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Entertainment Weekly broke a new image of the Red Skull played by Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) in one of the highest anticipated superhero movies of all time, Captain America: The First Avenger. I have to admit, the Skull looks pretty stellar. Weaving is still recognizable and it’s a great homage to the classic Red Skull. As far as super villains go, he looks right up there with Heath Ledger’s Joker. I’m becoming a believer.
Below is an article interviewing Director Joe Johnston by Entertainment Weekly:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The strength of heroes is often found in their weaknesses. What vulnerabilities does Captain America have that make him interesting and relatable?
JOE JOHNSTON: What I like is he’s not a superhero in the true sense of the word. He becomes a superhero but doesn’t have any super powers. He is just the best possible, human specimen. Imagine the fastest, strongest Olympian athlete. Add 30 percent. That’s Steve Rogers.
The movie is set during World War II, when there was great pressure on men to fight, but Steve is physically frail at the beginning and the military doesn’t even want him.
The thing that appeals to me is he is everyman. He’s a 98-pound weakling. All he really wants to do is the right thing and serve his country and [at first] nobody wants him because he’s too weak. He’s been picked on all his life. But he’s a guy who never gives up. That’s his trademark.
After he gets the super-soldier injection, that’s when he becomes the only hope of stopping the Nazis’ Red Skull. Is part of what makes him a hero that he remembers what it was like to be pushed around?
Yeah, for Steve Rogers it’s a very personal thing. At one point he says, “I don’t like bullies, I don’t care where they’re from.” He makes a complete physical transformation to a perfect human specimen. But inside he doesn’t change at all. It must be tempting to go back and say “I’m going to get that guy who beat me up in high school.” He does get revenge in the film, but on the Nazis — not on people who maybe picked on him. Before he gets the injection, the doctor tells him: “Whatever happens, stay who you are.”
The first issue of Captain America in the Marvel Comics featured him punching Hitler in the jaw. That was March 1941, well before the U.S. even entered the war. Is there still a political side to Cap?
He was created as propaganda tool, but he soon became much more than that. There are all these incarnations over the decades, but the film is not a flag waver. It’s about a guy who wants to do the right thing, and that transcends all nationalities and borders. He’s going to do the right thing no matter what flag is on his chest.
How do you feel about the title being changed to The First Avenger for release internationally?
There was some concern [the name] Captain America will not play in certain countries. If it were up to me I wouldn’t thread the needle so carefully. I’d call it Captain America, since that’s what it is.
Chris Evans was also in Marvel’s Fantastic Four movies as human flame Johnny Storm. Did that work for or against him in casting, since Cap is much more of a noble, upstanding good-guy?
The character is bigger than any actor. I always saw it as an advantage that Chris Evans wasn’t a household name. When you pick someone not so well known, he’s not bringing a lot of baggage to the role. I cast him in what I seen him do in other projects. He brought a whole other layer to what was on the page, and it’s been great watching him become that character.
Did you have to think much about the upcoming Avengers movie when working onCaptain America?
I really didn’t. Because this was a period film, because this was the origin story, I didn’t have to worry about the Avengers which was a present day story. We have present-day bookends and bring Cap back at the end and then I basically hand him off. And The Avengers is its own thing.
As a fan, and someone who is creating a critical ingredient, what do you expect from this clash of characters in The Avengers?
The fact that they are all so different is what will make it exciting. You bring these elements together and they all have different outlooks and come from different worlds. I think there is an opportunity for conflict within the group. There’s gotta be. It’s not the Boy Scouts. [Laughs] There’s going to be rivalry and certain amount of infighting and conflict. Like I say I’m going to be there as an audience member like anybody else.
Does working on a superhero movie deplete your interest in superheroes?
I’ve had other offers for movies like this and usually turned them down. To me there’s something less interesting about a guy who can fly, and throw tanks around, and stuff like that. The reason I wanted to do this one is he is so relatable. I can relate to him. Maybe it’s every kid’s dream to go into a pod and come out looking like Captain America. [Laughs] And you don’t even have to exercise or lift weights! It’s great!
