Sunday, February 07, 2010

Johnston talks Captain America

That whooshing sound you hear is a heavy sigh of relief coming from your's truly. The LA Times' "Hero Complex" blog has an interview with "Wolf Man" director Joe Johnston up about his NEXT film, "Captain America." Surprisingly, for a non-typical-web-geek source the questions VERY quickly turned toward stuff you usually have to wait for, well... US to cover: Origins and costumes. And from the sounds of things...

...Johnston etc. GET IT.

Check out the full article here:

These, in my estimation, would be the "bullet points" for fans:

1.) Setting IS WWII. It's an origin story for the Steve Rogers Cap.

2.)From the sounds of things the character is hewing VERY close to the standard model: Super-Soldier Program, innability to make "more" of him, Rogers as a "98 lbs weakling" before being transformed, etc.

3.) As to the costume: The way Johnston lays it out, he'll be wearing BOTH the traditional "classic" costume and a more armor-like outfit (presumably) closer to the "Ultimates" version. The logic behind this: The "classic" one is something the Army/Goverment puts him in to "show him off" in USO productions, he thinks it's dumb, then he comes to realize the tangible value of the "living symbol" aspect and fashions a combat-functional version.

Immediate reaction: I like it. No, wait... I don't just like it, I REALLY like it. I think this is sounds like a fucking great solution.

The costume was going to be THE big obstacle with this character, precisely because the whole "guy wearing a flag" concept is just patently ridiculous and people - especially those not already fans of the character or genre - are probably going to think it looks silly. That's why this angle strikes me as so brilliant: You'll have the main character basically "agreeing" with them that "this thing is stupid"... but then (it sounds like) a major point of his arc will be realizing (and communicating to the audience) "no, wait, it's actually AWESOME."

I'm feeling very good about this right now.


Vincent said...

The costume solution strikes me as very similar (in terms of cleverness) to the Batman Begins solution. I.e., a guy dressed as a bat is pretty retarded on the face of it, but then we learn that Bruce has a phobia of bats (understandable given his childhood encounter with them), and that he wants his enemies to share his fear. He wants to instil the normally irrational fear of bats into his foes. Then his costume makes sense.

It's so refreshing when filmmakers spend a few minutes to use their brains and actually think of a way to please both the fans and those who would be skeptical of the comic trappings.

Drunken Lemur said...

Dang. I was hoping for the WW2 Ultimates costume be be in there. Oh well, this sounds good too. Also, Sonic 4 is project needlemouse, and is going the way of Megaman 9 and 10. I'm surprised you haven't commented on it yet, Mr. Chipman. i bet you're excited that they're bringing back the badnicks.

Tim said...

I also heard another rumor this morning that during a Wolf Man promotional roundtable, Johnston let it slip that the Red Skull is the film's villain.


browncoateric said...


Who the fuck cares about Captain America's origin. It's not intresting. Just do a recap like The Incredible Hulk or just cover it in dialouge. I don't want a whole fucking move of "Whoa I can throw a shield. Whoa my shield bounces. Whoa I can lift things" I want a see a WWII film about the war and Cap as a soldier like the flashbacks in Brubakers run.

Well I guess were just going to get ANOTHER pointless Superhero origin movie that's going otbe the same basic formula as all the others.

So dissapointing. I actually had hope they were going ot break out and do something cool and unique. And since it's goign ot end wiht him in ice so he can get unfrozen in Avengers so guess we won't ever get a really good WWII Cap movie.

Cenobite829 said...

browncoateric I think your being to hard on this. Think about it this way by using the WWII story to intro the character you canhave that at the very end of the movie Cap is frozen. Then when the Avengers movie comes out you can open it with them finding Cap. Also they could get away with the flashback origin in the Hulk movie because the character is more main stream with the (admittily horrible) Ang Lee film and the 70's series. Not many non comic fans know all the ins and outs of the character. I for one am looking forward to this movie along with IM2 and Thor.

KevinCV said...

I concur with Vincent. I wish more superhero movies did that kinda thing, too. I think that kinda thing was also used in the first X-Men movie to justify why they changed the outfits from the multi-colored spandex to the black leather.

And browncoateric, how do you know that they won't use some of that stuff you mentioned for the movie? Oh, that's right! You don't! Why not give them the benefit of the doubt?

It's like people already harping on Matt Smith being the Eleventh Doctor simply because "He's too young!" or "He's not David Tennant!" or even "I don't like when he says 'Geronimo!'" BEFORE his first full episode has aired. Just relax, and wait until more info on plot the movie is released. I have faith that Joe Johnston will bring Cap to the screen beautifully!

Bob said...

When the character isn't ultra-familiar to a larger audience (in this case, most people have probably "heard of" Captain America but couldn't tell you where he comes from, what his "thing" is, who Steve Rogers is, etc.,) I think you kind of NEED to do a full-on origin story. Plus, it gives you an actual story-arc to work with - since most superheroes tend to end their forward-evolution once they have their name and outfit. Otherwise, you'd get just get Generic Action Script #5 but with Captain America in it.

browncoateric said...

Re Cenobite829: That's exactly what I don't wnat because we get origin movie then we get "Oh wow the world is so different now I'm so lost" movie.

Re KevinCV: Why?

Re Bob: Your right instead were getting generic super hero origin #5. I don't think Cap NEEDS an origin movie. I really think you can cover it with dialouge. His origin isn't that intresting really. I'd be much more intresting in a superhero war film that actually covers new ground then just another suepr hero origin set to a period piece.

Cenobite829 said...

Re browncoateric: But the world won't be that different after he is revived from being frozen because it will be the world established in Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor. As for his orgin not being intresting how can you say that the story of a young man that would've given anything to serve his country only to be turned away only to become simply the very symbol of the country. In the hands of the right writer it could be an incredible story.

Dav3 said...

meanwhile, in oh good God, NO! -news:

A previous story on the Hero Complex blog reports a rebooted Daredevil movie written by the guy behind the "Day The Earth Stood Still" remake.

So even if there's hope for Cap, that doesn't mean there won't be a dozen other catastrophes to keep the overall average in the crapper.