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Joe Johnston Directing Marvel's The First Avenger: Captain America!

by
November 9, 2008

Captain America

Marvel has officially announced that Joe Johnston will direct the upcoming The First Avenger: Captain America. Johnston previously directed Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer, Jumanji, October Sky, Jurassic Park III, and Hidalgo, and also has The Wolf Man coming up in March. Johnston now joins the ranks of Jon Favreau, Louis Leterrier, and Kenneth Branagh as Marvel's dream team of directors set to turn bring the real Marvel universe to life in a series of films that will eventually converge in The Avengers in 2011. It's pure coincidence that this news hits on the same evening that I wrote about the return of WWII movies, considering The First Avenger: Captain America will be set during that time.

Marvel first met with Johnston two years ago and their meetings have continually led to Captain America. Marvel's Kevin Feige is producing the film, which will be set during World War II, although no writer is attached yet. Marvel claims they are still hearing pitches on story ideas and will hire a screenwriter soon. Unfortunately Johnston isn't the most exciting choice for director, although Feige references other elements of his background to the contrary. "This is a guy who designed the vehicles for Star Wars, who storyboarded the convoy action sequence for Raiders of the Lost Ark," Feige said. "From Rocketeer to October Sky to The Wolfman, you can look at pieces of his movies and see how they lead to this one."

Captain America was first created in 1941 by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon and is the alter ego of Steve Rogers. Rogers volunteered for a top-secret defense project called Operation: Rebirth after he was deemed too sickly to join the army. He was the first human test subject for the Super-Solider serum which transformed him into a human with maximum efficiency, greatly enhancing his strength and reflexes. The man who had created the serum was killed and the ability to duplicate the process was lost. Thus Captain America was born, and combined with his iconic indestructible shield, he served as both a counter-intelligence agent and a propaganda symbol to counter Nazi Germany's head of terrorist operations, the Red Skull.

I never would've imagined so many years ago while watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids or even Jumanji that the same guy who made those movies would years later bring us a live-action version of Captain America. Looking at this news now, that's not a good thought. Johnston may have been great doing behind-the-scenes work on Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark, but he's not a great director. October Sky may prove that he can direct character-driven movies, but nothing in his filmography proves that he's capable of taking on such an ambitious and highly anticipated film as Captain America. I hope my fears as wrong and, just like Jon Favreau, we find out that Johnston was the perfect choice in the end. Thoughts?

