Wait, don’t answer that. (I’m serious, please don’t.)
Anyway, in what must most definitely count as geekpr0n, Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive new look at the first publicity shots for Captain America: The First Avenger, one of several highly anticipated superhero movies coming up next year. For all you Chris Evans detractors, he’s looking extremely good as the Sentinel of Liberty! See what I mean, and more (much more!) of Evans, below.
I must admit, even as a huge Chris Evans fan – guess which Evil Ex I’m going as this Halloween? – I had my reservations about his casting as Steve Rogers in Captain America. I was concerned that he just didn’t have the right look for the part, the kind of inherent charisma that would make him the perfect choice for the man who would one day lead the Avengers (though as I mentioned before, thanks to Robert Downey, Jr., it seems clear that the Avengers will be led by Iron Man).
That being said, I am loving this cover photo. There’s a certain kind of grit in his expression that suggests he is more than just a superhero in a colourful costume, he’s a soldier and he’s seen war. There’s an aged look in his otherwise youthful face, which is exactly the kind of countenance one would expect from a man that would be frozen in ice and reappear in the modern day, out of time. Finally, there he seems comfortable holding the famed shield, but of course it’s more crucial how he uses it, and a photo can’t tell us that.
I’m also glad Entertainment Weekly gives us a glimpse at another side of Captain America, and this is the Chris Evans most of us are more familiar with. Smiling, cheered on, not yet hardened by the horrors of war, this image of Evans as Steve Rogers suggests exactly why he is perfectly cast for the role. As an origin story, we tend to forget the need to show Rogers as he first began, an idealistic youth hoping to serve his country despite his physical limitations. Even after the transformation with the Super-Soldier Serum, Rogers is still the same idealist – believing in the American Dream. There’s none of Johnny Storm’s cockiness in this pic – Chris Evans has shed his old superhero persona and developed a more humble, grounded individual – Steve Rogers.
In all the Captain America origin stories, there has been a shot of the once-frail Rogers becoming a peak-human athlete, and this shot of his muscular upper body would make any fan, male or female, want to see more. Or maybe it’s just me.
Aside from Chris Evans, EW also gives us a first look at two other main characters in the story.
Firstly, the love interest, Peggy Carter. Played by English actress Hayley Atwell, last seen in 2008’s The Duchess alongside Kiera Knightley, the comics has her as a French resistance fighter who has a mutual romantic attraction with Steve Rogers. In this movie, she has been given the rank of Major, which may suggest that her origins in the movie differ from the comic – a minor quibble. Interestingly enough, Peggy Carter is supposed to resemble her niece and later Captain America love interest Sharon Carter. It will be interesting to see if Hayley Atwell gets to play two women from two generations in future Captain America movies.
(Interestingly enough, she resembles Scarlett Johansson in this particular picture. I wonder if that was intentional.)
Last, but most certainly not least, the nemesis – Johann Schmitt, better known as the Red Skull. A casting coup if there ever was one, Hugo Weaving is no stranger to geeks and was certifiably the biggest selling point of the movie at Comic-Con 2010 with his definitive portrayal of the German antagonist. In a Comic-Con interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Joe Johnston had revealed that Red Skull would be in charge of (if not the founder of) a branch of the Nazi army known as HYDRA, which would later become an international terrorist organisation. In this EW pic, we also have further proof of the Red Skull’s involvement with HYDRA, with the symbol clearly depicted on his left sleeve.
(I’m not sure how I feel about this, honestly, but perhaps I’ll share my thoughts on HYDRA’s clearly major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in another post.)
Needless to say, these pictures have definitely gone a long way in assuring fans that the movie is in good hands. It’s going to be a long, but exciting wait till it opens on 22 July 2011!