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: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2010/02/captain-america-will-be-a-uso-performer-in-the-movie-director-says.html
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.