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  • Red Buttons
    My love for Cap will keep me from seeing any flaws with this movie.
  • Drew
    I like this pick. The Rocketeer and October Sky were great movies and judging by the trailer, I bet The Wolfman will be great too. Now all they need to do is get someone like Matt Damon to play Cap.
  • Drew
    "Looking at this news now, that's not a good thought. Johnston may have been great doing behind-the-scenes work on Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark, but he's not a great director." Alex, have you not seen The Rocketeer? That movie alone makes Joe qualified to make Captain America.
  • http://my.spill.com/profile/Kent Kent
    Would people stop using that pic of cap? It's not really cap! *NERD RAGE*
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    Kent, your wish has been granted! Except how many regular people know who Bucky is? :)
  • LORD POON
    But ALEX even though many dont know who Bucky is...that pic of him with a gun is fucking stupid...How hard was it to use a Jim Lee drawing of Cap..Christ !!!
  • http://my.spill.com/profile/Kent Kent
    Oh my god Alex... another pic of Buckaptain America.... My mom who's 58 years old, and hasn't read a comic in her life knows who Bucky is and even agrees with me that if he's in the film, you cast Shia LaBeouf to play him... http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/13/Cap_america_v4.jpg
  • http://goodmoviebadmovie.blogspot.com/ Bryan
    I really don't have any problems with this pick. He's already done a superhero fighting against Nazis (The Rocketeer) which had just the right mix of adventure and danger. Character wise, Hidalgo has a lot in common with the characterization of Steve Rogers, both Cap and Viggo Mortensen's character will never quit until their last breath. Many of Johnston's films have a wonderful period nostalgia that would be essential to a Cap set entirely in the 1940s.
  • Nick Sears
    Well, he's already got me hooked from the Rocketeer, from the fun action to capturing the 1940s era. I'm a little nervous with his background of A-List PG films, cause he has to beef this film up to be pretty badass. With his experience in the the Star Wars/Lost Ark films, that don't mean a thing to me when spotlighting the directors chair. I have confidence that he'll make a good character establishment with Steve/Bucky - therefore attaching the audience into it. If you're saying there have been meeting where he keeps being projected towards the Capt, then maybe he knows something we don't. All I know, is that I want to work on that film! What I'm reallllly curious to see who plays him. That's going to have the most debate I'm sure. #7 - No more LeBouf, please! He's been everybody's sidekick - Constantine, iRobot, Indiana Jones. We need some new faces! I do agree with the picture link though.
  • Tee Max
    why is this 'captain america' holding a gun...?!!! captain america doesn't USE a gun!
  • Staatz
    I have vague happy memories of the movies that he directed... I approve!
  • The Rambler
    The following list is the best cast for the Captain America movie! Haley Joel Osment = Captain America Jonathan Lipnicki = Bucky Miley Cyrus = Love Interest Batman = President 2pac = Red Skull Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew = Super Soldier Formula Scientists Corky from Life Goes On = Nick Fury I rest my case! Any responses will fall on deaf ears, muah ha ha .... sarcasm.
  • Matty
    HAHAHAHhahaha rambler that was great
  • http://www.myspace.com/kevjohnphotography kevjohn
    This is the 21st Century, Cap. You'd better get your ass a gun if you want to keep up in the arms race with the bad guys. Although I don't know if that little pea shooter is going to frighten a gang banger with an AK. :D
  • http://goodmoviebadmovie.blogspot.com/ Bryan
    For those who aren't currently following Cap, the gun toting Captain America is not Steve Rogers, who is still dead after having been assasinated by the Red Skull in Cap 25. Currently a resurected Bucky has donned the costume. Excuse me, resurected is the wrong word. Ed Brubaker reintroduced Bucky as the Winter Soldier, he lost an arm and was frozen in ice like Cap but found and revived by the USSR in the 1950s and brainwashed into becoming their assassin, The Winter Soldier. Shortly before his death Cap was able to free Bucky of the mind control and his version of Cap is an attempt at penance.
  • http://www.youtube.com/snears Nick Sears
    Didn't Captain have a gun at first, then decides to stop using it b/c his shield is so badass?? I have that still from the Marvel Alliance game with Capt holding a shield and a Thompson. I think that would be accurate and badass. If he decides to lose the gun about 3/4 into the movie, I think that would fit well with the character's development in the film - as if to complete his title as Captain America. Yes? No?
  • http://www.youtube.com/snears Nick Sears
  • Janny
    i wouldn't think that one whos previous directorials center around wholesome family comedies would fit the bill for directing a captain america story set during WWII... unless of course it will be done like a wholesome family comedy *shrug*... Although make no judgements until there are trailers or the movie is out as people at Marvel will (hopefully) be supervising how their movies are made and there is nothing like the input of people who know and care about a character to keep the movie true -- As to the subject of the pic... to all those who do not know recently marvel had a story ark called the 'civil war' which dealed with the issues or rights and such... at the end of this ark captain america got shot... the guy in the pick in the new costume holding the gun is the original bucky barns (from WWII) who was turned into the winter soldier by the reds and eventually broke his conditioning and took on the mantle of captain america
  • Darrin
    the guy from step up and the gi joe movie should be capt america.
  • http://my.spill.com/profile/Kent Kent
