Marvel’s definitely proved that they are on the right track with “Iron Man” and “Incredible Hulk” this summer, so I have faith. But, as a huge Cap fan, I am extremely nervous that the film could be easily ruined. With every other superhero movie that I’ve seen and liked, I think I’ve always been more open to whatever creative vision was put up there because I didn’t have my own, super-specific thoughts on exactly what the movie should be like. With Cap, I do and I’m worried that whatever’s delivered won’t capture the essence of Cap, and that’ll be a crime against my childhood I may not ever get over.