After unveiling some dazzling new Iron Man 2 footage at Comic-Con Saturday afternoon, Marvel Studios exec Kevin Feige took time to update us on another high-profile project in his company’s ambitious pipeline, The First Avenger: Captain America.
On the film’s storyline and how it might be shaped to appeal to an international audience:
“Captain America is really the story of Steve Rogers, like Peter Parker, like Bruce Banner, like Tony Stark. By the way, Tony Stark is about as jingoistic a guy there is. He’s always talking about America, what’s right for America, making weapons to go to war with the rest of the world with and [Iron Man] did extremely well overseas because his story was engaging. This movie is Steve Rogers’ origin story, and I think it is our burden to make Steve Rogers as appealing as any of our other characters ... he’s not just the perfect boy scout who follows order every time. He has ideals he wants to live up to.”
On the decision to set the movie in World War II and the possibility of an appearance by the 1940s-era supergroup the Invaders:
“Also, setting it in World War II — the Marvel version of World War II — I think is gonna open it up in another big way ... What’s funny is it will actually end up being, I think, our most diverse and our most international film, in terms of the content of the movies itself. It takes place overseas much more than any of our other films do. In terms of the cast, there’s a group that Steve works with that will have an opportunity for many more international actors than any of our other films.”
On potential villains:
“We are gonna explore those aspects of World War II that made Cap special: the Super Soldier program, Red Skull, Hydra, all of those things that exist in the Marvel version of it. As you know if you read the comic books, the origin of Captain America is really the origin of the Marvel universe ... it’s about that time in history when the idea of the superhero began to emerge.”
Feige, who was wearing a Marvel hat in case anyone forgot where he works, indicated that they're “about halfway though” developing the script, with a target date of June 2010 for the start of production. As far as casting is concerned, don’t expect any major announcements until October, when director Joe Johnston (The Wolf Man, Hidalgo) joins the production full-time.
Can a period-based comic book flick succeed in a genre dominated by glossy, futuristic films? And is The First Avenger: Captain America the latest example of franchise-obsessed Hollywood's disturbing trend towards comic book flicks with annoyingly cumbersome titles? We'll just have to wait and see, true believers.