    KevJohn, Cap is at his best when he's in The Ultimates. And as Nick Sears showed when he's got a gun it's pretty awesome, but that's not Captain America that's going to be in this film. It's not Steve Rogers.... it's his sidekick Bucky.... The pic doesn't make sense. If cap has a crappy shiny suit like that in the movie i'm going to punch some one in the face.
  • Alfredo
    Jeez, ppl quit complaining about the picture and talk about the director. I, for one, think it's funny another board game movie director is doing a Marvel movie. First, Favreau with Zathura, now the dude from Jumanji. AND he directed the worst of the Jurassic park trilogy. What's next? Will Marvel pick the director of Ouija for Dr. Strange or for Ant-Man??? Meh. I don't know. Maybe I should watch Rocketeer again and check out his directing chops, as I haven't seen that movie for a good 15 years.
  • fanboy d
    jumanji pwns zathura who didn't like honey i shrunk the kids as a youngin? there should never have been ANY jurassic park sequels, but look at it this way...dude was handpicked by speilberg. pagemaster was fun. the wolfman looks badass. @darrin...i'm surprised no one mentioned channing tatum before
  • fanboy d
    that said, jim caviezel
  • Daas
    Can't wait to see Cap on film! I think this will end up being a classic, certainly one of the top comic book movies ever.
  • http://youtube.com/snears Nick Sears
    I think having a gun early on would be accurate to the time period(he'd be awfully arrogant at first if he didn't think he needed a gun), but as he learns how to BE Captain America, he realizes that his shield is all he needs - drops his gun(insert dramatic slowmo shot of the gun hittting the ground/sand).
  • MJay
    Why everytime y'all need a picture of Cap y'all use that one? That's not Captain America, people! It's Bucky.
  • tyler ford
    Joe Johnston is the perfect director for this film. He has the perfect touch for Nostalgia and throw back Americana it requires. He is clearly qualified to direct big budget action films. Spielberg he is not, but he did a good job with action in Jurassic Park 3, minus the sensitive touch Spielberg has for those "magic moments". I actually really loved Hidalgo as well as the rocketeer. The producers will make sure that the action is first rate, I guarantee that is what they care about more than anything, except the budget. I did not assume that Favreau was qualified to direct a blockbuster action piece based on Elf and Zathura. I did however feel he was a talented person. Johnston clearly comes with the cred over him. It will be interesting to see how they decide to cast known or unknown, what do you think would be better?
  • HFC
    well, i'd love to see Cap on the big screen. the director sounds fine enough (no Nolan, but fine). and as for Cap, i think either Channing Tatum or Jason Lewis (the model guy from Sex and the City) should pay him. They have the physical resemblance, though Lewis is a little older.
  • zubzwank
    I think Johnston will be fine. What worries me is that, as often happens with comic book movies, they will change/eliminate his costume, in the name of "realism" (as if movies about people that fly, turn huge and green, shoot force blasts from their eyes, etc., could be "realistic"). I'm old school. Superheros and costumes go together like love and marriage. DO NOT: 1) give him that stupid "ultimates" look with the ammo pouches; 2) make him "dark." He can fight somebody "dark", but he is not. This is Captain America, not Batman! DO: if you must, give him some derivative body armor, as long as it's RED, WHITE & BLUE!
  • CHICK
    .......Joe johnston sucks.........the end
  • CHICK
    Joe Johnston needs to stick to kids movies,and working to impress kids under 14 becaus they dont notice things like shitty scrips and shortsided directing techniques. He had a shot at playing with a big boy script and a huge budget once with jurassic park 3 and the movie made me want to rub horse shit into my own eyes...The work was already done for him! All he had to do was make a 3rd installment into an already successfull franchise. Jurassic Park is one of the top grossing films of all time, and I know sequels tend to get gradually worse as the more of them get made, however jp3 was a clusterfuck and a half! Now he's being entrusted to develop and cast one of the most iconic comic book characters in the history of comics, and he couldn't even handle mak ing fake dinosaurs eating people entertaining...We had a good run for a bit, Thomas Jane as punisher was great, the sequel war zone had not a hint of the original in it and it also sucked. The third installment of the x-men was beyond unbearable(thanks Brett Ratner,stick to you lame-ass rush hour movies). Batman is doing incredible to say the least, but heath's dead and now that trilogy is screwed...Iron man was great, the new hulk was great, but Captain america is at a disadvantage from the get-go because they've brought a director that basically couldn't find his ass with both hands...If this clown gets his way, he wants Will Smith to play Ole' Capt...I love Will Smith and will watch anything with Smith in it, however;some roles arent for certain actors for obvious reasons....you get what I'm saying?......The only way Will Smith could work is if they modernized the story and had Smitty as an injured marine about to go through an experimental supersoldier testing of some kind, and then have him hunt Bin- Laden or something!!? Steve Rogers is from WW11 era!!! Johnstons' taking ideas like the one I just described; instread of paying homage to a piece of Americana like Captain America, and thats the reason why I dont get excited about comic book movies anymore. They end up in the hands of Directors that don't care about the integrity of the characters or the fan base thats actually investing themselves into the cinematic version of their comic heroes. Johnston, go make Beethoven 9, or "honey, I shruk my balls" or something in you realm of capability to do right, because Captain America simply is too far out of your league sir, thank you and goodnight....................
  • miguel
    I think that the lead actor should be of the ( 300 fame ) the leader of the Spartans just color his hair blonde and put a Captain America suit on him and there you go, one hero who can kick Batmans ass.

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