How do you relate to someone who can fly, and is bulletproof, and can throw tanks around?
Movies like that are a lot harder to do, because how you make someone like that vulnerable? Someone like Superman. I don’t know if that’s the best example, but it’s certainly the one that comes to mind. How do you make a guy who is invincible seem real? Kryptonite, that is his one weakness, but I don’t know. It’s much easier with a guy like Steve Rogers who has all kinds of built in weaknesses, because of who he was and how he grew up.
There was a previous Captain America movie in 1990, starring Matt Salinger [coincidentally, the son of author J.D. Salinger]. Not many people have seen it, but did you take a look…?
No, no … It’s something they chose to not make a big deal about. The guys at Marvel said,”Nah don’t even bother. It’s so unlike anything we’re doing with the character now.”
Was it worth watching if only to see what not to do?
No, we’re perfectly capable of making our own mistakes!
Hero Complex now has an officially released, good clean shot of James ‘Bucky’ Barnes (standing right of Cap). He is being played by 27-year-old actor Sebastian Stan. Reminder that there will be a short trailer airing during the Super Bowl! Let us know what you think so far!
Entertainment Weekly revealed one of the first shots of Chris Evans as Captain America. This is one of the highest anticipated comic book adaptation of all time and Marvel is hoping that it will spearhead gigantic momentum leading up to the future Avengers movie. This origins story is set in World War II and presumably will end in the 21st century. EW is teasing us with this partial shot but I am sure his full uniform will be revealed soon. We saw the actual shield at Comic Con and it was pretty stellar. Captain America: The First Avenger is scheduled to open June 25th 2011.
Director Christopher Nolan has been stirring up some DC news of his own with updates on the mega-hit Batman franchise. He announced that the title of this third installment will be The Dark Knight Rises. Warner Bros is pressuring Nolan to follow the 3-D trend but he is resisting (good for him). The only other piece of news Nolan revealed was that the villain WILL NOT be the Riddler. Dark Knight Rises is scheduled to release on June 20th 2012.
Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Director Peter Jackson has some news of his own with the long overdue The Hobbit. After a year of preparation, Director Guillermo del Toro left the movie, halting production. Peter Jackson has returned to build on the LOTRs mythology which only seems right. He announced that Martin Freeman will play Bilbo Baggins. comedic actor Freeman was a fan favorite across the pond and should do a fantastic job. Jackson also announced that The Hobbit will stay in New Zealand. It will also be done in two parts with the first being released December of 2012.
The internet is buzzin this morning with a cover pic of Chris Evans in the Captain America Costume. Just in time for Halloween!
A Film synopsis from EW:
The year is 1942, and Steve Rogers is a scrawny lad who desperately wants to fight Nazis for his country but can’t because he’s been deemed physically unfit. His fate — and his physique — is radically transformed when he signs up for Project: Rebirth, a secret military operation that turns wimps into studs using drugs and assorted sci-fi hoo-ha. There’s a love interest (Major Peggy Carter, played Haley Atwell), there’s a sidekick (Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stans), and there’s the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), Hitler’s treacherous head of advanced weaponry, whose own plan for world domination involves a magical object known as The Tesseract (comic fans know it better as The Cosmic Cube)
“Hitler gave Schmidt an unique uniform with a grotesque red skull mask, and he emerged as the Red Skull. His role was the embodiment of Nazi intimidation, while Hitler could remain the popular leader of Germany. … He was spectacularly successful, wreaking havoc throughout Europe in the early stages of World War II. The propaganda effect was so great that the United States government decided to counter it by creating their own equivalent using the recipient of the lost Project Rebirth, Steve Rogers, Captain America. The two counterparts soon clashed in what would be a series of engagements throughout the war, ending with a final battle that left the Skull buried under the rubble of a bombed building. Because he was immediately exposed to an experimental gas there, he remained in suspended animation for decades. Johann was eventually rescued in modern times by the terrorist organization, HYDRA. The Skull quickly subverted a cell to his own ambitions of world conquest and the death of Captain America. “