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With Chris Evans as Captain America, Marvel goes the rubber-faced route

March 22, 2010 |  7:39 pm

After seeing more jockeying and machinations than the health-care debate, Marvel has all but sealed a deal for Chris Evans to play Captain America. Most bloggers and journos are writing up the casting of the Fantastic Four actor as " 'Human Torch' gets cast as leading man," which we suppose is a slightly more diplomatic version of what many really wanted to say: "At least he's not Channing Tatum."

The interesting subtext here is that Marvel seems to be taking a step away from the recent trend in superhero casting. For a good chunk of the current comic-book renaissance, casting a lead role was about taking a hunky young unknown and seeing if he can act (like Brandon Routh, who it turned out couldn't, or Hugh Jackman, who could).

But more recently it's been about taking actors and seeing if they can play superhero (an experiment that for the most past has worked -- see under: Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Christian Bale as Batman). Evans marks a return to the lesser-known-hottie approach (literally -- the guy is credited as "Harvard Hottie" in the big-screen version of "The Nanny Diaries"). In fact, almost every one of the actors on the studio's short list, save perhaps for John Krasinski, is the chiseled, stone-faced type (the type formerly known as evincing modest acting skills and facial expression).

That's an approach that brings in a certain kind of younger female fan. But Captain America is a role that requires acting and comedy chops. As envisioned in the script, at least according to what we've been hearing, the title character isn't the unvarnished hero of the original WWII comic; he's a more marginalized type who's dissed a bit for his ingenue patriotism. Evans has a few substantive roles under his belt, including the indie "Loss of a Teardrop Diamond." Let's hope his turn here doesn't make us cry.

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Chris Evans with Dakota Fanning in "Push." Credit: Hirotake Okazaki / Summit Entertainment

Comments () | Archives (28)

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I like Evans. He's come a long way since F4 and Not Another Teen Movie. I think he can pull this off, and I like him, given many of the names that were thrown around. Watch him in "London" - he's good in a different type of role. I think, as Marvel does, that he can pull this off. *Fingers Crossed*

Nothing against Chris Evans but the idea of him as Captain America is laughable.Cap is supposed to be a hero that World War II Paratroopers,Rangers and Infantry Marines looked up to and were willing to follow.The role would be better suited to a more mature actor like Mark Valley or Jon Hamm.This will be a DVD watch at best.

AWFUL CASTING and pure lazyness for recycling a marvel actor. I will not see this or the other 9 movies they got him in because Hollywood hates comic book fans and do not respect the characters they love. And would they need to reboot the Fantastic 4 franchise if it was actually good??? NO they wouldn't, it sucked. So why cast someone who was responsible with the destruction of one franchise to take part in another, none the least 9 more movies. Wake me up in 2025 when they reboot the franchise again because this one sucked. MARK VALLEY FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA DANGIT!!!!

"But Captain America is a role that requires acting and comedy chops."

Comedy chops? Capt. America? I think you must have him confused for a different character. Either way, this movie is gonna suck. Recycling an actor from the crappy Fantastic Four movie franchise is a dumb move. They might as well have casted that pasty sparkly vampire from twilight.

Casting NO SUCCESS! (I didn't want to employ the overused "FAIL!")
The best thing to come out of this is how hilarious it will be when Krasinski shows up as the Capt. in this season's Halloween episode of The Office.

Chris Evans is a PERFECT choice for Captain America.

Just go watch 'Push'.

He's got a great sense of humor - and will be sure to inject it into Captain America who's generally been an over-the-top patriotic role.

I had heard that Jensen Ackles--of Supernatural fame--was being considered for the role. I'm kind of bummed that he didn't get it; I think he would have been a better choice. He's certainly proved his acting chops.

Jensen Ackles or Ryan McPartlin would both have been better choices for Capt. America. Casting someone who has already played another Superhero is a very, very bad idea. It will take something away from the CA character.

Mark Valley? Are you kidding me? This is about a YOUNG Captain America. Mark Valley rocks, but he's too old to be playing a rookie who just got the super soldier serum. Same for Ryan McPartlin. For that matter, Chris Evans is already kinda too old, because this should be someone closer to 20 than 30, but I'll reserve judgment until I actually see the movie.

They should have cast Sarah Palin.

Anyone who thinks Chris Evans can't act should rent Danny Boyle's 'Sunshine' and realize you're wrong.

I don't get it why people are blaming Chris Evans for the destruction of the Fantastic Four Franchise. Yes, he did an 'okay' job in poorly written script, directed by someone whose résumé consist of Barbershop and Taxi. So no, I don't think Chris Evans was responsible for the destruction of the the F4 franchise, I actually blame the poor casting of Jessica Alba and the direction that Tim Story took. But at least I'm patient enough for the movie to come out and judge for myself.

