Captain America: The First Avenger: SDCC Preview

Posted by Grey Friday, July 30, 2010

It pays to be patriotic. But it certainly has been a long ride for Captain America to stay around in the comic world to have his first live-action (yes, we have successfully lobotomized our brain to remove memories from the dreadful 1990's monstrosity) feature film.

Good ol' Cap opened for the tremendously well-received Marvel panel at San Diego Comic-Con, being the eponymous first avenger and all (in actual comic continuity, he's in fact the sixth. And if you want to argue that he's called that for being around for the longest time, that's just a weak argument. I'm not going to drop names like Namor the Sub-Mariner, Hercules, or The Forgotten One, Gilgamesh, all immortal members of the team. But having another immortal god (Thor) even in the cinematic version makes the claim superfluous. It's not like Cap needs the namesake to be cooler or something.).

Anyway, after only weeks of shooting begun, nobody was actually looking for any teaser clips for the movie, and all that added to the state of euphoria induced when director Joe Johnston (most recently, of "The Wolfman" fame), "Steve Rogers" himself, Chris Evans and "Red Skull" Hugo Weaving, along with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige presented to the crowd at Hall H a brief though nonetheless teaser trailer clip from the film. Compbining old World War II newsreel footage with the famous "Days Of Infamy Speech" by then-United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the short gradually begun to display Cap's shield as title cards read: "Our Courage and Strength Led Us Into Battle. Stories Emerged of Heroes, But One Story Has Never Been Told." The scene then cut to a shot of Captain America's silhouette as Tommy Lee Jones, in his Col. Chester Phillips role, spoke in voiceover, "Today we're going to make the best army in history. And every great army starts with one man." Another title card appeared with the message: "Next Summer, Meet the First Avenger" Then Cap has a close-up shot and toss his shield at the camera and the screen faded to black.

And when fans thought they have already gotten the money shot, they have to re-evaluate their lucky day as Feige brought out another short actual footage to show off to the crowd. A short scene depicting Weaving's turn as Johann Schmidt, pre-Red Skull era, who led a team of Nazi soldiers as they storm a catacomb and open a sarcophagus to reveal a skeleton holding what appears to be the Cosmic Cube. Claiming the the artifact is part of “the jewel of Odin’s treasure room.”

Pretty promising stuff. Evans himself have also briefly explained that Cap will be having constant outfit and shield change throughout the movie.

"It's a World War II movie, so I think a little bit of a cumbersome feel to it and something that's a bit chunkier … not only serves the time period, I think it looks better. It's not this sleek spandex suit. It looks like something you might wear in the '40s in the middle of a war." … "There's a couple stages and initially in the script, Steve isn't Captain America right away. He gets the injection and isn't asked to go to war right off the bat. He's used in different areas and different facets, so he has different stages of the suit. I don't think he actually jumps into the final suit until the third act of the film.
"Well, during the USO tour, there's obviously a different shield. And he goes on a couple missions, he goes AWOL and kind of takes the USO shield. And eventually, once he's kind of allowed to be this soldier, and they outfit him with the new uniform, they decide to outfit him with an updated shield."
Along with Thor's helmet and the incredulous Infinity Gauntlet props, Cap's shield was also on full-demonstration at the San Diego Comic-Con too.



An official art piece released by Marvel.



Interestingly, Joss Whedon, who will be directing 2012's, for lack of a better word, Marvelous Superhero epic, Avengers, have this to say, with regard to the team dynamics in the contemporary cinematic set-up when approached by iO9.com.

I'm really excited about your vision for The Avengers and how it's really a broken family...or a family...

Broken is okay.

Is there any way you could expand on that just a tiny bit for us?

It just really just goes back to the very first incarnation of The Avengers. It goes to The Ultimates, it goes to everything about it. It makes no sense, it's ridiculous. There's a thunder god, there's a green "ID" giant rage monster, there's Captain America from the 40s, there's Tony Stark who definitely doesn't get along with anybody. Ultimately these people don't belong together and the whole movie is about finding yourself from community. And finding that you not only belong together but you need each other, very much. Obviously this will be expressed through punching but it will be the heart of the film.

Are you tempted to pin [play with] the Civil War with Captain American and Iron Man against each other?

You know Civil War comes from what's great about the dynamic between them. And so does The Avengers, they definitely are at odds. But it's not a Civil War thing because it existed before that, at least in my mind. They are two very different definitions of a person. One is a self-made man, a modern man, a rockstar. The other is a World War 2 grunt, just trying to do his part. They couldn't have more different views of the world. That will just end up in fun. It ended up in Civil War in the comics, in my movie it will be witty banter.

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