People Tell Me I Look Like Han Solo.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
  More Captain America casting rumors
I make no secret of my geekiness, and, as I’ve mentioned here numerous times, I’m closely following the production of Marvel Studios’ potential blockbusters set for next summer, Thor, which is about the Norse god of thunder exiled on modern-day Earth, and The First Avenger: Captain America, which is about, well Captain America, and is largely set during World War II (it also apparently ties into Iron Man 2 via Tony Stark’s father, in addition to leading into the planned Avengers movie). I like both characters, and I’m really excited about seeing Thor, Captain America and Iron Man all crossing over in the same movie universe; this is the sort of thing comic book fans have been dreaming about for decades.

On paper, Thor is the more difficult sell, as it combines superhero action and a more Lord of the Rings-like fantasy setting, with frost giants and other mystical creatures, which seems like a tricky balance for a superhero flick. Captain America, on the other hand, punches out Nazis in the Second World War and is frozen in a block of ice until he’s thawed out in the modern day by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, introduced in the post-credits scene in Iron Man), which sounds like a relatively easy film to pull off, at least compared to a movie that has to somehow fuse the more real-world vibe of Iron Man with a story, quite literally, of gods and monsters. But somehow Thor is the production that seems to be humming along nicely with a solid team of people behind it (it’s directed by Kenneth Branagh, stars relative unknown Chris Hemsworth as Thor and co-stars Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Stellan Skarsgård, Ray Stevenson and Idris Elba), while Captain America seems to be rife with problems: the film starts shooting in June and Marvel is still searching for its lead actor (though casting Hugo Weaving, who’s in final talks to play the evil Red Skull, is brilliant), and director Joe Johsnston, who last helmed the flop The Wolfman (though he came onto that film with a couple of weeks to go before shooting, so he can hardly be held responsible for its performance, and it’s actually quite a good movie), has reportedly been butting heads with Marvel over the casting and the budget, and I’ve heard rumblings that the Captain America script is fairly underwhelming.

A few weeks back I mentioned a list of actors Marvel was bringing in for screen tests, which included Jon Krasinski of The Office (a choice that, as much as I railed against it initially, I have to admit is growing on me a little bit). At the time it was believed that the casting of Cap would be finalized any day, but here we are weeks later and all we know is that there are even more actors apparently being considered for the role, the latest being Ryan Phillipe, Chris Evans and Dear John’s Channing Tatum. Given the parade of actors gunning to fill the Star-Spangled Avenger’s tights, as well as my interest in all things Marvel-related, I thought I’d give my thoughts on some of the actors rumored to be up for Cap.

Channing Tatum. This guy is one of the new additions to the list of OHPLEASENOpeople Marvel has apparently approached, and I hate it. Tatum, who I keep hearing is actually a very good actor, has sucked in the stuff I’ve seen him in. He was the dead weight in the otherwise fun G.I. Joe, and given how similar the characters of Duke and Cap are (charismatic soldier and leader of men), I really don’t need to see the Marvel movie universe sullied by a Captain Marblemouth film. I get that someone up high has decided that Tatum will be a star, I just want him to do it as far away from Marvel Studios as possible.

Ryan Phillippe. He seems too physically small to play Captain America (who’s usually portrayed as a tall, beefy guy) but otherwise he has the right look. I have no doubt Phillippe would bulk up for the role, but purely in terms of height his Cap would probably seem tiny, especially next to Hemsworth (who looks massive in everything I’ve seen him in, like A Perfect Getaway and Star Trek), who plays Thor, one of the members, along with Iron Man, of the Avengers. Phillippe also seems a little bland to play a guy who is supposed to be, quite literally, an icon.

