On Friday, The Hollywood Reporter broke news that actor Chris Evans (Fantastic Four, Sunshine) had been offered the role of Steve Rogers in the upcoming Captain America and The Avengers films. Today THR confirmed that Evans has accepted the role, following one of the most exhaustive and covered casting searches in recent memory. For a while there, it seemed like every young actor in Hollywood was up for the role of Cap; from The Office‘s John Krasinski, to 90’s washout Ryan Phillippe and two-by-four Channing Tatum.
Joe Johnston’s The First Avenger: Captain America will be an origin story set during the Second World War. We’ll get to see Steve Rogers transform from a scrawny draftee into the ultimate allied soldier, thanks to the aptly named Super Soldier serum. The newly minted Captain America will be pitted against the worst of the Third Reich, including his legendary nemesis The Red Skull, played by the awesome Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). As long as Cap gets to punch out Hitler at some point, I’ll be happy.
Despite the fact that Evans has already played a Marvel superhero (Johnny Storm in 20th Century Fox’s absymal and thankfully unrelated Fantastic Four films), I think he’s a really solid choice for Cap; especially the Ultimate universe/movie version of the character. We’ll be seeing quite a lot of Evans as Cap over the next few years; in addition to playing Steve Rogers in The First Avenger, The Avengers and their potential sequels, he’s also sure to cameo in the other Marvel films coming down the pipe, like Kenneth Branagh’s Thor.
Evans has potential, plus he’s no stranger to comic book films, having starred in two Fantastic Four movies and the upcoming adaptations The Losers and Scott Pilgrim. My only concern is that the guy has made a career out of playing the smart ass. Captain America isn’t a smart ass, he’s a bad ass. The Avengers film will see all of the characters from the recent and upcoming Marvel films (Iron Man, Thor, Nick Fury, Black Widow, The Hulk, Captain America and a few others) come together in one film, with Cap as their leader. In terms of their roles within The Avengers team, Steve Rogers is the cool and collected leader, whereas Tony Stark is the wildcard with a sense of humour. Cap is the straight man, Abbott to Iron Man’s Costello if you will. It’s a great dynamic in the comics, but holding your own against Robert Downey Jr. in full Tony Stark mode on screen is going to be tough. We’ll see if Evans can pull it off.
The First Avenger: Captain America starts filming in June with a planned release date of July 22nd 2011.