BTW, Jon Favreau played Foggy Nelson in the Daredevil film and Happy Hogan in Iron Man 2. Was that confusing? I didn't think so.

"But Captain America is a role that requires acting and comedy chops". Wrong....Captain America has no sense of humor whatsoever.

As I said on the other blog, but got deleted. Well I liked him in Push, he was funny in ffbut the issue becomes is he bankable.
Other folks may have more dollar potential.

Cruise became bankable after Taps with Risky Business, by 1986 he was golden.

Kilmer became banakable with Willow, Risky Business and and Top Gun, then the tides turned.

Their aren't too many golden boys or girls out there who you can say put them in and make 300 million. Remember Eddie Murphy is the top earner.

I wish him luck.

i'm curious to see what Chris Evans can bring to the role, but dont appreciate the Brandon Routh bashing, it wasnt his fault he didnt have great material to work with or the complete lack of action in Superman Returns, but the guy can act. I say Chris Evans may very well suprise everyone like Robert Downey Jr. did with Iron Man.

As a 30 year old female in the middle of demographics, I'm not real happy with the choice for the role. I don't feel Chris Evans can pull off the serious demeanor of Captain America without looking stiff doing it. A few female Marvel fans and I chatted about the choice and the unanimous sentiment was "Chris Evans? The Human Torch?". This was followed by a few moments of bizarre, uncomfortable silence. Some of us might be blonde, but we're not Heidi Montag blonde. Typecasting at it's finest.

Just because someone is decent in one superhero role, does not necessarily guarantee they can stay the course - especially with one of the biggest Marvel characters of all time. Chris Evans is so wrong for the role and if the bigwigs think casting him simply for his charming good looks equals instant profit where us ladies are concerned, they are wrong. Playing Russian roulette with the Marvel fandom could mean filmicde.

Personally, I would have went after Jensen Ackles for the role. He has the jawline, the voice, the all American good looks (Chris is cute, but not quite "there"), he has the acting ability and the desired demeanor to make the character believable - to be Captain America. I believe he would have brought in more viewers demographics wise. They really should have taken more time to consider the mythology and get the right actor. It sounds like this was a knee jerk reaction to get things moving. As I said, Russian roulette..

Way to go Marvel... and to think that after Iron Man I thought they might pick a lead who could actually act..

I like Chris Evans but I do not think he is the best choice for this role. He is no match against RDJ and Sam Jackson. I am supposed to believe they are going to take orders from him?! They'd mop the floor with him. Good Luck!

There were a lot of better choices than Chris Evans. I do like some of his films but I don't think he has what it takes to pull of this roll and act with Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel Jackson. My 1st choice would have been Jensen Ackles followed up by possibly John Hamm. I'm not sure whether or not I will see this movie.

Chris Evans will do a good job, it was a good choice. I remember when Ledger was announced as the Joker and everyone was pissed about it. Turned out to be the greatest comic villian performance ever.

hey i think mavel should think about Sean william scott i mean he is great at making people laugh and a great actor not to metion that he has buffed up a lot since he was in the run down hell he is most likly pushin 230 if not more im sorry but the human torch should be nothing more then the human torch what if they make several Avenger movie an the Fantastice four join is he gonna play both roles come on Hollywood im not impressed

@ Christian:

"... They might as well have casted that pasty sparkly vampire from twilight."

They cant, he is going to be the new Spider Man

Well I can't say I am happy with Chris Evans being cast as Cap, for several reasons. For someone to go from being shown as Johnny Storm to Captain America is a long leap despite the time lapse in the films. He doesn't have the bulk, the age, or the presence that the Cap exudes, at least, I don't think he does. Don't get me wrong, I like Evans and think he is a quality actor, and was the most accurate portrayal of the Fantastic Four gang, but he is not Captain America. All that being said, thank God they didn't cast Channing Tatum!!

So let me get this straight. They want to have Captain America one of the best marvel characters to date, a hero who actually represents America itself, a man who dosent really have a sense of humor, a tough man, to be played by a freaking Comedian who couldent even pull off the human torch! Come on Marvel studios whats going on! Please take this seriously.

X-men and Superman Returns aside I can't think of any other superhero film out there that cast an unknown in the lead (we'll leave Thor for now as it's not out for another year). Even something like the Fantastic Four had known, if not universally recognised, actors. In fact in X-men, an ensemble piece, it was only Hugh Jackman who was an unknown (outside the theatre).

Personally I can't wait to see what Evans does. He's certainly physically capable of playing Captain America, he can do both serious and lightweight films and even in lesser films he's always watchable.

As an aside, I thought that Brandon Routh was one of the few saving graces from Superman Returns, I thought he did an admirable job living up to the legacy from the prior films - well 1 & 2, the less said about 3 & 4 the better!

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