Chris Evans. Evans has already been in a Marvel franchise – his Human Torch is the best thing about the utterly the mediocre Fantastic Four movies – and he had powers in the excellent little sci-fi/action film Push (a likely future Under the Radar entry). And despite his good looks, he’s actually a fine actor as well; I thought he was just another pretty face until I saw him in Danny Boyle’s overlooked Sunshine (it’s like Event Horizon, but good), where he actually acts. He’s got the charisma and he looks like a superhero. Of all the actors said to be under consideration, Evans is probably my favorite.

The Supernatural guys. Supernatural co-star Jensen Either one of these guys is fine.Ackles is reportedly one of the contenders, and he certainly looks the part with his square jaw and Aryan good looks. As much as I think he’d do a fine job (he’s pretty great on from what I’ve seen of that show, and he’s also solid in the fun slasher flick My Bloody Valentine 3D), I actually think it’s his co-star, Jared Padalecki, who would make a better Captain America. He’s taller (he’s almost the same size as the hulking Jason in the Friday the 13th remake), and already solidly built, so he’s essentially just a peroxide bottle away from being Steve Rogers.

Jeremy Renner. The Hurt Locker star was reportedly in talks with Marvel for quite some time (sometimes rumored for Cap, sometimes for Hawkeye in The Avengers; it’s speculated the character turns up either in the Thor film or Captain America in a cameo), but word is the low salary Marvel’s offering, coupled with the apparent nine-picture deal required by the studio, turned off the recent Oscar nominee. I think Renner would probably make a better Hawkeye (the character is traditionally portrayed as a cocky smart-ass, which is right up Renner’s alley), but you could do a lot worse than having an Academy Award nominee and star of the recent Oscar darling playing Captain America. If it were up to me I’d pay Renner what he wants and give him the shield and get to it.

Garett Hedlund. The star of the upcoming Tron Legacy is apparently Marvel's apparent favoriteone of Marvel’s top choices for Captain America, but once again, he’s said to have balked at the studio’s low fee. His name’s still in the mix up though, and between the positive buzz Tron Legacy is building up online (and not just from yours truly) and the fact that he’s still in this discussion, it sounds like Marvel may try to meet Hedlund halfway. I dig the actor’s work (he’s great in Friday Night Lights and is solid enough in the underwhelming Troy), and again, he certainly has the right look. I think he’d make a pretty fantastic Captain America.

Ryan McPartlin. I’ve never seen Chuck, or McPartlin in anything else. All I’ve seen on the Internet are a lot of pictures of this guy with his shirt off, and he’s certainly blond, handsome and ripped. Who knows if he can act, but if I wanted a picture of a guy dressed as Captain America, I’m sure he’d be great.

Jon Krasinski. So a few weeks ago I went on about how I just couldn’t see Jim Captain Jim?from The Office as Captain America. Despite conflicting rumors that Krasinski has the inside track and that he’s all but out of the running entirely, he’s been stuck in my brain ever since I first heard his name come up. He sort of has a 1940s look to him, and he’s tall enough that he’s in no danger of being dwarfed by Robert Downey Jr. when standing with the rest of the Avengers. I’m still not sure he has the gravitas to be Captain America, but I’m slowly warming to the idea of Krasinski in the role, even if he’s starting to look like a longshot.

Mike Vogel. The fact that this guy is still being mentioned as a contender despite being something of a nonentity (I’ve seen both the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and Cloverfield, and I have literally no memory of Vogel in either of them, which does not bode well for him) suggests to me that he’s Marvel’s Plan B, C or D. I guess if he shaves his permanent 5 o’clock shadow he may look the part, but he seems to lack the onscreen presence to pull off a character as important as Captain America.

Dane Cook. This one, is probably nonsense (or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part). The only guy rumored to be in talks (the “rumor” seems to be generated by Cook’s own Twitter feed, so take it with the requisite amount of salt) that will make me, a dyed-in-the-wool Marvel geek, not go see a Captain America movie. I can think of few people worse for this role, and I don’t want to dignify the concept of Dane Cook playing Captain America any more than I already have, so I’ll just stop writing now, lest I get too worked up and give myself a stroke.

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