The Problem With Captain America That No One is Talking About
By now you've no doubt heard that Marvel has tapped Chris Evans to play Captain America in The First Avenger: Captain America. If he accepts the nine (nine!) film deal that he's being offered, Evans will join the Marvel universe for a second time--he was Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four--and keep the anti-Channing Tatum contingent from burning Hollywood to the ground. That's all well and good obviously, and Evans is actually good for the role (even the geeks agree!), but there's seems to be an even bigger problem with this planned summer 2011 tentpole than who dons the red, white and blue tights. Namely, Joe Johnston.
Obviously Marvel can't get big name directors for every one of their properties (see Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk), but doesn't Captain America rate a tad higher in the Marvel hierarchy than Thor? Yet the latter film has Academy Award-nominee Kenneth Branagh behind the lens, while the former has the guy who directed Jurassic Park III.
While announcing Johnston as the choice, Marvel's Kevin Feige highlighted his special effects work on the original Star Wars and in Raiders of the Lost Ark before mentioning movies he actually directed, like The Rocketeer. That's a problem. Having a third-stringer like Johnston mold one of the biggest properties in the Marvel stable feels more than just extremely odd; it's short-sighted and downright foolish. Perhaps the geeks should stop worrying about who plays Captain America and start worrying about the movie itself. Unless, of course, they're fine with seeing "From the director of The Wolf Man" above the title come 2011.